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Using the street in Mexico City Centre: temporary appropriation of public space vs legislation governing street use

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Historically there has been a rich discussion concerning the function of streets in cities, and their role in urban life. This paper outlines the relevance of temporary appropriation for understanding social dynamics within a given urban environment, looking in particular at activities occurring in the street. It takes as a case study Mexico City Centre and examines the laws and regulations set out by the government of Mexico City which regulate the use of the street. It contrasts this with the ways in which the inhabitants of the city appropriate public space on a daily basis. There is a contrast between the lack of clarity in the legislation surrounding potential activities occurring on the street, and a seemingly tacit consensus between citizens regarding how they appropriate such public spaces. We explore this contrast and outline ways in which public space is used in traditional and unexpected ways, how creative ways are found to use the street area within the spirit of the law, and where further research on this topic this could lead in future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-48
Number of pages24
JournalThe Journal of Public Space
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2018


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