News & Events

Cosmopolis Lunch Seminar with Alejandra Trejo: Metropolitan Economic Development: The Political Economy of Urbanisation in Mexico

21 March 2019 , Geography Dept., room F4.66 (VUB - Pleinlaan 2, BE-1050 Brussels, Building F) from 12.00h to 13.30h

Abstract presentation

Today, around 55 per cent of the world’s population is urban and an increasing proportion lives in metropolitan areas. It has been estimated that the 300 largest metropolitan areas in the world account for 19% of total population and around one half of production. Because of their growing significance as economic, demographic and political hubs, metropolitan spaces remain fundamental in understanding the spatial organisation of today societies and economies. As other countries in the Global South, Mexico – a highly urbanised country – is characterised by the increasing urban expansion and growth that leads to the emrgence of several metropolitan areas. These include one of the biggest metropolitan area in the world – Mexico City – with almost 21 million inhabitants. 

The presentation will include the main arguments of a book project that aims at providing a synthetic, but comprehensive account of metropolitan issues in Mexico. Even though the book deals with varied dimensions of the metropolitan question, its emphasis is on economic development, public policies for economic development, governance and political economy. After a synthetic literature review on concepts, analytical frameworks and international perspectives, the book presents a multi-scale outlook of metropolitan patterns and processes to: develop a comparative assessment on urbanisation in Latin America; discuss the spatial distribution of population in the Mexican urban system and the progression of the metropolitan phenomenon; identify the most pressing economic development issues in the metropolitan areas in Mexico; explain the metropolitan process and the urban structure in Mexico City; and examine different aspects of metropolitan economic policy and governance by looking at the experiences of Mexico city and other metropolises in the Americas.

Bio speaker

Alejandra Trejo is professor at the Centre for demographic, urban and environmental studies, El Colegio de Mexico and Visiting fellow at BCUS. She holdsd a PhD in Development Studies from the University of East Anglia in the UK, and a master degree in Regional Economics. Currently she is a professor at the Centre for Demographic, Urban and Environmental Studies at El Colegio de Mexico. She was the academic coordinator of the master program in Urban Studies in this centre (2013-2015). Previously she was a lecturer and researcher in different universities in Mexico. She is a member of the Mexican National Researchers System and the ambassador to Mexico of the Regional Studies Association. 

She is interested in regional, urban and metropolitan economies particularly in industrialisation, labour markets, economic growth, productivity and efficiency, specialisation and the location and spatial distribution of economic activities. Recently she has been exploring issues of local political economy, governance and institutions that shape economic performance and development.