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Nested Informalities

Yi Li | Master of Architecture

Dennis Harvey  | Master in Urban Design


Nested Informalities | Central de Abasto and Its Network of Informal Markets

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Resilience of cities depends on flexible and rich layers of infrastructure. Food infrastructure’s resilience faces major challenges from rapidly growing urban consumption centers. As Mexico City’s biggest and last experiment on central economic infrastructure planning, Central de Abasto handles 80% of the food consumption of the Mexico City metropolitan area. We propose to study resilience of Mexico City’s food distribution system through researching Central de Abasto and its Network of Informal Markets. The research on infrastructural resiliency centers around 3 levels of common conflicts: the conflict between urban core’s surging consumption needs and alienation of supply nodes from city core to the vast hinterland; the conflict between bottom-up informal market tradition and centralized, efficiency-oriented planning; the conflict between localized food supply and industrial scale food chain.