Tampere University of Technology

TUTCRIS Research Portal

Indeterminate spaces in Latin America's modernist housing estates

Activity: Talk or presentationConference presentation


Dalia Milián Bernal - Speaker

Panu Lehtovuori - Speaker

Modernist social housing estates belong to the most radical physical manifestations of the socially-minded welfare state in Latin America. In the time of their conception, the estates represented a new, orderly and overly defined spatial organization. Following the principles of the modern movement in architecture and planning, originated in Europe and the United States, they exemplified a unilateral vision of what constituted the modern city, for whom it was built and for which reasons. In recent decades, the original vision has been shattered. Because of the collapse of the welfare state and various local reasons, under-defined and indeterminate spaces have emerged in these estates, opening possibilities for spatial and social innovations and new forms of spatial production.

Adopting an architectural and urbanistic point of view, the paper discusses two Latin American modernist social housing estates: Centro Urbano Nonoalco-Tlatelolco in Mexico City and Remodelación San Borja in Santiago de Chile. Based on primary and secondary data, it analyses the circumstances that created indeterminate spaces and explores new forms of spatial interventions unfolding in the changing estates. Key argument is that the under-defined or loose spaces allow for an innovative form of spatial production that challenges the predefined agencies of residents and other users. Interestingly, the bureaucratically organised abstract spaces have been appropriated and reshaped to important social spaces that contribute to well-being and social justice, despite the rather adverse political and economic climate in contemporary Mexico and Chile.
2019 → …

Event (Conference)

TitleCities of Inclusion - Spaces of Justice
Web address (URL)
Degree of recognitionInternational event

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