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In many areas of the world, environmental degradation in and around human settlements is undermining prospects for both socioeconomic justice and ecological sustainability. To explore the issues involved in this worldwide problem, Keith Pezzoli focuses on a dramatic instance of conflict that grew out of the unauthorized penetration of human settlements into the Ajusco greenbelt zone, a vital part of Mexico City's ecological reserve.
The heart of Human Settlements and Planning for Ecological Sustainability is the story of what happened when residents of the Ajusco settlements fought relocation by proposing that the areas be transformed into productive ecology settlements. Pezzoli draws upon urban and regional planning theory and practice to examine biophysical as well as ethical and social sides of the story, and he uses the Mexican experience to identify planning strategies to link economy, ecology, and community in sustainable development.
Part 1 Human settlements and the question of sustainability
2. Mexico City's current status – a global and comparative perspective
3. urban-environmental policy and planning – international agendas/local realities
Part 2 The Valley of Mexico – history, power and the environment
4. Mexico City's urban-ecological coevolution
5. State-society relations and the production of human settlements
6. Ecological arguments and the politics of containment.
Part 3. Mexico City's contested ecological reserve
7. The expansion of irregular settlement into the greenbelt zone of Ajusco
8. Key actors and the overall balance of forces
9. Popular mobilization in the formation of Los Belvederes – origins, structures and agendas
Part 4 Towards a poetical ecology of human settlements
10. Grassroots environmental action at the frontier – the Colonia Ecologica Productiva movement
11. Ecology as politics
"This book is recommended for anyone interested in urban planning and the struggle for sustainable development in the urban context [...] Human Settlements and Planning for Ecological Sustainability goes to the heart of what is needed to accomplish sustainable development in an urban setting [...] This book and the study it contains are vital to our future."
– Mark J. Spalding, Journal of Environment & Development