Ever since the mid 20th century, when modernist utopia went to Latin America to die, the continent has been a testing ground of radical ideas in city-making. Here, in the most urbanised continent on the planet, extreme cities have bred extreme conditions, from vast housing estates to sprawling slums. But after decades of political and architectural failure, a new generation has returned to the problems of the city to address the poverty and inequality. This is a generation of activists, pragmatists and social idealists, and together they are testing new ideas that the rest of the world can learn from.
Justin McGuirk is a writer, critic, and curator based in London. He is the director of Strelka Press, the publishing arm of the Strelka Institute in Moscow. He has been the design critic of The Guardian, the editor of Icon magazine, and the design consultant to Domus. In 2012, he was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale of Architecture for an exhibition he curated with Urban Think Tank. His book Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture is published by Verso.
Photo by: Iwan Baan
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