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Ambos Nogales as a Socio-environmental Sacrifice Zone: The Benefits and Costs of being a Border City
Arizona Heritage Center
Monday, Sep 26, 2022 5:00 PM
Join us as Amahia Mallea, PhD, explores the connected histories and futures of Nogales, Arizona, and Nogales, Mexico. Beginning at 5 PM, Attendees will have the opportunity to visit the Climates of Inequality exhibit, which explores environmental injustices in over 20 communities, and how these communities are confronting the climate crisis. The exhibit seeks to engage local communities and inspire action for climate and environmental justice. The lecture will begin at 6 PM.
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Nogales was opportunely situated on the international border where it has served as a pinch point for people and goods for over a century. On the one hand, this brought pride and commercial success to the sister cities, but it has also concentrated people, transportation, pollution and poverty in an increasingly risky and unequal city infrastructure. Using examples like the city dump, sewage and flooding, we see that NAFTA and a hardened border have heightened injustice in this urban environment. Ambos Nogales plays an important role in trade (like bringing healthful winter produce to people in the US), but the city feels invisible; others enjoy the benefits while the community feels the costs.  

Amahia Mallea (Ph.D., University of Missouri, 2006) is an environmental historian interested in the relationship between American societies and their lands and resources. Subjects of interest include cities, rivers and agriculture. Mallea’s first book, A River in the City of Fountains: An Environmental History of  Kansas City and the Missouri River, was published by the University Press of Kansas. More recently, research has taken her to the U.S.-Mexico borderlands to investigate public health and environmental issues. Of special interest is the border city of Nogales, part of the Santa Cruz River watershed, which struggles to manage sewage and pollution across an international boundary.