aerial view of the Amazon river

Transportation

Fall 2021​ | Volume XXI, Number 1

Table of Contents

Editor’s Letter →

by June Carolyn Erlick

First Take

New Mobility Paradigms and the Equity Question

New Mobility Paradigms and the Equity Question

As you walk through the streets of Mexico City, you are greeted by a symphony of street vendors and musicians, the delectable aroma of grilled elotes and tamales, expansive plazas made up of iconic art and architecture, and an energy that pulsates at all hours of the day…

Towards a More Equitable City

Transportation Itself Does Not Build Urban Structures

Transportation Itself Does Not Build Urban Structures

English + Español
Fina Rojas lives in the 19 de Abril at Petare, the densest and one of the largest self-produced neighborhoods in Latin America. Most researchers and policymakers define self-produced neighborhoods as “informal settlements.” However, these settlements occur from…

Improving Public Transport

Improving Public Transport

The voices of young males yelling the destination of their combis woke me up early every morning while I lived in La Paz (Bolivia) for a couple of months in the mid-1990s. I did not need an alarm clock. These people yelled in loud voices to inform prospective passengers…

Getting from Here to There

Getting from Here to There

English + Español
Passengers scramble for buses in Bogotá and climb aboard the speedy but crowded public transport system that traverses this sprawling city of seven million people, the capital of Colombia. Cyclists whiz by in designated lanes and taxis move from here to there in what seem…

Evasions

Evasions

English + Español
I can’t get the image out of my mind. A teenager dressed in her school uniform perched on a Metro turnstile and looked out at the crowd, projecting the proud attitude that she could…

A New Way to Participate in Mexico City’s Urban Planning

A New Way to Participate in Mexico City’s Urban Planning

Former Mexican Senator Citlalli Hernández, who at the time had just been elected as a local congressperson, was protesting the construction of a .06 mile highway underpass in Mexico City with some of her constituents. Their concerns were environmental, notably the removal of nearly 1,700 trees…

Between Protest and the New Constitution

Between Protest and the New Constitution

English + Español
Friday, October 18, the date on which Santiago de Chile “exploded,” I couldn’t get back home on public transportation, as I usually do.  The Santiago Metro, in response to the protests of students and other citizens against its fare increase, shut down at rush hour, which caused…

Bikes and Beyond

The Moving Landscapes of Cuba

The Moving Landscapes of Cuba

A different version of this appeared two years ago in ReVista. Logically, many things have happened on the Island in these years, many more in recent months—which, by the time of publication, will probably make this article both…

Transportation for whom?

Transportation for whom?

It’s dark when Carmen wakes to the sound of her alarm clock. Preparing for the day, she packs her bag for work, makes breakfast for her children and fills their backpacks. After helping them…

Gendered Cycling and Covid-19

Gendered Cycling and Covid-19

English + Español
“Are you okay? Are you going to make it?” Fernanda Garcia shouted to me as we cycled up the hillside of Pichincha toward her gated community on the periphery of Quito, the capital city of Ecuador. I replied back, “Let’s just keep going.” A few moments later, when I was struggling…

Perspectives on Mobility

Crossing Paths

Crossing Paths

Human mobility often comes at the expense of the landscape and the nonhuman. Roads and transportation systems intensify habitat fragmentation. Toxins from the road materials leach into the soil. Animals (of the nonhuman sort) are killed by collision with automobiles…

Medellín’s Low-Carbon Metrocables

Medellín’s Low-Carbon Metrocables

“The cable-car is not a toy, and no one will take it away from us,” the young woman asserted. Her words confirmed to me how central Medellín’s first Metrocable had become to the life of one of the city’s poorest and most troubled comunas. The community leader in her…

Rivers, Rail, Roads and Regions

Rivers, Rail, Roads and Regions

A couple of years ago I found myself stuck in a bus terminal on a rainy Friday afternoon in São Paulo, Brazil. Predicted mild showers turned out to be a summer storm— an all-too-familiar experience of those who are lucky enough to live in this sprawling metropolis…

Beyond Cities

Useful Relics

Useful Relics

English + Español
In the Colombian village where I grew up, the most common way to tell the time was seeing Don Noé’s chiva going up and down the road. A short and colorful bus with a wooden body, it connected the local peasants with the town of Sonsón for more than thirty years…

From Inroads to Transportation

From Inroads to Transportation

Early Amazonian trade and transportation generally floated along the vast lower riverine system or was trekked on backs across many rapidly moving headwaters.  In the mid- to late- 20th century, the first roads opened, leading largely to resource extraction, not…

Rural Roads in Peru

Rural Roads in Peru

English + Español
In the heart of the Peruvian Amazon, the rainy season—three months a year—ruins the access to a rudimentary local road. The villagers of Masisea, near Pucallpa, couldn’t leave. Outside…

Book Talk

Modernity in Black and White

Modernity in Black and White

For years, one of my favorite pieces in the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) was the iconic Abaporu (1928), by Brazilian artist Tarsila do Amaral: a canvas…

La Güera Rodríguez

La Güera Rodríguez

By now, history has added a layer to the many ironies that Brandeis historian Silvia Arrom highlights in her spirited book about a controversial historical figure. The recent irony is…

Authoritarian Police in Democracy

Authoritarian Police in Democracy

This deeply researched book suggests to its reader a truly tragic paradox: the possibility that under certain conditions, democratic institutions and processes may undermine rather than strengthen the rule of law. Building on grounded…

Surviving Mexico

Surviving Mexico

Mexico is by far the most dangerous country for journalists to work in the Americas, and routinely hovers near the top of the world’s most dangerous, competing with countries like Iraq which are active war zones. Since 2000, 145 journalists have been killed in Mexico for…