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Title: Urban transformations and place-identity : the case of Merida, Mexico
Author: Bolio Arcaeo, Edgardo
ISNI:       0000 0004 2746 8770
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2012
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Policies, strategies and practices of contemporary urban transformation in Merida, Mexico, are producing fragmented and anonymous new urban areas that reduce users' choice and opportunities to experience and appropriate distinctive places, hence affecting the construction of individual and collective identities. As the city continues its expansion, the problem is not limited to the physical and functional integration of the new areas to the urban structure, but also to the intangible connections that allow social and cultural interactions, and how these transformations are perceived by different groups of urban actors. The point is to put people at the centre of the place-identity agenda and to manage contemporary transformations to support social construction of individual and social identities associated with the place. Therefore, the problem is how to manage urban transformations to enhance place-identity. The aim of this research is to develop a methodology for analysing socio-spatial transformations and designing strategies to address the issues that affect place-identity. In order to do so, this investigation adopts a combination of a conceptual framework and an inductive approach regarding the relationship between theory and practice, and a qualitative research strategy for data collection and analysis. The analytical framework uses a multi-method approach for in-depth analysis of the case study. Historical analysis, agency role analysis, urban morphology analysis and environment-behaviour analysis are employed to examine the data collected in fieldwork. This investigation makes use of a range of methods and techniques from the study of urban plans and programmes, through semi-structured interviews, participatory workshops and focus groups, to visual surveys of the urban form and the use of public space. , The conceptual framework and the methodology for analysis are implemented in Merida, a historical regional city in Mexico, to examine three different contemporary scenarios of urban growth in order to identify and analyse socio-spatial.transformations in relation to place-identity. The findings, corresponding to the time dimension, the political and socio-economic dimensions, the physical and spatial dimensions and the social and cultural dimensions are connected for identifying key issues affecting place- identity. These findings are further validated through a participatory technique with urban actors and used by the author to develop recommendations and implementation strategies in relation to place-identity. The contributions of this research are found at three levels: theoretical, methodological and empirical. First, the conceptual framework identifies the dimensions and components that explain the complex interactions between urban transformations and place-identity. Second, the methodology develops sequential stages for identifying and analysing socio-spatial transformations and for developing strategies to address the issues affecting place-identity. Third, the recommendations and strategies address key Issues affecting place-identity in Merida.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available