Latin America is one of the most urbanized regions of the world. To understand Latin America today it is important to trace the origins and characteristics of the urban-rural divide, inequalities within urban areas, and the prospects for change. This is particularly important and timely given the challenges of widening environmental and social disparities, climate change, and climate justice. The authors critically analyze urban issues within the context of the national and regional political economy, neoliberal governance, and urban social movements. Latin America's cities are sharply divided into wealthy enclaves and large peripheral areas, reflecting deep social and economic inequalities, leading to notable movements and reforms. This text explores Latin American cities, their history, similarities and differences, and current problems.
Tom Angotti is professor of urban affairs and planning at Hunter College and the graduate center, City University of New York, and director of the Hunter College Center for Community Planning and Development.