Social inequalities and urban fragmentation strategies

Tourists on a beach in Mexico - Yucatan Peninsula Tulum


And Emma Morales Garcia de Alba (Ibero-American University Puebla)

The project

In the past decade, Mexican cities have faced an increase in urban violence linked to the impact of organsied crime, corruption and income inequality.

During the same period, the UK has faced a heightened terror threat, widening social inequalities and an increasing privatisation of public space.

As a consequence, in both countries there has been an increasing fragmentation of of urban life and a decline in social cohesion.

In relation to urban elites, this sense of fragmentation is evident in residential developments designed to exclude and secure; in practices of avoidance and separation when moving around the city; and in the growth in providers of elite/lifestyle services.

Focussing on urban elites in Mexico and the UK, this project analysed the risks and challenges for the public life of cities from new and growing patterns of segregation and social avoidance.

An overarching concern was to identify practices and strategies that promote diverse social engagement in public spaces while maintaining public safety.

The project consisted of study visits and workshops in Mexico and the UK, which engaged with relevant stakeholders (planning and urban design professionals).


British Academy/Newton Fund

REF 2021 illustration

Research Excellence Framework 2021 results

The results demonstrate our research and impact excellence across a broad range of disciplines and confirm that our research is having a significant positive impact on lives across the globe.