Beki McElvain

City and Regional Planning,
University of California, Berkeley
CSTMS Research Unit: Berkeley Program in Science and Technology Studies, CSTMS, Designated Emphasis in STS
Degrees MCP, City and Regional Planning :: UC Berkeley (2016)
BA, Public (Urban) Policy, :: Mills College (2014)

Research Areas

Disaster governance, knowledge politics, development finance

While cities can anticipate an increasing frequency and severity of climate related disasters, political uncertainty and global pandemic fallout are producing fiscal crises in state and local economies. This convergence of crises exposes a ‘muddy politics’ that upends implicit assumptions about the existence of a functioning state and its role in addressing climate risk.

My current research explores how this muddiness came to the surface in Mexico City, where a recent political regime shift and pandemic pressures resulted in deep austerity measures, which have dismantled Mexico’s complex infrastructure of bonds and trusts used for disaster recovery and climate adaptation in the capital. Characterizing Mexico City as a case of ‘planning in the mud’ that is becoming increasingly pervasive globally, my work traces adaptation finance to explore how urban resilience is made and unmade in increasingly uncertain times

last updated: March 19th, 2021