Random readings on society, politics and change – Jorge Carrillo
[Open access book] Urban planning was implemented in Europe and Northern America during the nineteenth century with the objective of bringing order and coherence to cities that were experiencing a whole revolution: new industries, urban sprawl, migratory flows from rural areas to urban settlements. Without entering into too much detail, it is important to underline that urban planning was essentially conceived as a technical instrument and as a spatial methodology to organize space, without paying much attention to social problems. This approach and accompanying specialization of competences were transferred to developing and emerging countries throughout the twentieth century, oblivious of the problems of another kind and another magnitude faced by cities in the South.
On the basis of these presuppositions, this book intends to examine urban planning as it is practiced today in Southern countries, from a double perspective: (1) how conceptual and methodological precepts can be questioned when applied to different societal contexts than those they were originally intended for, (2) how to re-invent urban planning so that this instrumentation be really useful to the cities of the South in their fight against poverty and segregation while fostering a more sustainable and inclusive urban development. This reflection is very important in any urban context, but it is particularly urgent that it be addressed in small and medium sized cities that lack the human and financial resources to tackle these issues.
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