Temporary urbanisms unravelling modern utopias

    Aktiviteetti: Konferenssiesitelmä


    This paper examines grassroots movements that have emerged in the last decade, intervening abandoned sections of three modernist social housing projects built between the years 1949 and 1970 in Latin America: Centro Urbano Persidente Juárez, Conjunto Urbano Nonoalco-Tlatelolco, and Remodelación San Borja.
    The paper contextualizes the theoretical debates on temporary urbanisms, such as do-it-yourself and everyday urbanism, and the political Right to the City argument to contemporary Latin American realities, foregrounding the dichotomies and connotations embedded in the modernist housing projects and the agendas of current grassroots movements´ interventions that aim to change the life and space of the project. Specifically, I will analyze the role played by the architects who conceived the modernist housing projects and the role of the activists responsible for the temporary interventions that are now transforming them.
    Based on interviews, I argue that these activists and the temporary interventions add, through huertos, a fluid active space to an otherwise monolithic passive environment. Furthermore, these grassroots movements and their temporary interventions counterpoise the totalitarian characteristic of the modernist social housing projects, which were conceived either by a single author or a group of architects who shared the same vision of how the city should be and for whom. Unlike the homogenic city that modernism produced, the grassroots movements create more diverse and inclusive cities and learning from them can help offset the equally totalitarian characteristic of the contemporary Latin American city, which today is not created following urban planning theory but, rather, neoliberal economic practice.
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