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Latin American and Caribbean Urban Development

Authors:

Christien Klaufus ,

Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation, NL
About Christien
Christien Klaufus is an assistant professor of Human Geography at Cedla. Her research addresses urbanization processes, mobility, and cultural dynamics in Latin America, especially in the Andean countries. She is co-author of Housing and Belonging in Latin America (Berghahn CLAS Series 105, 2015) and author of ‘Deathscape politics in Colombian metropolises: Conservation, grave recycling and the position of the bereaved’, Urban Studies (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0042098015593012.
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Rivke Jaffe

University of Amsterdam, NL
About Rivke
Rivke Jaffe is an associate professor in the Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Her anthropological research focuses primarily on intersections of the urban and the political, and includes current projects on public-private security assemblages; urban popular culture; and ‘slum tourism’. She is the author of Concrete Jungles: Urban Pollution and the Politics of Difference in the Caribbean (Oxford University Press, 2016) and the co-author of Introducing Urban Anthropology (Routledge, 2016).
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Abstract

The new development agendas confirmed in the year 2015 evidence an increased global interest in cities and urban challenges. In Latin America and the Caribbean, cities have long been an established topic of study and debate. This exploration gives a brief overview of current research on urban development in the region and suggests fruitful avenues for future research. Following different ideological trends in twentieth-century urban studies, we currently see more pragmatic frameworks and a belief in technocratic solutions. Some scholars consider Latin American and Caribbean cities to be the world’s new signposts in urban development, given their role as sites of innovations in politics, architecture and urban design; we see potential here for urban scholars of the region to move beyond technocratic language. In addition, we argue for an area studies approach to these cities that uses the framework of the region as a heuristic device to unsettle global urbanist epistemologies that privilege North-to-South mobilities in both policy and theory.

 

Resumen: El desarrollo urbano latinoamericano y caribeño

Las nuevas agendas de desarrollo confirmadas en el año 2015 reflejan un mayor interés mundial en las ciudades y en los retos urbanos. En Latinoamérica y en el Caribe, las ciudades llevan mucho tiempo siendo un tema habitual de estudio y debate. Esta exploración ofrece un resumen breve de las investigaciones actuales sobre desarrollo urbano en la región y sugiere caminos fructíferos para futuras investigaciones. Siguiendo las distintas tendencias ideológicas en los estudios urbanos del siglo XX, actualmente observamos marcos más pragmáticos y una creencia en soluciones tecnocráticas. Algunos investigadores consideran las ciudades latinoamericanas y caribeñas como los nuevos referentes mundiales en desarrollo urbano, dado su papel como centros de innovación en política, arquitectura y diseño urbano; vemos potencial para que los investigadores urbanos de la región traspasen el discurso tecnocrático. Además, abogamos por un enfoque de estudios regionales para estas ciudades que utilice el marco de la región como un instrumento heurístico para desequilibrar las epistemologías urbanistas globales que privilegian las movilidades del Norte al Sur tanto en políticas como en teorías.

DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/erlacs.10127
How to Cite: Klaufus, C., & Jaffe, R. (2015). Latin American and Caribbean Urban Development. ERLACS, (100), 63–72. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/erlacs.10127
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Published on 08 Dec 2015.
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