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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Human Settlements and Planning for Ecological Sustainability: The Case for Mexico City by Keith Pezzoli

  • Author(s): Eisenstein, William
  • et al.

From 1 983 through 1 985, a group of several hundred destitute families living in a squatter settlement on the outskirts of Mexico City attempted to organize their self-built community into something that they called a colonia ecologica productiva, or productive ecological settlement. The goal of the colonia was to enable the community to derive its livelihood from the land on which they had settled through sustainable agriculture techniques, reforestation projects, and the use of inexpensive, small-scale, solar-powered technologies. This short-lived initiative was a response to the Mexican government's efforts to evict them from the land, a national park known as the Ajusco, and eradicate their settlements. Located on the urban edge of one of the fastest­ growing cities in the world, the Ajusco zone has been and remains under intense settlement pressure, not only from the thousands of rural migrants arriving in the city each year, but also from real estate speculators and developers catering to the country's elite.

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