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Old 02-19-2014, 09:33 PM
 
Location: East coast
613 posts, read 958,259 times
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I was just reading the interesting thread on why the US developed differently than Europe in city layout which is often attributed to US cities developing as a "New world" society with lots of space and less need for density, plus having more car-oriented development because of wealth after the post-war period.

Now I am curious as to those who are familiar with or know anything about Latin American cities. Which do they resemble? On the one hand it shares many things with the US just by being a New World society, where land is available more than in the Old World, but it also shares things with Europe like not being as prosperous during the age of the rise of the automobile and suburbs in the US, which was the post-war period (though Argentina was quite rich in the 20th century).

I have not been to many places in Latin America but Buenos Aires is said to be very European in style.

So, where does Latin American fall in between these two styles of American-style new skyscrapers and suburban sprawl and European old timey dense cities and towns?
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:21 AM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
19,592 posts, read 23,252,413 times
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There's many a Mexican city that's very spread out, due to their foolish policies of building low income housing projects on the edges of the city. The new President of Mexico wishes to abolish those policies and concentrate more on building low-income mid to high-rise projects in the inner cities. I so pray that that happens!

It wouldn't surprise me that these foolish policies are also in effect for other Latin American cities, as I found Guatemala City to be incredibly spread out, as well as San Salvador.

I know, in Manila, under Marcos, they leveled one of the biggest slums in downtown Manila, and relocated all those residents 20 miles outside of downtown in a new Shantytown.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:51 AM
 
358 posts, read 381,612 times
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Great topic. Just checking out Google Maps, the central part of Mexico City looks very European to me. The outskirts, not so much.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
15,771 posts, read 17,719,493 times
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They're not really like either.

I wouldn't call Mexico City all that well developed either. Certainly parts of it are, but Mexico usually has a European-esque core more reminiscent of an old town square, church, common greens, than the larger cities. and then outside that it looks more like a developing country. Buenos Aires has a 14-lane (18 if you count the auxiliary streets immediately adjacent on either side) boulevard that cuts through the middle of the city. It's probably the most "European" of all Latin American cities but also distinctly different.
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:47 AM
 
358 posts, read 381,612 times
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Brasilia, Brazil is a fascinating city. It is the complete opposite of a European-style city.

Brasília - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It's a modernist planned city, built in 1960 to be the nation's capital. It's quite beautiful if you like modern design, but it's a failure for urban design. There is no street life, there are large distances between places, and it was built assuming everyone would have cars.
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:06 AM
Status: "Autumn!" (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,028 posts, read 108,009,034 times
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^^Ever been to Manaus? It's pretty dense, but I wouldn't exactly call it "European".
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:00 PM
 
40 posts, read 109,440 times
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Buenos Ayres looks definitely European: comparing to European cities I have ben at, parts of it resemble Paris or Barcelona or Athens.
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Where they serve real ale.
7,242 posts, read 7,020,317 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete. View Post
Brasilia, Brazil is a fascinating city. It is the complete opposite of a European-style city.

Brasília - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It's a modernist planned city, built in 1960 to be the nation's capital. It's quite beautiful if you like modern design, but it's a failure for urban design. There is no street life, there are large distances between places, and it was built assuming everyone would have cars.
It's also one of the worst designed cities on Earth. You can't really walk any where because nothing is made to human scale and most of those giant monuments are empty with no one around them 99%+ of the time. Hell, it's not even a livable city as the giant scale of the whole thing disrupts regular neighborhood patterns so that very little private industry or commerce actually goes on there. Either you have a government job there or you're a (very) small time business which sells things to government workers or you're a lobbyist lobbying the government for special favors. I sure wouldn't call it an example which any other city should follow.
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:51 PM
 
358 posts, read 381,612 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Think4Yourself View Post
It's also one of the worst designed cities on Earth. You can't really walk any where because nothing is made to human scale and most of those giant monuments are empty with no one around them 99%+ of the time. Hell, it's not even a livable city as the giant scale of the whole thing disrupts regular neighborhood patterns so that very little private industry or commerce actually goes on there. Either you have a government job there or you're a (very) small time business which sells things to government workers or you're a lobbyist lobbying the government for special favors. I sure wouldn't call it an example which any other city should follow.
Exactly. That's why I find it so interesting. It's a giant experiment that really didn't work. It's the extreme example of auto-dominated design.
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:42 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
15,771 posts, read 17,719,493 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete. View Post
Exactly. That's why I find it so interesting. It's a giant experiment that really didn't work. It's the extreme example of auto-dominated design.
In what way didn't it work as opposed to you don't just like it? Those are two different things. Personally, I also think it is pretty sterile. That doesn't mean it wasn't a resounding success.

Much larger population than expected, highest income in Brazil, highest HDI in Brazil. Brazil is a strongly socialist country, so it's not surprising there's a lot of people who don't like it or Brazil's regressive tax and pro-rich policies. On the other hand, it's also hard to argue with success. Brazil has done remarkably well for the past 20 years.
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