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Historicizing the Urban Fabric

Mexican cities are layered with past transformations of the built environment even as they represent the sites of future interventions. In their architectural typologies, uses of space, and appropriation of previous material cultures and practices, Mexican cities render visible the lessons learned from ancient pre-Hispanic peoples, the colonial Spanish grid, and modernist architectural and planning ideals. The Mexican Cities Initiative aims to construct knowledge about the conditions under which urbanization processes reveal the power structures and social or spatial imaginaries of the past, asking whether and how such influences and memories are built, quite literally, into contemporary urban form. Whether in the form of novel research methods, historical documentation, or archival materials, the Mexican Cities Initiative aims to advance the collective understanding of the cultural and historical aspects of urban form.