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  1. Informal urban land expansion is produced through a diversity of social and political transactions, yet ‘pixelizable’ data capturing these transactions is commonly unavailable. Understanding informal urbanization entails differentiating spatial patterns of informal settlement from formal growth, associating such patterns with the social transactions that produce them, and evaluating the social and environmental outcomes of distinct settlement types. Demonstrating causality between distinct urban spatial patterns and social-institutional processes requires both highresolution spatial temporal time-series data of urban change and insights into social transactions giving rise to these patterns. We demonstrate an example of linking distinct spatial patterns of informal urban expansion to the institutional processes each engenders in Mexico City. The approach presented here can be applied across cases, potentially improving land projection models in the rapidly urbanizing Global South, characterized by high informality. We conclude with a research agenda to identify, project, and evaluate informal urban expansion patterns. 
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  3. This dataset incorporates Mexico City related essential data files associated with Beth Tellman's dissertation: Mapping and Modeling Illicit and Clandestine Drivers of Land Use Change: Urban Expansion in Mexico City and Deforestation in Central America. It contains spatio-temporal datasets covering three domains; i) urban expansion from 1992-2015, ii) district and section electoral records for 6 elections from 2000-2015, iii) land titling (regularization) data for informal settlements from 1997-2012 on private and ejido land. The urban expansion data includes 30m resolution urban land cover for 1992 and 2013 (methods published in Goldblatt et al 2018), and a shapefile of digitized urban informal expansion in conservation land from 2000-2015 using the Worldview-2 satellite. The electoral records include shapefiles with the geospatial boundaries of electoral districts and sections for each election, and .csv files of the number of votes per party for mayoral, delegate, and legislature candidates. The private land titling data includes the approximate (in coordinates) location and date of titles given by the city government (DGRT) extracted from public records (Diario Oficial) from 1997-2012. The titling data on ejido land includes a shapefile of georeferenced polygons taken from photos in the CORETT office or ejido land that has been expropriated by the government, and including an accompany .csv from the National Agrarian Registry detailing the date and reason for expropriation from 1987-2007. Further details are provided in the dissertation and subsequent article publication (Tellman et al 2021). The Mexico City portion of these data were generated via a National Science Foundation sponsored project (No. 1657773, DDRI: Mapping and Modeling Clandestine Drivers of Urban Expansion in Mexico City). The project P.I. is Beth Tellman with collaborators at ASU (B.L Turner II and Hallie Eakin). Other collaborators include the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), at the Institute of Geography via Dr. Armando Peralta Higuera, who provided support for two students, Juan Alberto Guerra Moreno and Kimberly Mendez Gomez for validating the Landsat urbanization algorithm. Fidel Serrano-Candela, at the UNAM Laboratory of the National Laboratory for Sustainability Sciences (LANCIS) also provided support for urbanization algorithm development and validation, and Rodrigo Garcia Herrera, who provided support for hosting data at LANCIS (at: Additional collaborators include Enrique Castelán, who provided support for the informal urbanization data from SEDEMA (Ministry of the Environmental for Mexico City). Electoral, land titling, and land zoning data were digitized with support from Juana Martinez, Natalia Hernandez, Alexia Macario Sanchez, Enrique Ruiz Durazo, in collaboration with Felipe de Alba, at CESOP (Center of Social Studies and Public Opinion, at the Mexican Legislative Assembly). The data include geospatial time series data regarding changes in urban land cover, digitized electoral results, land titling, land zoning, and public housing. Additional funding for this work was provided by NSF under Grant No. 1414052, CNH: The Dynamics of Multiscalar Adaptation in Megacities (PI H. Eakin), and the NSF-CONACYT GROW fellowship NSF No. 026257-001 and CONACYT number 291303 (PI Bojórquez). References: Tellman, B., Eakin, H., Janssen, M.A., Alba, F. De, Ii, B.L.T., 2021. The Role of Institutional Entrepreneurs and Informal Land Transactions in Mexico City’s Urban Expansion. World Dev. 140, 1–44. Goldblatt, R., Stuhlmacher, M.F., Tellman, B., Clinton, N., Hanson, G., Georgescu, M., Wang, C., Serrano-Candela, F., Khandelwal, A.K., Cheng, W.-H., Balling, R.C., 2018. Using Landsat and nighttime lights for supervised pixel-based image classification of urban land cover. Remote Sens. Environ. 205, 253–275. 
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  4. Megacities are socio-ecological systems (SES) that encompass complex interactions between residents, institutions, and natural resource management. These interactions are exacerbated by climate change as resources such as water become scarce or hazardous through drought and flooding. In order to develop pathways for improved sustainability, the disparate factors that create vulnerable conditions and outcomes must be visible to decision-makers. Nevertheless, for such decision-makers to manage vulnerability effectively, they need to define the salient boundaries of the urban SES, and the relevant biophysical, technological, and socio-institutional attributes that play critical roles in vulnerability dynamics. Here we explore the problem of hydrological risk in Mexico City, where vulnerabilities to flooding and water scarcity are interconnected temporally and spatially, yet the formal and informal institutions and actors involved in the production and management of vulnerability are divided into two discrete problem domains: land-use planning and water resource management. We analyze interviews with city officials working in both domains to understand their different perspectives on the dynamics of socio-hydrological risk, including flooding and water scarcity. We find governance gaps within land-use planning and water management that lead to hydro-social risk, stemming from a failure to address informal institutions that exacerbate vulnerability to flooding and water scarcity. Mandates in both sectors are overlapping and confusing, while socio-hydrological risk is externalized to the informal domain, making it ungoverned. Integrated water management approaches that recognize and incorporate informality are needed to reduce vulnerability to water scarcity and flooding. 
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