- Tlacotalpan: The Potential of a Small World Heritage City in Mexico in Coping with its Regional Economic Decline, Population Loss, Slow-motion Environmental Change and Natural Disasters    click here to open paper content287 kb
by    Cedillo, Fabiola | fabiola.cedillo.espin@gmail.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Tlacotalapan presents an opportunity for ecological and economic regeneration despite its current negative growth. The opportunity lies in local strategies and on the social appropriation of its tangible and intangible heritage.
Since the year 1980 the city of Tlacotalpan in the state of Veracruz in Mexico has undergone economic decline and population loss. Although it has always been a small city and its growth has been gradual in the national context, at the local and regional scale the city has played a leading role within the system of small and dispersed localities still concentrating today over half of the total population of its municipality. The city is categorized as a historic monument zone and a cultural touristic destination by the national government, and as a world heritage site by the UNESCO. On the other hand, it presents economic decline, population loss, heritage building deterioration, environmental degradation, urban development and an increasing lack of social appropriation towards the built heritage.

The paper aims at demonstrating that there is an opportunity for improving its current ecological, economic and social conditions despite its current economic decline and population loss, and that this ‘slow territory’ can provide the testing grounds for post-growth regional economies. The opportunity lies in a local economic development strategy and more sustainable management of the city’s tangible and intangible values, and in the social appropriation of these. The case is significant for two main reasons. First, it recalls the position of heritage from the perspective of the universal and timeless principle of settling, and particularly in today’s hyper dynamic urban processes. Second, the city is part of a system of small and dispersed localities whose size category represent a third of the country’s population and play an increasingly important role in the regional and local processes of the country’s contemporary economic geography.
local and regional economy, heritage, social appropriation, environmental impact
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