Environment & Urbanization

World leading environmental and urban studies journal

Latin American Urban Development into the 21st Century. Towards a Renewed Perspective on the City

Dennis Rodgers, Jo Beall, Ravi Kanbur (editors)

Palgrave Macmillan


This book reviews contemporary urban dynamics in Latin America and considers the common features of cities in the region, such as high socioeconomic inequalities and tensions between seemingly dichotomous features (e.g. informal settlements versus the rest of the city), by explicitly conceptualizing them as collective sociological units.

The chapters and case studies span all Latin American countries and focus on cities of different sizes. Some city case studies illustrate certain development aspects, whereas others highlight the importance of the localized context and argue against transferability of development strategies.

The book includes chapters with unusual and perhaps even surprising perspectives. For example, Chapter 2 considers potential economic, spatial or even societal positive side-effects of urban violence on city development. Chapter 3 complements previous studies on the economic impact of coca-growing, with a discussion of high-income drug traders’ impacts on the urban real estate market. Chapter 4 highlights the need to move from a static to a mobility-oriented understanding of urban inequality. Chapter 5 discusses the shift in discourse of Bolivian citizenship, where poor urban settings, such as El Alto, dramatically changed the meaning of vecino and the articulation of indigenous demands.

The book also analyzes ways of reconnecting with the city. This includes meta-level studies with regard to participation and neoliberalism in democratization processes and in methods for assessing the quality of life with quantitative and qualitative indicators. From a more actor-oriented perspective, the chapters provide an account of how citizens can organize and engage in temporal movements (Chapter 7 on housing), how bottom-up practices can meet top-down policy innovations (Chapters 8 and 9) and how public‒private cooperation might shape neighbourhood development (Chapter 10). The book ends with some recommendations for research.

Booknote prepared by Julia Wesely.

More details: http://us.macmillan.com/latinamericanurbandevelopmentintothetwentyfirstcentury/DennisRodgers


Search the Book notes database

Our Book notes database contains details and summaries of all the publications included in Book notes since 1993 - with details on how to obtain/download.

Use the search form above, or visit the Book notes landing page for more options and latest content.

For a searchable database for papers in Environment and Urbanization, go to http://eau.sagepub.com/