Latin America

  • Ambe J. Njoh


France colonized hardly any part of Latin America. Yet, the region boasts elements of French urbanism. This chapter explains how this came to be the case. It identifies and discusses three specific factors that facilitated the diffusion of French urbanism to the region. The first of these is the region’s abundant supply of land which made the region ideally suitable as a laboratory for teasing out the workability of Eurocentric theories of spatial order of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The second factor was an abundance of financial resources that enabled the region to meet the high cost associated with hiring foreign consultants. The third factor was the availability of effective diffusion mechanisms such as professional urban planners and architects. These professionals served as some of the most effective enablers in the complex process of transferring French urbanism to the region.


Argentina Brazil Ecole des Beaux Arts Economic prosperity Eurocentric urbanism French urbanism Venezuela 


  1. Almondoz, A. (2002). Planning Latin American capital cities 1850–1950. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Brandão Z. (2006). Urban planning in Rio de Janeiro: A critical review of the urban design practice in the twentieth century. City & Time, 2(2), 4. (online). Retrieved October 11, 2013.
  3. Collins, C. C. (1995). Urban Interchange in the Southern Cone: Le Corbusier (1929) and Werner Hegemann (1931) in Argentina. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 54(2), 208–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Fraser, V. (2000). Building the new world--studies in modern architecture of Latin America. London/New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  5. Gutierrez, R. (2002). Buenos Aires, A Great European City 1850–1950. In A. Almondoz (Ed.), Planning Latin America’s capital cities. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Hardoy, J. (1992). Theory and practice of urban planning in Europe, 1850–1930: Its transfer to Latin America. In R. M. Morse & J. E. Hardoy (Eds.), Rethinking the Latin American City (pp. 20–49). Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press.Google Scholar
  7. Hein, C. (2010). Maurice Rotival: French urbanism on a world scale (Part I). Planning Perspectives, 17, 247–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Home, R. (1997). Of planting and planning: The making of British colonial cities. London/New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Jacob, A., Macdonald, E., & Rofe, Y. (2002). The boulevard book: History, evolution, design of multiway boulevards. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  10. Larrañga, E. (2004). Caracas Venezuela. In R. S. Sennot (Ed.), Encyclopaedia of twentieth century architecture. New York: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  11. Lawrence, H. W. (1988). Origins of the tree-lined boulevards. Geographical Review, 78(4), 355–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Macionis, J. J., & Parrillo, V. (2003). Cities and urban life. Upper Saddle: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  13. Moreira, F. D. (Online). The French tradition in Brazilian Urbanism: The urban remodeling of Rio de Janeiro, Recife and Porto Alegre during the Estado Novo (1937–1945). Retrieved October 31, 2012, from
  14. Segre, R. (2007). Havana: Two faces of the Antilean metropolis. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  15. Ward, S. (2005). ‘Global intelligence corps’? The internationalization of planning practice, 1890–1939. The Town Planning Review, 76(2), 119–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Young, R. J. C. (2003). Post-colonialism. A very short introduction. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ambe J. Njoh
    • 1
  1. 1.School of GeosciencesUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA

Personalised recommendations