Successful Planning in Mexico City
Most striking, however, is the praise of scholars such as Peter Ward, Alan Gilbert, and Priscilla Connolly, who have an intimate knowledge of Mexican housing programs and their frequent lack of success. For example, Peter Ward wrote that when the RHP program’s construction began, “the housing ‘solution’ was most impressive” (Ward 1990a, 195). Priscilla Connolly suggested that the RHP program was “an achievement which merits special comment, not only because of its scope but more importantly as a case of urban renewal” (Connolly 1990, 27). Specifically, according to Connolly, the RHP “program was able in most cases to house the families in their
original plots, i.e., with the same neighbors, and the program was administered on a plot-by-plot basis This effectively went a long way to preserving the community spirit of the population, most of whom had lived and worked in the area for more than one generation” (Connolly 1990, 28). Alan Gilbert, yet another distinguished scholar of Mexican housing, suggested that “the [Mexican] government launched an enormously effective program to produce low-cost homes in the central area [of Mexico City]” (Gilbert 1993, 28). Following the earthquake, “the new [RHP] agency had achieved remarkable success in allocating new property titles, constructing new housing, and working with existing urban social movements that had used the earthquake to rally popular support” (Davis 1994, 283).