Architecture and Planning ETDs

Publication Date



Urban landscapes of places with large immigrant populations are transformed as immigrants bring a different use of space with them. Mexican immigrants throughout the southwestern United States have physically transformed the landscape, and these trans-formed places often result in spaces that foster socialization and assert cultural identity. This thesis proposes that a three-stage cycle of spatial production exists in Mexicano communities in the United States, and describes the authors three-stage cycle of spatial production model in detail. The cycle begins with the formation of an enclave, followed by the transformation of the urban landscape which then results in one of two outcomes 1) inevitable displacement or 2) empowerment. Using case studies based in California, Arizona and Texas, as a way to test the model, this thesis explores how the three-stage cycle begins, how Mexican cultural identity contributes to the physical transformation of the urban landscape, and the outcomes of those physical transformations. Because Albuquerque's New Mexican landscape, distinguish-able by Pueblo and Territorial style architecture has been altered by the presence of Mex-icanos in the city, it provides an opportunity to conduct a comparative analysis. The Zuni area in Albuquerque is used as the site in which to conduct the comparative analysis. It demonstrates that it has completed stages I and II of the three-stage cycle of spatial pro-duction and it is moving toward stage III. The comparative analysis also highlights that stage III of the cycle has potential for displacement as a final outcome. Ultimately, the model serves as a tool to evaluate a community that is in the process of, or could be in the process of redevelopment or re-investment. Recommendations are provided to help maintain the cultural identity of Mexicano communities in order to avoid displacement.



Document Type


Degree Name

Community and Regional Planning

Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Architecture and Planning

First Committee Member (Chair)

Isaac, Claudia

Second Committee Member

Gonzales, Moises

Third Committee Member

Imeokparia, Timothy


Mexican, transformation, urban landscape, cultural identity, Southwest, Albuquerque

Included in

Architecture Commons