Beyond ‘Latino New Urbanism’: advocating ethnurbanisms

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Irazábal, C. "Beyond ‘Latino New Urbanism’: Advocating Ethnurbanisms" Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability (special issue on Latino Urbanism: Placemaking in 21st Century American Cities), 5(2/3), 2012, 241-268.


This paper discusses the notion of Latino New Urbanism (LNU) and reflects on the significance of ethnic-based reformulations of urban practices and living preferences in Los Angeles and the potential these have for the transformation of policy making and development practices in the region and beyond. Can LNU truly avoid the pitfalls of New Urbanism and represent a new way of conceiving urbanism – one that is explicit and inclusive in its ways of recognizing and addressing ethnoracial and class diversity? Can LNU instead be intentionally or unintentionally used to mask some structural social problems that Latina/os face in the US? All of this poses questions related to the assessment of LNU in the context of tensions between structure vs. agency, diluting vs. celebrating ethnoracial differences, and oppressive vs. liberating urban design and community-building practices. Based on those considerations, I offer an alternate notion of multiple and evolving ethnurbanisms.