Real Estate developments brings feeling of dispossession to inhabitants of Vallarta

According to a doctoral study from the University of Guadalajara (UdeG ), real estate developments contribute to segregation and generate feelings of dispossession among the inhabitants of Puerto Vallarta.

These urban changes transgress the traditional image of Puerto Vallarta and causes a remarkable separation between the local inhabitants and tourists, according to Dr. José Alfonso Baños Francia, academic from the University Center of the Coast (CUCosta), who carried out the study on residential segregation in the tourist area of the city, as part of his doctoral thesis in City, Territory and Sustainability of the University Center of Art, Architecture and Design (CUAAD).

According to data from the Department of Tourism of Jalisco (Secturjal), 2016, national tourists said that the destinations of interest in Puerto Vallarta are its beaches (indicated 22.59 percent of respondents), its natural heritage (15.01) and Historical Center (13.09). Foreign tourists said they were interested in their squares and monuments (25.09), the beaches (22.01) and the piers (7.9).

These figures reflect that the imaginary of tourists with respect to this coastal city involves both natural and urban elements.

The academic does not rule out the possibility that the municipality can grow vertically, but in the case of the Historic Center and the two surrounding colonies that make up the Romantic Zone and 5 de Diciembre, they should maintain a more human scale and not one of towering buildings, because the traditional image is broken.

The modification of the urban image from the creation of apartment towers also brings a feeling of dispossession in the inhabitants of Vallarta.

Baños Francia puts into context that this situation is like when a host holds a party in his home and can not enjoy what belongs to him. In this case, the tourists are the guests.

The investigation of Baños Francia proposes a model that could reduce the gap of unequal spaces with the help of public policies. One of these is that a percentage of housing developments facing the sea were social housing.

Currently, of the 329 hotels in Vallarta registered by the Secturjal, the Gaceta de la UdeG identified that close to a hundred are facing the sea, in a range of 12 kilometers between the Ameca River and the Conchas Chinas area.

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