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Mise en pratique de la politique de prévention de catastrophes au Mexique : Enjeux en milieu urbain : Le cas de la ville de Minatitlán

Abstract : This dissertation explores the responses developed by the Mexican government for tackling the challenges presented by natural and man-made risks. The country counts indeed with a number of strategies for managing emergencies, and it performs quite well on reconstructing infrastructures and facilities on the aftermath of the numerous natural disasters that afflict its territory every year. This is possible thanks to the financial means available for reconstruction in the national annual budget. However, the recurrence of natural and man-made disasters, indicate a lack of planning policies and practices that could actually prevent that the existing risks become real disasters, specially in urban areas.The case of study is the city of Minatitlán. This city offers an example of how the disaster prevention policy lacks effectiveness on reducing major risks. In Minatitlán, nature is harsh and inflicts recurring floods in its territory, but human groups have certainly some responsibility in the repetition of disasters since they choose a location rather inadequate for urbanization, and implemented low-resilient development patterns. When oil industry established in the area, it reinforced the characteristics of urbanization (illegal settlements) and contributed to weaken the resistance of the settlement to disasters.At the heart of this study lays an interrogation about the operational conditions of a national disaster prevention policy in Mexico, given the local conditions that intervene in its effectiveness: geographical, socio-economical, institutional and socio-cultural frames. Therefore, the study focuses on a global comprehension of urban systems and how different elements relate to produce a specific condition of vulnerability, taking into account the multi-dimensionality of the concept.The study is presented in three parts. The first one explores the theoretical framework of the following analysis. In the second part, a couple of analysis relied on the use of public information rather accessible in Mexico. The data and texts were used with a laying interrogation about the indications they could give about the risk situations in Mexican urban settlements. Finally, the third part of the dissertation focuses on exploring the socio-cultural factors of vulnerability, namely the social representation of risk, under the premise that it has a major impact on individual and social behavior in risk (and disasters) situations.The case of Minatitlán confirms the tight links among risks and urban development. In this city, the risk has historically represented an opportunity for development. The institutional framework for risk prevention emerges well after the city was a consolidated urban settlement, but it has not been able to offer substantial changes and one can conclude that the current situation arranges a number of groups that do not see any incentive for improving the prevention strategies or enforcing planning measures. Then, a transition towards more resilient scenarios, specially in a context of climate change, is not foreseeable in the coming years.Moreover, the civil protection policy in Mexico favors a top-down public intervention in disaster periods, where each government level intervenes up to their financial and physical powers. At the lowest end of this chain, are local populations, the victims of disasters, are not encouraged to participate or become actual actors of local prevention.This being the current state of affairs in Minatitlán, the public action as well as the social representation of risks and disasters, are both contributing to maintaining a situation where prevention is not the main goal of the disaster policy
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Submitted on : Thursday, April 5, 2018 - 12:05:14 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, March 19, 2020 - 12:54:03 PM

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Gabriela Estrada Díaz. Mise en pratique de la politique de prévention de catastrophes au Mexique : Enjeux en milieu urbain : Le cas de la ville de Minatitlán. Architecture, aménagement de l'espace. Université Paris-Est, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017PESC1076⟩. ⟨tel-01759280⟩

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