IHCD Webcast: Social Urbanism—Reframing Spatial Design

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Discourses from Latin America with María Bellalta, Dean and Faculty, School of Landscape Architecture, Boston Architectural College

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The urbanization of Latin American cities today reveals an ongoing syndrome of colonialization that has impeded their full development and realization. The exceptional geography of urban centers and the cultural norms of the communities in these regions represent unique parameters that require deeper recognition for urban design and planning to fully succeed. As the rapid expansion of these sacred places boom, Social Urbanism provides a renewed model for urbanization to promote environmental and social justice, through strategic planning initiatives and a participatory process that invites all citizens to take part in a more inclusive urban experience.

Learning objectives for this webcast:

  • Illustrate the geographical and cultural heritage of Latin American countries.
  • Understand the socio-political structures that have been defined through the landscape.
  • Expand the breadth of urbanization frameworks and explore community-based planning strategies that promote urban development through more inclusive environments.

Book Information and Link: Bellalta Cromie, María. Social Urbanism —Reframing Spatial Design - Discourses from Latin America. Novato, California, ORO Editions/Applied Research + Design, 2020

The publication is available through the AR+D imprint website: https://www.appliedresearchanddesign.com/product/social-urbanism/

About the Speaker

María Bellalta is dean and faculty, School of Landscape Architecture, Boston Architectural College (BAC), where she teaches design theory and interdisciplinary studios on social urbanism with a focus on the emergence of Medellín, Colombia and developing cities in Latin America. Her recent book release entitled Social Urbanism: Reframing Spatial Design – Discourses from Latin America, Applied Research and Design Publishing, provides an in-depth view of urban development practices in Latin America over the past five centuries, unearthing the exploitation of natural resources and cultural values that have marked the landscape over time. Bellalta offers an alternative view through projects and practices in social urbanism that invite communities to take part in the re-building and future development of their cities.

Maria holds academic collaborations with Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (UPB) in Medellín, and Centro Metropolitano de Arquitectura Sustentable (C+) in México City. María received her MLA from Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, with prior studies in Environmental Psychology from the University of Notre Dame. She has held positions as design director with Martha Schwartz Partners, and designer with Sasaki Associates, Inc., and Copley Wolff Design Group, in addition to her own design office, LTX Urban Landscapes Studio. She is member and recent chair for ASLA’s Committee on Education. María is originally from Santiago, Chile.

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