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Dwelling (on) the urban future

Latin American city planning between ethical concerns and market forces

In this panel, we will discuss empirical research and theoretical reflexion on the changing expectations for the subcontinent’s cities. We consider a wide spectrum of ethical concerns including environmental care and sustainability, universal access and citizenship, reducing socioeconomic inequalities, among other issues. Latin American cities have historically been shaped by elite decision-making. Inequalities have thus been reinforced through infrastructures and buildings, housing developments and commercial zoning, reflecting the changing political ideologies and agendas of urban planning. In recent years, a regional growth in civil society organisations has multiplied demands for improved public services and spaces. It has also led to a push for accountability from governments and politicians. In this context, a range of actors are contributing to building the city and urban planning is increasingly responding to societal demands and expectations, as well as being subject to intensified levels of scrutiny. Grassroots and bottom-up initiatives continue to mobilize alternative urban services and facilities and thus seeking to improve urban life. In some cases, these aspirations rely on and thus “urbanise” Indigenous concepts such as notions of the buen vivir. We investigate how these seemingly contradictory forces are shaping urban futures in Latin America.


Dr. Raúl Acosta (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)
Prof. Dr. Eveline Dürr (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)


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