Course lecturer: Dr. Christien Klaufus
Tel./mail: 020-5253 249 /
Period: 6 March – 1 May 2017
Time: Monday 14:00 – 17:00 hours
Course load: 6 EC
Max. participants: 25


When UN-Habitat published a report on Latin American cities in 2012 with the subtitle Towards a new urban transition, the title expressed a wish more than a reality. The first urban transition in Latin America is now completed, but what will be next? The report invites scholars and practitioners to work towards more sustainable cities – and that is what we will consider in this course.

This course engages in academic theories as well as policy agendas on Latin American urban development since the 1990s with the Habitat III conference 2016 in Quito as horizon. It introduces students into the multidisciplinary field of Latin American urban studies, in which geography, sociology and history are integrated. Concrete policy cases are used to familiarize students with aspects of social housing, solid waste collection, urban transport, neighbourhood culture, and other topics. Moreover, students will methodologically explore the city as a fieldwork setting for their own research topic. The course trains students to gather knowledge on the socio-spatial development of Latin American cities since the 1990s. Students will also be able to recognize different analytic frameworks for the assessment of urban development in a Latin American context; to use key concepts and methods in their own research set-up; and to interpret current events taking place in Latin American cities based on the models and theories discussed.

During eight sessions, contemporary issues will be discussed, such as the relevance of urban size (megacities and smaller cities), (im)mobility, spatial justice and ‘modern’ grass-root mobilisations.

Form of instruction and assessment
The eight sessions consist of a two-hour lecture and an hour working group session. Evaluation will be based on individual and class assignments and a final paper. The paper deadline is on May 1st.

The readings load of approximately 500 pages consists of weekly readings for the lecture and extra literature (approx. 300 pages) selected by the student for the topic of the final paper. For each session, the students will be expected to read several articles or chapters and prepare points for the discussion. The core literature includes:

- Berney, R. (2010) ‘Learning from Bogotá: How municipal experts transformed public space’, Journal of Urban Design 15(4): 539-558. (19pp) - Crossa, V. (2009) ‘Resisting the entrepreneurial city: street vendor’s struggle in Mexico City’s historic center’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 33(1); 43-63. (20pp)
- Earle, L. (2012) ‘Irregular urbanization as a catalyst for radical social mobilization: the case of housing movements of São Paulo’, in: D. Rodgers, J. Beall and R. Kanbur (eds), Latin American Urban Development into the 21st Century: Towards a Renewed Perspective on the City. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 145-164. (19pp)
- Klaufus, C., and A. Ouweneel (eds.) (2015) Housing and Belonging in Latin America. Oxford, New York: Berghahn. (330pp) O’Neill, K., and B. Fogarty-Valenzuela (2013) ‘Verticality’, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 19: 378-389. (11pp)
- Rosenthal, A. (2000) ‘Spectacle, fear, and protest: A guide to the history of urban public space in Latin America’, Social Science History 24(1): 33-73. (40pp)
- Thibert, J., and G. Osorio (2014) ‘Urban segregation and metropolitics in Latin America: the case of Bogotá, Colombia’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 38(4); 1319-1343. (24pp)
- UN-Habitat (2012) The State of Latin American and Caribbean Cities 2012: Towards a New Urban Transition, Nairobi: United Nations Human Settlement Programme (not to be read completely, but used for assignments).
- UN-Habitat & CAF (2014) Construcción de Ciudades más Equitativas: Políticas Públicas para la Inclusión en América Latina, Nairobi: United Nations Human Settlement Programme (not to be read completely, but used for assignments).

Picture: Ted McGrath. Pachuca - Las Palmitas. Mexico (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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