Understanding the Chinampa system to identify opportunities for better governance

MADE Student Project

The thesis identifies, maps and critically analyses the different sub-systems that compose the area of Mexico City known as the Chinampa System. This system is a peri-urban cultivated wetland famous for its autochthonous agricultural techniques and the indigenous species that live in it. The objective is to formulate an understanding of that system that helps recognize the knowledge gaps that challenge its governance and the threats it faces: the interests of the real estate market of Mexico City and its government, and the stress of the waterscape that feeds the system. These threats are exacerbated by Climate Change and lead to rising conflicts over the use and management of this space. In this thesis I map the interscalar and intersystemic actors and factors that interrelate and affect this system to find the knowledge gaps, vulnerabilities, challenges and strengths in the representation of the system and its governance. The thesis concludes that there is a general lack of cohesion and dialogue between the institutions that govern the Chinampa system, worsened by the obsolete paradigm of the urban-rural divide and the systemic rejection of local, anticolonial knowledge and practice.

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