Explorations in Suburban Mexico City, a Picture Transect

A crowd on top of the Cerro de Ehecatl, namesake of Ecatepec, Estado de México
A crowd on top of the Cerro de Ehecatl, namesake of Ecatepec, Estado de México — Photo by author, click to enlarge

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve been present on the blog, but while I’ve been away, I’ve had a great set of excursions into the edges of Mexico City. From semi-rural compounds in the hills of Tlalpan, to a hilltop site of traditional religious ceremonies in Ecatepec, to the former city dump Bordo de Xochiaca and the industrial suburb of Tlalnepantla, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to revisit parts of the city that I’ve been before, and to explore others that I previously didn’t know.

What I’ve seen recently is a variety of self-built and government-sponsored neighborhoods, in varied terrains and imbued with distinct histories. As I’m coming into the last weeks of my work here, I’m feeling a bit of the pressure to make a set of views of the diversity of the city’s built form and ways of living fit into a singular model of suburban, or peri-urban growth of the urban area. I have some ideas, of course, but no firm answers yet. As I continue to photograph, experience, and learn from residents of these different spaces, I hope to continue to hone in on the underlying patterns of expansion.

But in the meantime, I want to simply share some of places I’ve seen. These are photographs of the greater Mexico City region as I’m seeing it, with a map to help locate them within the Valley of Mexico. To follow more closely, please follow me on my Instagram, and let me know your thoughts here in the comments.

Self-built homes in Quiltepec, Tlalpan
Self-built homes in Quiltepec, Tlalpan, DF — Photo by author, click to enlarge

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