Natalia Garcia Cervantes

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University of Manchester
Universidad de Guanajuato

Research Profile

Through a comparative study of two Mexican cities, and using participatory methods including transect walks, auto-photography and risk mapping assessments, my PhD research explored the perceptions of violence and insecurity and their link to urban space, highlighting the role that physical and spatial interventions play. A main finding of my research is that, while these interventions are seen by policy makers and city planners as an answer to violence, failing to include residents’ perceptions of violence and insecurity in the design and implementation of these responses limits their effectiveness and outcomes. Moreover, implementation of generic socio-spatial solutions in Mexican cities tends to obscure the real causes of violence, and in some cases, worsens residents’ feelings of insecurity. In this sense, urban planning seems to have exacerbated the experiences and manifestations of insecurity and violence.
Furthermore, using an adapted ecological framework for violence, my research contributes to looking at violence risks factors at different levels, whilst considering the effect of urban processes.

Latin America
English, Spanish