Michael Waldrep

The Contemporary City at its Limits: Santa Fe, Mexico City

Santa Fe, located about a 12-mile drive (or somewhat risky walk) from the center of Mexico City, is, depending on your perspective, the metropolitan area’s most modern district, or its most soulless. Set in the rolling hills west of ...

Walking Towards Mexico’s Corporate Edge City

Santa Fe is Mexico City’s Edge City – a rapidly growing office park on the outskirts of an extant metropolitan area. Located along a major highway out of the city, the site (some 12 miles from the center) was once a ...

Mexico’s Unknown Cities: Naucalpan and Ecatepec

Mexico City’s Distrito Federal is the nation’s largest urban administrative unit. Of the 22 million residents of the metro area, 8.8 million live in the D.F. If you were to ask most Mexicans what the country’s “second city,” ...

Scenes from Neza: Mexico’s Self-Made City

Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl is the prototypical informal settlement of metropolitan Mexico City. Built just over the line from the Distrito Federal in the Estado de México, Neza—as it is commonly called—looms large in the imagination of the ...

Tlatelolco and the Modernist Dream in Mexico City

Officially the Conjunto Urbano Presidente Adolfo López Mateos de Nonoalco Tlatelolco (*phew*), the district of Tlatelolco is today a fascinating vestige of mid-century Mexico’s modernist past, and—what I like even more—a vision of a future that ...

Satellite Cities: The Early Suburbs of Mexico City

This week, continuing in my investigation of the geography of growth in Mexico City’s metropolitan area, and following my most recent exploration of the wealthier, more U.S.-styled segments of sprawl in the city, I made a trip ...

Wealth and Sprawl in Mexico City

As I wrote before I arrived here, I grew up on an edge of Los Angeles—I could ride my bike down the hill to the park and the comic book store in the strip mall, and, with enough energy, ...

Urban Growth: Mexico City over Time

In the above gif, we can watch forty years of Mexico City’s built area expand, washing up against and around hills, lakebeds, and other obstacles. I’m very much drawn to this type of image in urban planning: evocative ...

How Mexico City’s Outer Housing Projects Give Way to Changing Needs

Continuing his quest to document Mexico City, its neighborhoods and its 22 million inhabitants through writing, mapping, data visualization, photography and video, Fulbright-National Geographic Fellow Michael Waldrep shares pictures and observations about the metropolitan area’s Galaxia subdivision, built in an ...

Return Trip: On Leaving Cuautitlán and the Tren Suburbano

View this post on Instagram Just to the side of the previous view, the #TrenSuburbano carries passengers from points north into the center of #DF. Passengers from Azcapotzalco, where the towers in the back rise up, and as far as ...