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Latino Urbanism

Latino Urbanism: The Politics of Planning, Policy and Redevelopment

David R. Diaz
Rodolfo D. Torres
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 240
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  • Book Info
    Latino Urbanism
    Book Description:

    The nation's Latina/o population has now reached over 50 million, or 15% of the estimated total U.S. population of 300 million, and a growing portion of the world's population now lives and works in cities that are increasingly diverse. Latino Urbanism provides the first national perspective on Latina/o urban policy, addressing a wide range of planning policy issues that impact both Latinas/os in the US, as well as the nation as a whole, tracing how cities develop, function, and are affected by socio-economic change.The contributors are a diverse group of Latina/o scholars attempting to link their own unique theoretical interpretations and approaches to political and policy interventions in the spaces and cultures of everyday life. The three sections of the book address the politics of planning and its historic relationship with Latinas/os, the relationship between the Latina/o community and conventional urban planning issue sand challenges, and the future of urban policy and Latina/o barrios. Moving beyond a traditional analysis of Latinas/os in the Southwest, the volume expands the understanding of the important relationships between urbanization and Latinas/os including Mexican Americans of several generations within the context of the restructuring of cities, in view of the cultural and political transformation currently encompassing the nation.

    eISBN: 978-0-8147-2470-5
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-20)
    David R. Diaz and Rodolfo D. Torres

    The last three decades of the twentieth century marked the beginning of epochal socioeconomic transformation of U.S. society. The economic reverberations of these changes have continued through the first decade of the twenty-first century as the income and wealth gap continues to widen. Nowhere is this more obvious than in U.S. cities and surrounding metropolitan areas, where the damaging effects of the deep recession on the living standards of working-class, lower-class, and middle-class American workers and their families are felt the most.

    In addition to macroeconomic trends, immigration and population shifts have had a tremendous economic impact on U.S. cities....

  5. CHAPTER TWO Barrious and Planning Ideology: The Failure of Suburbia and the Dialectics of New Urbanism
    (pp. 21-46)
    David R. Diaz

    There is no “New” in “New” Urbanism. Given the everyday life of the culture ofel barrioand the legacy of compact, mixed uses that is characteristic of barrio urbanism, any claim to these design features as new in planning discourse is unjustified. A Eurocentric and market-driven profession has appropriated them as its own in a blatant attempt to evade accountability for the systemic failures arising from its long-term adherence to the suburban model of planning. Though that model has proved to be a burden on cities, causing environmental pollution, traffic congestion, and social alienation, planners are still refusing to...

  6. CHAPTER THREE Aesthetic Belonging: The Latinization and Renewal of Union City, New Jersey
    (pp. 47-64)
    Johana Londoño

    “Entre gustos no hay disgustos.”So goes a common adage in Spanish that roughly translates to “In matters of taste there is no debate.” The commonsense logic espoused is alluring and meant to demonstrate acceptance and open-mindedness toward taste. This statement also dismisses power relations involved in the implementation of aesthetics. The ingenuousness of the expression is particularly revealed when this saying is applied to aesthetic negotiations regarding the urban built environment. Contrary to the complacency expressed in this saying, in this chapter I show thatel gusto’svisual manifestation in cities and the particular aesthetic experience it connotes, such...

  7. CHAPTER FOUR Placing Barrios in Housing Policy
    (pp. 65-86)
    Kee Warner

    Even as Latinos have surpassed African Americans as the largest minority group in the United States, we are also the population with the most severe housing needs. Housing programs from the federal level on down have scarcely addressed the backlog of needs, much less anticipated the future. Long-term problems with barrio housing have been compounded by a deepening affordability crisis and by the diversion of public resources to profit-driven urban redevelopment. Official data clearly underestimate the severity of housing needs by not including the growing numbers of the undocumented. But those who blame the housing crisis on the latest wave...

  8. CHAPTER FIVE Urban Redevelopment and Mexican American Barrios in the Socio-Spatial Order
    (pp. 87-110)
    Nestor Rodriguez

    What has been the significance of urban redevelopment for Mexican American barrios? Rather than addressing this question narrowly from the perspective of public program impacts on the barrio built environment, this chapter situates the question within broader aspects of the development of Mexican American communities. These aspects include the transition fromcoloniasto inner-city barrios, the significance of federal redevelopment policies for Mexican American communities, the effects of an underlying capitalistic spatial system, and internal strategies of community development, including the relocation to communities previously occupied by whites.¹

    It is proper to begin the discussion of urban redevelopment in Mexican...

  9. CHAPTER SIX A Pair of Queens: La Reina de Los Angeles, the Queen City of Charlotte, and the New (Latin) American South
    (pp. 111-134)
    José L. S. Gámez

    In 2003, Latina/os surpassed African Americans as the largest minority population in the United States. In fact, Latina/o population growth, which is fueled by a combination of migration flows and baby booms, stands to influence U.S. cities in ways that will radically alter many existing urban landscapes. Latina/os arereinventing the U.S. city,and researchers such as Roberto Suro (Pew Hispanic Center) and Audrey Singer (Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy) have detailed the statistical reality behind the spatial phenomena that Mike Davis addresses in the quote listed above. For example, the largest one hundred metropolitan areas averaged...

  10. CHAPTER SEVEN Fostering Diversity: Lessons from Integration in Public Housing
    (pp. 135-162)
    Silvia Domínguez

    During the late 1980s, Boston became one of the many cities that were court-ordered to integrate public housing. Up to that point, the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) had ignored legislation prohibiting racial discrimination in the provision of public housing and had relentlessly continued to systematically discriminate against African Americans, clustering them in poor, typically African American neighborhoods and simultaneously reserving housing developments in white areas for European American applicants (Vale 2000). For instance, Irish Americans went to projects in the Irish American neighborhoods of Charlestown and South Boston, and Italian Americans went primarily to East Boston, an Italian American area....

  11. CHAPTER EIGHT Mexican Americans and Environmental Justice: Change and Continuity in Mexican American Politics
    (pp. 163-180)
    Benjamin Marquez

    The three decades after World War II were a period of unparalleled economic growth. Income, production, and consumption increased at a rapid pace along with the problems of hazardous waste disposal. By the 1970s, a full-fledged environmental movement emerged in response to the dangers posed by pollution to human health and the ecosystem. Thousands of group across the country worked to eliminate, clean up, and prevent toxic pollution, but there was little discussion of the possibility that racial ethnic minorities might bear disproportionate environmental burdens Rhodes 2003, 52). The United Church of Christ’s Commission for Racial Justice sounded the alarm...

  12. CHAPTER NINE After Latino Metropolis: Cultural Political Economy and Alternative Futures
    (pp. 181-202)
    Victor Valle and Rodolfo D. Torres

    This essay makes a general case for grounding a twenty-first-century critical Latino urbanism in something we shall provisionally call “cultural political economy.”¹ It makes that case by attempting to resolve lingering theoretical tensions between socioeconomic (structural) and culture-based (semiotic) approaches to our neoliberal present (Ribera-Fumaz 2009; Jessop and Oosterlynck 2008). This postdisciplinary interpretation reaffirms the centrality of capitalist formations in the study of the Latino urban question by embedding social and cultural categories in the lived spaces of our macroeconomic order. The kind of cultural political economy we posit strives for a theoretically and empirically useful analytic with which to...

  13. About the Contributors
    (pp. 203-204)
  14. Index
    (pp. 205-216)