Imaginary Maps and Urban Memory: Elements for the Study of Territorial Identity

  • Martha de Alba González Autonomous Metropolitan University – Iztapalapa, Mexico
Keywords: territorial identity, imaginary maps, collective memory, social representations, Mexico City


This study analyzes 13 maps of the imaginary of Mexico City throughout a period of five centuries in the history of the metropolis, in order to understand both the urban memory and the imaginaries that sustain the current representations that this great city inspires in today’s residents. In the antique maps shown, the prevailing urban imaginary can be observed in each period from the 16th to the 20th century. In spite of the city’s transformations and its representations, there are elements that help recreate the urban memory (mythical, social, architectural) that sustains its territorial identity.

Author Biography

Martha de Alba González, Autonomous Metropolitan University – Iztapalapa, Mexico

MARTHA de ALBA is a teacher-researcher of Social Psychology in the Department of

Sociology at the Autonomous Metropolitan University, Iztapalapa Campus, Mexico City. She

gained her Ph.D in Social Psychology from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in

Paris, France. Her research interests deal with social representations and collective memory in

urban spaces. She is cofounder of the National Research Network on Social Representations and

the Centre of Mexican Studies in Social Representation, and she is a member of the National

System of Researchers of the National Council of Science and Technology in Mexico.