Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement: Mapping and Modeling Clandestine Driv

Project: Research project

Description

A major challenge for sustainability in the Anthropocene is improved social-environmental performance of land systems. This improvement requires an understanding of the arraying drivers that generate these systems, including the capacity to detect when, where, and which sets of drivers are operating. Land System Science (LSS) has made considerable contributions to this effort through pattern assessments and models of individual behavior, collective and state actions, market enterprise, and globalization, with recent attention to urban land systems. It has not, however, provided much attention to illicit or informal drivers of land change, those that are increasingly characteristic of many urban areas worldwide. Various narratives and case studies of such drivers have been addressed in Political Ecology research but, for the most part, have not been incorporated into LSS models or been addressed through their spatial patterns. This study seeks to bridge this intellectual divide in a study of the operation of clandestine activity, i.e., behavior that is intentionally secret because it breaks formal laws or violates informal norms, on the patterns of land-use change, in this case the regularization of informal urban settlements in Mexico City. Specifically this study asks:
1. Under what conditions do clientelistic practices influence land-use regularization?
2. Is there a discernable pattern of regularization or urbanization that can be linked to election cycles, party affiliations, or the illegal distribution of urban services?
These questions will be answered through a novel synthesize of socio-environmental data in four steps: i) use of extensive interview data with multiple stakeholdersgovernmental to residentialto derive an understanding of the complexity of operations that promote informal urbanization and regularization; ii) quantifying annual patterns of urban change based on remote sensing analyzes of satellite imagery from 1980-2015; iii) digitizing and geoferencing land-use regulation records and maps that show were local government has incorporated informal urbanization into legal property and land use registries in two city boroughs, Iztapalapa and Xochimilco, where significant illicit urbanization has occurred on natural protected areas; and iv) collating ancillary geospatial data of voting records, water, electricity services, census data, land tenure type (private, federal, or common property). Three modeling approaches (multi-level regression, Markov Transition Matrices, and Cox Hazard analysis) will be used to test for the significance of clandestine variables on land change outcomes in comparison to traditional drivers of land-use change. Modeling and mapping the patterns of urbanization and regularization will estimate the significance of unexplored drivers of urban growth in Mexico City.

Intellectual Merit: The results of this research will provide a major contribution to land system science and political ecology by providing new analytical methods to detect and quantify the relative significance of clandestine drivers of land change not otherwise examined or heretofore detectable. This project integrates conceptual insights from political ecology, political science, new institutional economics, and urban planning on clientelism and corruption into formal approaches to land change science, and explores the salience of such concepts for urbanization. This research develops methods to move analysis of clandestine activity from the narrative and case observation to an analytically strong empirical analysis at a landscape scale. This project also develops methods to assess how clandestine transactions shape urban form. This extends important work by Mexican scholars by connecting concepts about the economics and politics of informal land markets with efforts to map and quantify informal settlements in Mexico City. The methods employed and, perhaps, the findings will have application in many other cities globally where clandestine activities are thought to be significant drivers of urban change.

Broader Impacts: This project will enhance collaborations between university and the public sector because government data collection will be pursued with CESOP (Center for Social Studies and Public Opinion), an investigative center that supports the Mexican Legislative Assembly, and made into digitized and georeferenced formats by hired Mexican student technicians at the LANCIS (National Laboratory for Sustainability Science) at UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico). This will bo A major challenge for sustainability in the Anthropocene is improved social-environmental performance of land systems. This improvement requires an understanding of the arraying drivers that generate these systems, including the capacity to detect when, where, and which sets of drivers are operating. Land System Science (LSS) has made considerable contributions to this effort through pattern assessments and models of individual behavior, collective and state actions, market enterprise, and globalization, with recent attention to urban land systems. It has not, however, provided much attention to illicit or informal drivers of land change, those that are increasingly characteristic of many urban areas worldwide. Various narratives and case studies of such drivers have been addressed in Political Ecology research but, for the most part, have not been incorporated into LSS models or been addressed through their spatial patterns. This study seeks to bridge this intellectual divide in a study of the operation of clandestine activity, i.e., behavior that is intentionally secret because it breaks formal laws or violates informal norms, on the patterns of land-use change, in this case the regularization of informal urban settlements in Mexico City. Specifically this study asks:
1. Under what conditions do clientelistic practices influence land-use regularization?
2. Is there a discernable pattern of regularization or urbanization that can be linked to election cycles, party affiliations, or the illegal distribution of urban services?
These questions will be answered through a novel synthesize of socio-environmental data in four steps: i) use of extensive interview data with multiple stakeholdersgovernmental to residentialto derive an understanding of the complexity of operations that promote informal urbanization and regularization; ii) quantifying annual patterns of urban change based on remote sensing analyzes of satellite imagery from 1980-2015; iii) digitizing and geoferencing land-use regulation records and maps that show were local government has incorporated informal urbanization into legal property and land use registries in two city boroughs, Iztapalapa and Xochimilco, where significant illicit urbanization has occurred on natural protected areas; and iv) collating ancillary geospatial data of voting records, water, electricity services, census data, land tenure type (private, federal, or common property). Three modeling approaches (multi-level regression, Markov Transition Matrices, and Cox Hazard analysis) will be used to test for the significance of clandestine variables on land change outcomes in comparison to traditional drivers of land-use change. Modeling and mapping the patterns of urbanization and regularization will estimate the significance of unexplored drivers of urban growth in Mexico City.

Intellectual Merit: The results of this research will provide a major contribution to land system science and political ecology by providing new analytical methods to detect and quantify the relative significance of clandestine drivers of land change not otherwise examined or heretofore detectable. This project integrates conceptual insights from political ecology, political science, new institutional economics, and urban planning on clientelism and corruption into formal approaches to land change science, and explores the salience of such concepts for urbanization. This research develops methods to move analysis of clandestine activity from the narrative and case observation to an analytically strong empirical analysis at a landscape scale. This project also develops methods to assess how clandestine transactions shape urban form. This extends important work by Mexican scholars by connecting concepts about the economics and politics of informal land markets with efforts to map and quantify informal settlements in Mexico City. The methods employed and, perhaps, the findings will have application in many other cities globally where clandestine activities are thought to be significant drivers of urban change.

Broader Impacts: This project will enhance collaborations between university and the public sector because government data collection will be pursued with CESOP (Center for Social Studies and Public Opinion), an investigative center that supports the Mexican Legislative Assembly, and made into digitized and georeferenced formats by hired Mexican student technicians at the LANCIS (National Laboratory for Sustainability Science) at UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico). This will both build scientific capacity at LANCIS and CESOP and serve to broaden the dissemination of the project results and data products produced. Specifically, geospatial database of land regularization and zoning produced in this project will be valuable to government agencies such as PAOT (Office of the Attorney General for the Environment and Land) who lack technical capacity and resources to produce it. Benefits to society will be achieved by informing ongoing efforts to regulate urban expansion in Mexico Citys conservation area and efforts to halt urbanization on this vital part of its watershed by highlighting how and where political manipulation influences land use change.
th build scientific capacity at LANCIS and CESOP and serve to broaden the dissemination of the project results and data products produced. Specifically, geospatial database of land regularization and zoning produced in this project will be valuable to government agencies such as PAOT (Office of the Attorney General for the Environment and Land) who lack technical capacity and resources to produce it. Benefits to society will be achieved by informing ongoing efforts to regulate urban expansion in Mexico Citys conservation area and efforts to halt urbanization on this vital part of its watershed by highlighting how and where political manipulation influences land use change.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/27/179/30/18

Funding

  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $15,638.00

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urbanization
modeling
land use change
land use
protected area
land
clientelism
sustainability
urban service
economic planning
informal settlement
land market
common property resource
land tenure
corruption
research method
urban growth
empirical analysis
election
urban planning