Jul 082010

Mexico City’s inner city slums date from the regime of Porfirio Díaz (1877–1910) which stimulated rapid railroad expansion and industrialization north and northwest of the city center. The industrial zone expanded out along the rail lines into the areas now known as Azcapotzalco and Gustavo A. Madero.

Typical vecindad, Mexico CityWith this expansion, the upper classes sold or abandoned their inner city colonial mansions and moved further west, deliberately avoiding noisy and polluted industrial areas. Their abandoned multi-storied mansions were converted into vecindades, cheap tenements with individual rooms rented to families.

Vecindades, with a shared central court, kitchen and latrines, became Mexico City’s first slums. They encircled the center on the north, east and south; the west side remained upscale. As these eventually became overcrowded, incoming migrants moved into cheap, undesirable housing in the industrial zone or on the urban periphery.

Vecindad, Mexico CityRapid industrialization after World War II brought another massive wave of poor immigrants. They initially headed for the low rent vecindades which had expanded as developers built new tenements using the old vecindades as a model.

Following government-mandated rent control, many investors abandoned the vecindades, depleting an already poor housing stock. Affordable housing emerged as a paramount concern of low-income residents; most were forced into colonias populares either on very steep hillsides or the urban periphery, such as Nezahualcoyotl.

While vecindades are most closely associated with Mexico City, they also emerged in Mexico’s other large cities. About ten percent of Mexico City’s current residents live in vecindades.

Mexico’s cities and towns are analyzed in chapters 21, 22 and 23 of Geo-Mexico: the geography and dynamics of modern Mexico. Buy your copy today!!

  4 Responses to “Vecindades, Mexico City’s inner-city slums”

  1. Quisiera tener informacion sobre la vecindad que se edifico en la colonia Polanco
    entre calles Presidente Masaryk y Emilio Castelar. Gracias

  2. Apreciamos su interés en geo-mexico.com Desafortunadamente, no tenemos ninguna información disponible en este momento con respecto a esa vecindad.
    Un saludo cordial, TB
    [We appreciate your interest in geo-mexico.com. Unfortunately, we have no information available at this time with respect to that neighborhood.
    Regards, TB]

  3. Excelente registro!

    Soy estudiante de cine y me encuentro buscando locación con urgencia para la carpeta de producción de mi tesis. Ando buscando una vecindad que tenga una ventana amplia frente a otra y esta parece perfecta. Será posible me des la dirección?

    Espero una respuesta a la brevedad. Mi mail: giannisssima@gmail.com

    De antemano, gracias!

  4. Gracias por su pregunta y interés en Geo-Mexico. Los dos fotos de vecindades son fotos históricos y desafortunadamente no tenemos los datos que permite su ubicación precisa. Saludos, TB
    [Thanks for your query and interest in Geo-Mexico. The two photos are historical photos and unfortunately we do not have the necessary information to state their precise location]

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