Posts Tagged ‘Latin America’

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Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture

July 13, 2014

What makes the city of the future? How do you heal a divided city?

In Radical Cities, Justin McGuirk travels across Latin America in search of the activist architects, maverick politicians and alternative communities already answering these questions. From Brazil to Venezuela, and from Mexico to Argentina, McGuirk discovers the people and ideas shaping the way cities are evolving.

Ever since the mid twentieth century, when the dream of modernist utopia went to Latin America to die, the continent has been a testing ground for exciting new conceptions of the city. An architect in Chile has designed a form of social housing where only half of the house is built, allowing the owners to adapt the rest; Medellín, formerly the world’s murder capital, has been transformed with innovative public architecture; squatters in Caracas have taken over the forty-five-storey Torre David skyscraper; and Rio is on a mission to incorporate its favelas into the rest of the city.

Here, in the most urbanised continent on the planet, extreme cities have bred extreme conditions, from vast housing estates to sprawling slums. But after decades of social and political failure, a new generation has revitalised architecture and urban design in order to address persistent poverty and inequality. Together, these activists, pragmatists and social idealists are performing bold experiments that the rest of the world may learn from.

Radical Cities is a colorful journey through Latin America—a crucible of architectural and urban innovation.

Text and Image via VERSO Books

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Urbanization Is Not the Problem (Dealing With It Is)

July 30, 2012

While the rest of the world is urbanizing, Latin America is urbanized. The region has four of the world’s 19 megacities (cities with populations over 10 million people) and 78% of all its people currently live in urban areas. Latin America’s concerns over urbanization, therefore, are based on the substantial amount of people currently in cities as opposed to the anticipation of populations to come. For example, of the one billion increase cities will experience by 2025, the United Nations estimates Latin America will only add about 127 million to its population. This is not insignificant for sure, but the slower rate of urbanization does change the nature in which urban planning occurs.

Excerpt of an article by Vanessa Leon, at Urban Times. Continue HERE