Te Vas o Te Quedas? Variations in the Explanations for Housing Abandonment in Tijuana, México

by Francisco Lara-García (MUP ’16) — Recipient of the 2016 Thesis Prize, awarded by the faculty of the Department of Urban Planning and Design

Tijuana, a city along the Mexican border with the United States, is currently suffering from a housing abandonment crisis. Various interpretations have been offered to explain the occurrence of the phenomenon, but none of these satisfactorily account for the uneven distribution of abandonment in the city. Through a mixed-methods investigation, this study explores the variation in explanations for housing abandonment. It finds that the “distance” that stakeholders have from the problem of abandonment has an effect on the complexity of explanations that these actors are likely to offer. It concludes with a discussion of the implications of this finding on Mexican housing policy, ending with prospective policy paths that could incorporate more effective multi-scalar, multi-agent approaches to housing provision.

Thesis Advisor: Diane Davis