The Nuevo Polanco Urban Project in Mexico City

in Perspectives on Global Development and Technology
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Since the late 1990s, several urban projects have been developed to preserve and renovate some areas in Mexico City, gentrifying and revaluing different key housing and historical areas. One of the most recent urban projects, Nuevo Polanco, has being developed through the urban conversion of an old industrial area, emptied through a decade-long process of displacement of industry to the periphery and becoming an area of multiple uses (for housing, commercial, and corporate buildings). The project is advertised as a new development hub, from which all traces of its industrial past were erased. Through the description and analysis of this case study, this paper aims to point out the complex dynamics of urban development in a context of multiple forms of construction and reconstruction of urban identity and local belonging. This dynamic involves a struggle between distinct social groups with different worldviews about the past and future of the metropolis.

The Nuevo Polanco Urban Project in Mexico City

in Perspectives on Global Development and Technology



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Van Leeuwen (2005) argues that humans employ different types of semiotic resources of producing meaning. From obvious forms of communication (such as verbal and nonverbal language images and music) to the less obvious like food clothes and everyday objects. The central point of social semiotics is to conceive meaning production as a complex interaction that can be unraveled. People use semiotic resources both to produce artifacts (i.e. food clothing cars artwork or any object) and communicative events (i.e. mourning talking shouting) or to interpret them. Social semiotics is concerned with the ways in which people regulate the use of these semiotic systems in specific social practices in different ways and to different degrees. Semiotic resources are both practical and artifacts that serve to communicate—traditionally called signs. And they are not restricted to speech writing gestures or images. Basically everything we do or believe in can be done or created in different ways and thus allow the articulation of different social and cultural meanings. Walking for example is a semiotic behavior; there are different ways of walking our paths may differ depending on the situation in which we find ourselves. There are ritual gaits (related to social institutions such as church and the army) and by the way we walk we express different things: who we are what we do how we want to be seen by others or how we feel.


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