aerial view of the Amazon river

Cityscapes

Winter 2003 | Volume II, Number 2

Table of Contents

Editor’s Letter →

by June Carolyn Erlick

First Take

First Take: Latin American Cities

First Take: Latin American Cities

The great cities of the world are usually on their best behavior. Well-designed, well-built, they search for the embrace of a river in order to feel blessed. The sweet chestnut trees of París …

City Citizens

Walking the Latin American City

Walking the Latin American City

We were waiting for the light to change to cross the street in Guadalajara. It was the middle of the day and Luisa, Julia and I had decided to have lunch outside the hotel where the Association …

The Price of Urbanization

The Price of Urbanization

When I first met Antidio Román, a 26-year-old Peruvian shepherd, he had been living in a tent for more than five months. Though he was only three miles from the nearest village, Antidio hadn’t …

Rhythm Nation

Rhythm Nation

The scene is exhilarating, even intoxicating. A drum corps sixty strong, we are marching through the Montevideo night, pounding out the African rhythms of candombe. Tonight is the Llamadas …

From Country to City

From Country to City

English + Español
Throughout Latin America, cities are transforming their urban spaces through migration from the countryside. Historically, peasants, villagers, and ambitious dwellers in smaller cities have …

Country in Crisis

Country in Crisis

English + Español
Sarita lost her husband eight years ago. While he had been politically active, out late many nights at meetings and marches, she had preferred to stay home with her children….

Citizens and Property Rights

Citizens and Property Rights

Average crime rates in Latin American cities are the highest in the world. How is this problem being handled? Many people think that the only existing legal strategy is criminal law….

City Perspectives

Tijuana

Tijuana

Tijuana, the largest border city in Mexico, is a fusion of worlds. Located fifteen miles south of San Diego, California, the city draws migrants, tourists, and adventurers. Here, some of them cross …

Mexico City

Mexico City

Mexico City is a featured star in a small “boom” in recent Mexican cinema. The award-winning Amores perros and Y tu mamá también—following in the steps of other outstanding films …

Engraving a City in Flux

Engraving a City in Flux

In La Paz, the hills that used to define the city limits overflow with improvised neighborhoods. El Alto, a sprawling satellite city, is poised to become the most populous in the nation. …

Chicago

A city can elevate or diminish life. Supplying playgrounds, restaurants, politics and museums, a city offers opportunities for growth to both the young and the old alike. Representing itself in art,…

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires

“Las tardecitas de Buenos Aires tienen ese qué sé yo, ¿viste?…” la poesía de Horacio Ferrer, animada por la música de Astor Piazzolla, nos hace soñar con su “Balada para un loco”. Pero, ¿es …

A Tale of Los Angeles

A Tale of Los Angeles

I step into the blackness and light my candle. Rustling song sheets, towering paper mache puppets of Mary and Joseph, and a legion of hand-painted banners claim this dark strip of public …

A Biologist Looks at Cities

A Biologist Looks at Cities

When architects look at cities, they see buildings; when urban planners examine cities, they envision infrastructure. As a biologist, when I look at cities, I see plants….

City Spaces

Social Spaces in San Juan

Social Spaces in San Juan

My city, San Juan, is a social city. Its character and virtue are best illustrated and defined by the collective and individual memories of its people and those places where we go to spend time in idleness….

Improving Urban Air Quality

Improving Urban Air Quality

In São Paulo, Santiago de Chile and Mexico City, some days you can hardly breathe the air. Likewise in Los Angeles, Beijing and Bangkok. Rapid population growth, uncontrolled urban expansion …

City Spaces

City Spaces

The built environment is important in shaping the quality of life in Latin America’s cities, as the following articles in the “City Spaces” section of this ReVista all stress. Most of us believe that a …

Low-Income Housing in El Salvador

Archipelagos of Wealth and Poverty

English + EspañolThe city is an ever-changing reality. Buenos Aires and its metropolitan area as a whole make up an evolving conglomerate. Without transformations, the modern city loses its meaning….

Understanding Santiago de Chile

Understanding Santiago de Chile

To this urbanist, the cities of Latin America inspire grand passions. The cities north of the Rio Grande include old friends and occasionally disliked acquaintances. I’m very fond of Chicago …

The Tough Road to a Living City

The Tough Road to a Living City

Latin American cities today are forging civic movements concerned about large-scale urban projects. In Chile, as in many other Latin American countries, participation in urban and environmental matters …

Social Spaces in San Juan

My city, San Juan, is a social city. Its character and virtue are best illustrated and defined by the collective and individual memories of its people and those places where we go to spend time in idleness….

Photoessay: Khalo, Images and Ideas

Photoessay: Kahlo, Images and Ideas

Photoessay: Kahlo, Images and Ideas

We set out to build a photo essay exploring the idea of urban markets and showcasing Harvard library resources. Marketplaces understood broadly as sites where not only products, but money …

Sabor de la Ciudad

Twilight in Tlaxcala

Twilight in Tlaxcala

“The young women in the town of Tlaxcala who run the information booth were done giving directions in the textbook Spanish that the tourists could understand. They’d closed out the …

Thinking on Havana

Thinking on Havana

Important as it is, preserving Havana´s very valuable architectural heritage could end in a nostalgic, meaningless task—threatened by elitism and the lack of authentic everyday life—if it is …

Santo Domingo, Bodas, Bautizos y Emails

Santo Domingo, Bodas, Bautizos y Emails

Bodas! ¡bautizos! ¡divorcios! ¡Aquí tenemos invitaciones para todos sus eventos, pásele güerita! Así­ reciben a los visitantes en la plaza de Santo Domingo, en el corazón del centro histórico de la Ciudad de México….

Port City-Scapes

Port City-Scapes

Ports, for a kid raised hundred of miles away from the sea, were just holiday spots where we could see fishing boats come in with their catch. On special days, my family would buy fresh fish …

On Time and Space

On Time and Space

Reading about a seminar on cities at Columbia University, I was fixated by the sentence: “A new regime of time-space relations is emerging ….” I thought of this the other day as one of the …

Medellín

Medellín

Llegué a Medellín el día después de la bomba. Concentrada en los preparativos del viaje, no sabía lo que había pasado. Sólo cuando llegué a Medellín me enteré de todo. La noche anterio …

La Boca del Metro

La Boca del Metro

Son las ocho de la tarde y acabo de llegar a la boca del metro. El calor del verano ha llegado pero las brisas frescas de la primavera todavía no se han ido. La luz tiene cierto toque romántico …

Dance Halls

Dance Halls

“De donde es usted?” I asked the best Latin dancer I had ever followed around a floor. It was last summer in “centrally isolated,” as the locals say, Ithaca, New York where a friendly gay club goes …

Colonial Cities

Colonial Cities

“Potosí!” exclaims Tom Cummins, his lively eyes twinkling, his neat graying ponytail just grazing his collar line. “You can’t have an issue on cities without Potosí­. Some people think cities in Latin America …

Thinking on Cities

Latin American Cityscapes

Latin American Cityscapes

“We are living at a culminating period in the history of the city, at a time in fact when we can confidently anticipate the conclusion of two cycles in the process of urbanization. The first is that …