Mismatched Boundaries, Volume 6, 2007
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Editorial: On Mismatched Boundaries

By Nora Libertun de Duren

“When are men, living in the same place, to be regarded as a single city- what is the limit? Certainly not the wall of the city, for you might surround all Peloponnesus with a wall. Like this, we may say, is Babylon, and every city that has the compass of a nation rather than a city; Babylon, they say, had been taken for three days before some part of the inhabitants became aware of the fact.”
Politics, by Aristotle (350 BC). Book 1:3

The question of how to define the boundaries of a city seems to be both essential and so far unresolved. Statistical reports on urban population, econometrics analysis on the performance of urban nodes, urban and even national institutions hardly map the same cities within the same boundaries. As a consequence, it is increasingly difficult to understand how all these variables are actually interconnected in the urban realm, even less to generate meaningful comparative studies among different cities. But if the blurriness of urban boundaries in the collection of data challenges the validity of inter- and even intra-urban comparisons, it is even more difficult to compare the content and strategies of different social movements that rely on a fuzzily defined polity and a contested geography. Of course, this contestation of urban boundaries is no surprise in a world where urbanization is covering ever more territory, and urban nodes are immersed in a multidimensional global network. Likewise, as more and more people migrate to cities and urban life spreads beyond traditional urban boundaries, urbanization encompasses a wider diversity of social and geographical conditions. The paradox is that, precisely at the moment when urbanization has become one of the most meaningful entry points to understand the transformations that are affecting contemporary societies in both developed and underdeveloped nations -- and that can illuminate the connections between local and global forces of change -- cities are becoming increasingly harder to map.

But let us go back for a moment to the beginnings of the western twentieth century and we will find that a need for new urban categories is a typical symptom of a rapidly changing society. If we look at cities then, we will find them rapidly growing at the pace of the new industrial economy, with new factories demanding concentrated capital to afford them, crowds of labor to operate them, and masses of products to amortize them. We will also find that the presence of this new crowd is disruptive to the old social order and that sovereign nation-states are creating institutions for managing the rapid growth of industrial cities. Finally, we will find that social thinkers are developing novel theories that can explain the forces behind the social changes that cities render visible. Yet, regardless of the success of these early thinkers in portraying modernization, as the twentieth century progresses, these categories become less and less meaningful. From a social evolutionary perspective, the rapid growth of metropolises in both developed and undeveloped nations questions the assumption that urbanization is a good proxy for national development. In addition, the changing geography of industrial production blurs the Weberian distinction between productive and consumerist cities (Weber, 1921). Likewise, the appearance of new urbanization patterns, such as gated communities, edge cities, urban slums, and hollow urban centers, outdates much of the urban-suburban growth model of the Chicago School (McKenzie, 1925), and the validity of the psychological traits that Stanley Milgram attributed exclusively to urban dwellers (Milgram, 1970). Moreover, the nation-state sovereignty, which was one of the key enablers of the capitalist economy that fed the growth of modern cities (Tilly, 1988), is being superseded by the multiple transnational networks in which these capitalist cities are embedded. Thus, a century of urban expansion trespassed over the geographical boundaries of cities and gave rise to metropolis of unprecedented size and to a network of instant communication among world cities (Castells, 1996); and, in this process, it forces us to revise many of the conceptual tools we use to describe what does and what does not belong to the urban realm.

As meaningful social, political, and economic exchanges are sustained – or broken – regardless of the proximity of their participants, Durkheim’s organic solidarity should be tested at a global scale (Durkheim, 1883). From online communities that flow seamlessly over jurisdictionally boundaries, to gated communities that retrench in a controlled territoriality, a myriad of decentralized, bottom-up -albeit not necessarily democratic- practices are creating a multiplicity of urban boundaries. As a consequence, and as we shall soon see, mapping the urban territory becomes a cause for conflicting interactions. It is not by coincidence that famous utopian and ideal cities have had clearly delineated boundaries. In Utopus, Thomas More imagined a wise and despotic conqueror, who built an artificial island so to prevent his people from abandoning the superior society he created (More, 1624). (Fig 1) Also, in their studies of ideal community types, early modern thinkers imagined them with fixed, static boundaries. Ferdinand Tönnies Gemeinschaft was a closed social unit (Tönnies, 1921). Likewise, Max Weber identified the fortress as one of the five defining elements of the ideal western city (Weber). Thus, following Louis Marin’s interpretation, the social function of utopias is producing a critique of the actual society in which their authors are embedded, and in that sense utopias are like inverted mirrors of the time and place in which they were created (Marin, 2001). For instance, Tönnies’ detailed description of the harmonious life of pre-industrial communities is an evident critique of the capitalist organization that was taking throughout Germany at the end of the nineteenth century. Therefore, by definition, utopian places depend on clearly demarcated boundaries that allow creation of this virtual ideal world, in stark contrast to a real one. This condition of utopian thinking should have been problematic for the modernist designers who wanted to embrace modernism both as a normative practice as well as a transcendental ideal - all the more so when the utopian project of modernism is one that poses continuous and boundless progress as one of its foundational ideals (Tafuri, 1979). Not surprisingly, most paradigmatic modern urban utopias did not address the question of urban boundaries. Both Le Corbusier’s Ville Radieuse, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre were quite oblivious to the borders of the ideal cities they proposed, fading them into grids that could be repeated ad infinitum (LeCorbusier, 1929; Wright, 1935).

From the outset, boundaries were both a need and a challenge for the modern urban project, which aimed to show both a patent discontinuity with anything that was non-modern as well as the potential for boundless expansion. But the problem of modern urban designers became a well of theories for modern urban sociologists who saw in the tension between the old and the new urbanization modes the engine that could explain urban expansion. Beginning with the ecological models of the Chicago School, the growth of the city was stylized as a consequence of the changing needs of urban populations. (McKenzie, 1925; Burgess, 1925; Gans, 1962). Only later would political economists suggest that urban expansion was the consequence of the needs of capitalists (Gordon, 1984; Harvey, 1973) or of the ‘growth machine’ of local politicians (Logan and Molotoch, 1987) Still, it was this continuous expansion of the city that made obsolete many of these urban growth explanations. The expansion of cities beyond the control of their originating institutions and the size of their jurisdictional boundaries (thus merging the capitalist need for ever growing markets with the modernist vision of infinite growth) undermined the effectiveness of the dialectic categories used to describe early modern urbanizations, such as urban-suburban, central–peripheral, or developed-underdeveloped.

In many ways, a frenetic construction and deconstruction of boundaries is one of the characteristics of our early twenty-first century. On one hand, there is an overall sense of living in a boundless, seamless world, one where territorial limits are less and less relevant. By now, we are all aware of the dense and resilient net of instant messages that links people regardless of their physical location. From cell phones to personal blogs, from outsourcing to e-commerce, new social and economical relations are questioning the meaning of national sovereignty. But also, there is an opposite feeling, an awareness of being the subject of heightened surveillance of our bodily movements. Increasingly, territorial boundaries are being enforced with more and more force. Airport checkpoints, visa controls, hidden cameras, state armies, state police, private police, have all increased the limitations on individuals’ freedom of circulation. In a way, this has created a division between the geography of the real and of the virtual spaces in which each of us live, where the former is the subject of more and more restrictions while the latter is less and less subject to be controlled. This tension between the virtual and the real geographies of social interaction brings to another dimension: the question of mismatched boundaries, not only because people are participating in these two territorial organizations at the same time, but also because social action is constantly connecting the two of them. As we shall see in many of these papers, local actors are likely to rely on global interactions for advancing their territorial claims, while many local claims have their origins in global or foreign occurrences.

So now, which criteria or institutional hierarchies are being used to demarcate the limits of urbanized territories? What special conditions affect urban boundaries? And finally, how are conflicts of boundaries negotiated in the urban space and its institutions? The papers presented in this issue of PROJECTIONS revolve around these questions. As the seven papers and the three research briefs published in this issue reveal, there are multiple origins for ‘mismatched boundaries’ that is, having two or more incompatible principles of organization applied to the same space. Mismatched boundaries could be the outcome the geographical ambiguity of borderlands, of a conflict of power between two sovereign institutions, of historical transformations, or simply of the superposition of different spatial planning principles on the same plot of land.

Three papers in this issue focus on the specific planning practices that borderlands demand. In ‘Contingency Planning & the Border Space’, Sergio Peña presents the case of the frontier between United States and Mexico as one that requires special agencies for the effective management of the unique set of hazards of this bi-national boundary. Issues such as terrorism, economic migrants, and environmental pollution cannot be solved without a coordinated effort at all institutional levels, from transnational agencies to nation states to local governments. However, since the organization of planning agencies on both sides of the border follows the traditional nation state hierarchy, they lack the flexibility to accommodate the special challenges posed by international boundaries. This same frontier is the subject of study of Giusti, Larson, Ward, de Souza, and May. In their paper on the practice of providing land titles in the Colonias along the Texas–Mexico Border, they disclose the multiple causes behind informal urbanizations in these lands. By surveying the impact of a major land title regularization reform on informal households along the Texan border region, the authors show that legality is not the only issue facing these borderland settlements. Although legal titles certainly improved the livability of these communities, the border land condition of these populations brings unique economic and social problems that transcend the issue of land ownership. Once more, there is a need to tailor planning institutions to the special conditions of binational boundaries. The question of binational regions is also the subject of study of Lena Poschet’s paper on the case of Dajabón and Ouanaminthe. These two cities on the two sides of the frontier between Dominican Republic and Haiti contain multiple institutions involved in the formation of binational communities. Yet, at the same time, there is a historical resistance to the merging of these two nations into a single entity. As this paper reveals, there is a sharp distinction between the actual shared use of borderland regions and the perception of closed national spaces.

Another take on the question of urban boundaries does not involve binational territories but the historical succession of national identities within single cities. In her essay on transnational spaces, Els Verbarkel explores this notion of the layering of national and transnational identities trough a historical study of the landscapes of battle in Flanders Fields at the start of the World War I. Through examining the architecture of the city, she analyzes how the legacy of nationalist discourses conflicts with and calls into question the current construction of a pan-European identity. This tension between the national symbolism of European urban architecture and the postmodern discourses that promote a transnational identity is also central in the formulation of the imaginary for the rebuilding of war torn cities. In her paper on the reconstruction of Mostar after the end of the Bosnian war, Allison Stewart shows how the end of ethnic violence is followed by the imposition of a foreign, fuzzily defined, global architecture for the city. As she argues, this practice does not heal the scars of war but only denies the conflict of claims within the urban territory. Lastly, this same idea of the urban imaginary as a terrain of contestation appears in Gary Doherty’s research brief on the strategies used to demarcate citizenship and public space in Northern Ireland. Paradoxically, the occupation of virtual territories, such as graffitis and street images, may set up the scenarios for political negotiations, and in this sense has the potential of advancing more peaceful outcomes.

But the question of mismatched boundaries does not necessarily imply conflicts of national sovereignty. Other conditions of tensions of urban boundaries can take place even within the national context. In their study of Buenos Aires, Abal Medina, Cingolani, and Romero map the tensions between the actual metropolitan geography and the territorial division of the institutions managing it. While some of these institutions take as a unit a region of sharp social constraints, others make distinctions among regions that present an almost seamless urban continuity. As a consequence, the management of the metropolis becomes a collection of institutional fragments that lack adequate forms of coordination. The relevance of institutional boundaries in determining urbanization, and vice versa, is also the subject of Fransje Hooimeijer’s exploration of the design of Dutch polder cities. By crisscrossing the history of urban design and hydraulic engineering with that of the city map, she unveils how urban boundaries are also the outcome of the professional culture of urban planners.

The role of urban planners in forming and interpreting urban boundaries is the subject of Daniel Hess’s research brief on “Incompatible Zone Systems. He finds that planners tend to resolve the discrepancy between divergent geographic zones by overly simplifying spatial data, which leads to inaccurate assessments. Lastly, the idea of borders and cities has another connotation, which is that of the last frontier, an exotic realm, an escape from the ordinary. In Midori Taki’s research brief, “Desirescapes/Borderscapes,’ this notion is present in the geography of international tourist destinations. Through mapping of the tourist-landscapes of Venice, Barcelona, Tokyo, and Las Vegas, her brief depicts urban borderlands as sites where the everyday local and the exoticism of tourist destinations get negotiated. Hence, the demarcation of urban boundaries varies according to the user, either the foreign visitor or the city resident.

To conclude, each of these essays presents a particular interpretation of urban boundaries, of mismatches, and of territoriality. Together, they allow us to better understand the multiplicity of variables and institutions that shape urbanization, such as nation-states sovereignty claims, the geography of transnational networks, the symbolic realm of national identity and consumption culture, and the technologies that can modify the environment. Often, as these essays reveal, the practice of drawing boundaries constitutes an act of violence against the surroundings, which therefore brings contestation and hence mismatched boundaries. Yet, for all the confusion and pain they may trigger, the blurriness of urban boundaries also carries the promise of change and improvement; the messy juxtaposition of different logics and institutions open possibilities for innovations, and therefore the possibility of transcending existing conflicts. Ultimately, only by accepting the messiness of real urban life can we move beyond the walls of utopia.


Burgess, Ernest [1925] (1967) "The Growth of the City: An Introduction to a Research Project." Pp. 47 -62 in Robert Park, Ernest Burgess, and Roderick McKenzie, The City. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Castells, Manuel. (1996) “The Spaces of Flows”. In The Rise of the Network Society. Blackwell Publishers.

Durkheim, Emile [1883] (1993) Division of Labour in Society. Excerpts in Gordon Baily and Noga Gayle (Eds.) Sociology An Introduction: From the Classics to Contemporary Feminists (pp. 121-134). New York: Oxford University Press.

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Gordon, David. (1984) “Capitalist Development and the History of American Cities.” In Marxism and the Metropolis: New Perspectives in Urban Political Economy Edited by William Tabb and Larry Sawyers. Oxford University Press. New York and Oxford.

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Logan, Jonathan and Molotch, Harvey (1987) “The City as a Growth Machine.” In Urban Fortunes: The Political Economy of Place. University of California. Berkeley.

Marin, Louis. (2001) On representation /; translated by Catherine Porter. Stanford University Press. Stanford, California

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Table of Contents

Dr. Sergio Peña

The following questions are the focus of this article: How have the U.S. and Mexico managed the risk of old and new threats at the border? What is the process that contingency planning at the border has followed? What are the main challenges that contingency planning faces at the border? It is argued that the U.S.-Mexico experience with crossborder planning best resembles an incremental approach to planning, where new institutions, in addition to the existing ones, emerge as a way to respond and adapt to new circumstances, contexts, and societal values. Contingency planning is analyzed through a comparison of levels of analysis starting at highest level of analysis, which is the global or transnational, then specific binational agreements, and, finally, national, state, and local efforts to implement crossborder contingency planning. It is concluded that the institutional framework is complex at border areas because borders add another layer of institutions (international), which makes the institutional design especially difficult and lengthy and raises transaction costs. Another conclusion is that risk management is more difficult when populations with different incomes, tastes, and preferences live side by side, as in the case of the U.S.-Mexico border. Therefore, defining and prioritizing risks and hazards around which plans can be developed is particularly difficult and complex. Finally, the border space and its resources need to be seen as a binational public good in which both countries have a stake and, therefore, cooperation is seen as a necessary although not sufficient condition to successfully manage future natural and anthropogenic risks.

Dr. Cecilia Giusti , Jane E. Larson , Dr. Peter M. Ward, Flavio A M de Souza, Marlynn May.

The impact on planning of one major land title regularization program in Starr County colonias on the Texas–Mexico border is discussed. This program, which ended in 2002, was undertaken by the Community Resources Group (CRG) and resulted in about 1,000 titles being cleared and formally assigned to their proper owners. A comprehensive approach was used involving new empirical data. In this paper we present data gathered from a survey of 260 households and interviews as well as focus groups organized with affected residents in colonias. New legal owners have expressed in many different ways the positive results in terms of their self-worth, sense of belonging, and feeling of being respected citizens because they pay property taxes. We also found that colonia residents are choosing (either freely or determined by fragile markets) to stay and live in these communities, exercising the use value of their property and not its exchange value. We also observed that the implications of this intervention are limited. New owners are not entering financial markets because to their new ownership. Residents worked hard to buy their lots and make improvements and they are not willing to risk losing them through the financial system. Besides, “titled” colonias do not differ dramatically from “untitled” colonias: they still lack basic infrastructure and are still isolated communities. New owners are still low-skilled workers who have no access to financial markets. Proper ownership is a positive policy, but it alone can only have a limited impact on colonias. There is an urgent need for a comprehensive planning approach in the whole border region to allow colonias and their residents to continue improving their communities with more institutional and legal support.

Lena Poschet

Border cities have to cope with divergent interests more than other cities, because in the same place protection of national sovereignty clashes with local practices and international cross-border movements. The question of how economic, political, and societal transformations linked to the globalisation process shape the urban space of border towns should thus be answered through a multifaceted analysis. This article introduces the analytical framework of border intermediation, dealing with the internal characteristics of the city, its function in national and transnational networks, its relation to the direct rural environment and the ways in which the border conditions these dimensions.
The two towns studied, Ouanaminthe and Dajabón, are located on the Haitian-Dominican border, which is strongly marked by its complex history since the times of French and Spanish colonization. This case study is based on qualitative methods – such as mapping use of urban space and interviewing local stakeholders and residents. Cartography and other primary and secondary sources complement these observations.
Following the economic opening of the border, the remarkable demographic and spatial growth of both towns has dramatically changed ground property values. Urban development remained principally in the hands of landowners. Cross-border exchanges and the establishment of a “maquiladora” industry have had a different impact on the relations between both towns. At the local level, recognition of common problems has built some basic cross-border solidarity, supported by civil society and local governments. But this apprehension is not shared by the central governments and transnational economic actors, and it is undermined by strong prejudices of people on both sides. Both towns develop, following their own inherent characteristics, and despite the fact that they play common roles in cross-border networks, no bi-national urban space exists. The links between both towns are mainly functional and not strong enough for creating the sentiment of belonging together.

Els Verbarkel

With the continuous transformation of the architectures, landscapes, and urban spaces of Europe’s internal national boundaries, the nature and significance of cross-border territories requires close investigation. Cross-border territories challenging the right of existence of the nation-state now play a crucial role in the European socio-economic landscape. Regional collaborations as well as new and faster international transportation and communication infrastructures constitute a transnational field of operations within the European territory. Recent studies of urbanization trends in Europe have too easily discarded internal national borders as no longer relevant in a hyper-networked transnational world. Urban dispersal has become the privileged model to describe the non-hierarchical spatial organization of European urban space, replacing the national centralized metropolis. Yet crossborder regions and networks are not without hierarchy. Instead of strengthening the large field of sameness, they rearticulate and differentiate Europe’s spatial structure. All the more intriguing, transnational space has developed in the form of international zones and districts, most significantly at specific borders, where the spatialities of topography, nation, and culture were never entirely congruent.
This study will take a closer look at the spatial mechanisms of European transnational space and theories of transnational urbanisms that developed during 1960s and 1970s. The first chapter is a phenomenological landscape study of transnational space at a very specific scene both in time and space: the landscapes of battle in Flanders Fields at the start of the Great War. The second chapter extrapolates these violently uprooted spatial mechanisms to larger considerations of transnational space and critically investigates architects' theories of a border-less European urbanism developed during the 1960s and 1970s. In this period of post-war optimism were formed the foundations of more recent theories of transnational urbanisms and architectures. Therefore, it is worthwhile to critically examine the post-war architectural discourse of a united urbanized Europe within the framework of the transnational spatial mechanisms.

Allison H. Stewart

This essay looks at a specific, fundamental element of post-war reconstruction, the disconnect between the nature and intention of destruction, and the nature and outcome of reconstruction. In failing to understand and conduct reconstruction in a way that appreciates the intricacies of architectural destruction, often called “warchitecture” or “urbicide,” the international community fails to address the complexities of multi-ethnic existence and conflict. While the destruction of architecture was a premeditated weapon against multi-ethnicity during the war in Bosnia, reconstruction efforts have not, in general, taken a strong stance on reversing the destruction of symbolically significant buildings, and, in turn, have not fostered the reconstruction of multi-ethnic life in Bosnia. In Mostar, this failure by the international community has directly led to a spatial and social entrenchment of the ethnic divisions which, in theory, were the original target of conflict resolution and reconstruction. While post-war Bosnia is used as a case study to outline the failures of the international community to understand the effects of housing-centric reconstruction, this essay raises further questions about the prevalence of this kind of non-contextual post-war reconstruction in Afghanistan, Iraq, and throughout world. The essay concludes that post-war reconstruction practices and policies, especially in relation to multi-ethnic societies, need to be shifted to address the isolation and inequalities created by war. Furthermore, current reconstruction projects artificially separate architectural and infrastructure reconstruction from social and cultural reconstruction, further neglecting the opportunities afforded by a more holistic approach to rebuilding post-war countries.

Juan Abal Medina, Luciana Cingolani, and Francisco Romero

The article aims to explore and present management alternatives for the juxtaposition of three different types of hard constraints on metropolitan integration in Buenos Aires, namely, the social, territorial, and political boundaries. The social boundary denotes the gap between southern underdeveloped indexes and high quality of life standards in the north. The territorial or jurisdictional boundary elicits the contrast between Buenos Aires as a single megalopolis and Buenos Aires as the sum of 20 different jurisdictions often with definite physical limits, as is the case of General Paz Avenue and the Riachuelo River. Finally, the political boundary refers to the non-completion of the political competence transfer from the federal government to Buenos Aires City, given the fact that it holds the double status of being an autonomous city and Argentina’s capital city. The paper introduces the question of how political authorities should coordinate and govern through this fragmentation in an effective manner. It uses a socio-historical approach that examines different metropolitan governance experiences in recent history, grouping them into two conceptual models: the Metropolitan Focalized Public Intervention Approach and the Metropolitan Comprehensive Public Intervention Approach. While the first model champions the idea of designing specific policies and special administrative procedures for each metropolitan issue, the second aims to conduct work through supra-municipal structures, seeking common solutions for all municipalities. Although the second approach is always more comprehensive, it has proved unsuccessful due to political economy problems. This leads us to present a third alternative, one that emphasizes the relevance of coordinated and participative strategic planning in all jurisdictions. This long-term strategic planning relies more on the idea of mutual cooperation and horizontality, which involves higher coordination costs at the beginning but guarantees a longer sustained action over time.

Hoomeijer, Fransje

The Dutch have a rich and internationally renowned tradition when it comes to the intimate relationship between urban design and hydraulic engineering. Their expertise and knowledge of hydraulic laws and ingenious technology have helped them successfully make land out of water: polders. This is the story of how Dutch polder cities are hydraulic constructions made by both civil engineers and urban designers, and the changing boundaries between these disciplines.
The design of Dutch polder cities has been a combination of technological prosperity and understanding of the rules of water management: the ‘fine tradition.’ But the more problems civil engineers could solve, the less water management became a spatial task. This cumulative development can be ordered into six phases that are characterized by specific boundaries between design and technology of polder cities: acceptation (-1000), defensive (1000-1579), offensive (1579-1814), early manipulative (1814-1886), manipulative (1886-1990), and adaptive manipulation (1990-). In the current situation wherein the change of the climate causes flooding in polder cities, the solely technical approach is insufficient. Reintroducing the fine tradition, the spatial approach and a larger acceptation, is required. Our heritage provides evidence of the Dutch talent with regard to the design and construction of water. This research gives a representative idea of historical, current, and future relationships between urbanization and water management in the polder cities. The main hypothesis that structures this research states that ‘the fine tradition’ was based on a self-evident relation between design and technology. Innovative design of the new Dutch polder city is only possible if this aspect of the fine tradition is reinstated. There is a need for mismatching boundaries, to strengthen coherence between the disciplines of urban design and civil engineering, and to be able to go on living with the water.

Gary Doherty

Politically charged symbols such as place names, signs, and murals have had hugely potent effects on Northern Ireland’s territorialized urban landscape. As ideas of citizenship evolve with the Northern Irish peace process -- as exemplified in the revision of the Irish Constitution to redefine the Nation from territory to the people living in that territory -- so the signs and symbols that frame public spaces begin to change and be changed, and so too their effects on society. The efficacy of signs and symbols to shape landscape should not be underestimated: their power lies in staging and setting up frameworks for public negotiations rather than in neutralizing or negating them.

Daniel Baldwin Hess

Artificial zonal boundaries superimposed over complicated social systems and built environments impel planners to perform “spatial data transformation”—the practice of transforming geographic data from one set of zones to a different set of zones with incompatible boundaries—to analyze and present data for targeted local analyses. The findings of a survey of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs)—which confirm an assessment of the literature—suggest that practicing planners tend to use simple Geographic Information Systems (GIS) methods for performing spatial data transformation in lieu of more complex geographic procedures that have greater accuracy. To help close the gap between research and application in the use of GIS in practice, planners should seek more advanced GIS training and education about geographic theory that underlies common GIS procedures.

Midori Taki

Desires of dynamic populations resulting from urban tourism have marked territories in cities: “Desirescapes” and “Borderscapes.” Desirescapes fulfill the infinitely expanding desires of tourists in urban settings and facilitate the daily desires of residents. Borderscapes provide boundary conditions that direct and keep tourists within Desirescapes as well as secure residents who produce, nurture, and develop the Desirescapes. In this research brief, the tension between Desirescape and Borderscape and the implicit negotiations between tourists and residents through major urban destinations (Venice, Barcelona, the Ginza district in Tokyo, and the Strip in Las Vegas) are revealed.

Founder: Eryn Deeming

Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Nora Libertun de Duren

Design + Layout: Marissa Cheng

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Lawrence Vale

Editorial Board:

Dr. Julian Beinart
MIT Department of Architecture

Dr. Eran Ben Joseph
MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Dr. Xavier Briggs
MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Dr. Yves Cabannes
Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Dr. Elizabeth Currid
University of Southern California, School of Policy, Planning, + Development

Dr. Alexander D’Hooghe
MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Dr. Leila Farsakh
University of Massachusetts Boston, Political Science Department

Dr. Ralph Gakenheimer
MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Erin Graves
MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Dr. Lorlene Hoyt
MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Dr. Mark Jarzombek
MIT Department of Architecture

Ingrid Olivo
Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation

Dr. Anne Raffin
National University of Singapore, Department of Sociology

Sarah Williams
Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation

Maha Yahya
MIT Department of Architecture