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Modernist Planning and the Foundations of Urban Violence in Latin America

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This article suggests that both the origins and responses to urban violence in Latin America have involved some sort of state ordering of territory, ranging from modernist urban planning practices on the one hand to police control over urban spaces on the other. To the extent that efforts to impose social and spatial order in Latin American cities have both derived from and reinforced a history of squatter occupation, ambiguous property rights, and uneven distribution of services, thus producing a stark distinction between the so-called formal and the informal city, they have laid the foundations for urban violence. In what follows, we see how and why government efforts to create spatial and social order have produced this unfortunate state of affairs. The claim is that the assumptions and ideas underlying the imposition of 'modernist' planning in urban Latin America have inadvertently contributed to a set of inter-related spatial, social, economic, and political problems that have driven the cycle of urban violence.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2014

More about this publication?
  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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