Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Edesio Fernandes Presents on Informal Urban Land Development

February 28th, 2013

On February 25, 2013, Tulane's Center for Inter-American Policy welcomed Edésio Fernandes to discuss urban land development, particularly the issue of informal settlement on land in urban areas. Fernandes opened his lecture by identifying informal urban settlement as a phenomenon that is international in scope and one of considerable longevity in the urban history of Latin America. He gave the example of Brazilian favelas, the large, informal shantytowns that have been in existence for more than 100 years in Brazil, as well as Peruvian laws dating back to 1961 that attempted to redress the problem of informal urban settlement in Peruvian cities. However, while Fernandes explained that informal urban settlement is not a new phenomenon, he underscored how the scale of these settlements has increased considerably since the 1980s, which adds a greater degree of urgency in formulating a resolution to the issue.

Fernandes provided impressive statistics conveying the drastic extent to which the world, and Latin America in particular, is becoming more urban by the day. Currently, more than 50 percent of the global population resides in urban areas, while in Latin America, around 80 percent of the region's population is now urban. A total of 1.5 billion people currently reside in informal settlements in these urban areas, which has led Fernandes to broadly classify contemporary urban land development as a process of informal land development in urban areas. Some consider informal settlement as a positive occurrence rather than a problem because it is often the only available avenue through which impoverished individuals and families can access housing in urban areas. However, Fernandez argues that in the long-term, informal settlement presents grave problems for its residents, problems that include lack of secure tenure and heightened vulnerability to unforeseen evictions due to the absence of a formal regulatory framework; increased vulnerability to political patronization; excessive population density and a lack of sanitation; increased fire hazards due to overcrowding and structural instability; and more devastating consequences from landslides and earthquakes due to the structural precariousness of many of the buildings of these informal settlements.

Considering the recent explosion of informal urban settlement and its negative consequences, Fernandes offered a critique of past and current attempts to remedy the problem. While in the past, many policymakers have turned towards regularization of informal settlement as a solution, Fernandes considers this remedy to be somewhat myopic in its approach because, in his words, it legalizes the illegal without closely examining the motivation behind bypassing legality in the first place. Until now, regularization has not been accompanied by preventative policy, the formulation of which would entail the close analysis of how the structural lack of sufficient, affordable, accessible and adequate land and services in urban spaces fuels the cycle of informal settlement. Until such issues are acknowledged and adequately redressed, Fernandes argues that regularization will prove futile as a preventative approach in and of itself because structural inequalities and lack of access to services and land will continue to encourage the bypassing of the legal, formal system of land tenure. Fernandes closed his lecture by reiterating that for regularization to be a sustainable solution, policymakers must develop a more consistent approach to social obligation with explicit acknowledgement of the lack of access to land and services in urban areas that fuels the ultimately problematic cycle of informal urban settlement.

-Hannagan Johnson

LATEST SITE UPDATES

More

Upcoming Events

Noon-Time Talk on Behind Closed Doors, Art in the Spanish American Home, 1492-1898 with Lucia Abramovic

View Full Event Description

Join Lucia Abramovich, NOMA’s curatorial fellow for Spanish colonial art for a Noontime Talk on the exhibition Behind Closed Doors, Art in the Spanish American Home, 1492-1898.

Noontime Talks are brief, informative discussions on exhibitions and installations in NOMA’s galleries. Wednesdays are free admission days for Louisiana residents. Please visit the NOMA website for more information.

Guantánamo Post-9/11: Human Rights & Constitutional Law in Modern America

View Full Event Description

Guantánamo Post-9/11: Human Rights & Constitutional Law in Modern America

Guest speakers:
Jess Bravin: Wall Street Journal, author of Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantánamo Bay
Denny Leboeuf: ACLU, Tulane JD
Chaplain James Yee: Former U.S. Army Chaplain, author of For God and Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire

The Guantánamo Public Memory Project is a traveling exhibit that examines the history of the U.S. naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, from multiple perspectives and raises questions about U.S.-Cuban relations, civil liberties, national security, and public memory in the past, present, and future. The guest speakers will be giving a talk on the titled event. All are welcome to attend.

For more information about the Guantánamo Public Memory Project, visit http://gitmomemory.org.

Alexey Martí & Urban Minds Latin Jazz Concert

View Full Event Description

The CubaNOLA Arts Collective Presents- Alexey Martí & Urban Minds as a part of this month’s Latin Jazz concert series.

Alexey Martí is a powerful percussionist from Havana, Cuba. He is at the forefront of the new Latin music scene in New Orleans, tirelessly exploring new musical terrain and incorporating it back into his own rich musical roots. Alexey founded his group, Urban Minds, a little over a year ago, to explore all of the music that he loves including jazz, funk, Afro-Cuban folklore, salsa, son, rumba, and New Orleans rhythms.

Alexey began performing in Afro-Cuban religious ceremonies at the age of 7. At the age of 16 he joined the world renowned Afro-Cuban jazz ensemble "Diákara", under the leadership of the legendary singer and drummer Oscar Valdés. In Havana, he performed with many great Cuban jazz and Afro-Cuban ensembles. He moved to New Orleans 5 years ago and has adopted New Orleans as his new homeland. Since moving here, Alexey has been studying in the UNO Jazz Studies program and has performed with many New Orleans greats including Los Hombres Calientes, Davell Crawford, Shannon Powell, David Torkanowsky, and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Prime Example Jazz Club, on the corner of N. Broad Street and St. Bernard Avenue, has been under the proprietorship of Julius Kimbrough Sr. since 2000. In 2007, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Mr. Kimbrough decided that live jazz music needed to be presented for Seventh Ward neighborhood residents working hard to rebuild their lives, the neighborhood and the community. In 2011 Mr. Kimbrough partnered with DJ Soul Sister and WWOZ 90.7 FM to start the Thursday Nights Swingin' weekly jazz series. He is now expanding the scope of Thursday Nights Swingin', in partnership with The CubaNOLA Arts Collective, to include Latin jazz on the third Thursday of every month. This new monthly Lazz jazz series is a tribute to historical and present day contributions of Latino musicians and residents to every day life and art in New Orleans, including the birth and evolution of jazz music itself.

Alexey Martí & Urban Minds will surprise you with their seamless blends of New Orleans and Afro-Cuban music. Let Alexey make you feel at home at the Prime Example on Thursday, September 18 while he and the band move you and groove you in new, exciting and familiar ways.

Tres Vidas: The Core Ensemble

View Full Event Description

Tres Vidas: A chamber music theatre work for singing actress and trio (cello, piano and percussion) based on the lives of three legendary Latin American Women: Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, Salvadoran peasant activist Rufina Amaya and Argentinean poet Alfonsina Storni. The show features a wide stylistic range of music, including popular and folk songs of Mexico, El Salvador and Argentina, vocal and instrumental tangos by Carlos Gardel and Astor Piazzolla and new music written for the Core Ensemble by Osvaldo Golijov, Orlando Garcia, Pablo Ortiz and Manuel DeMurga. Featuring Cristina Isabel Lucas as Frida Khalo, Rufina Amaya and Alfonsina Sorni.

Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 7 p.m. Administration Auditorium Xavier University of Louisiana Free and open to the public Call (504) 520-5115 or email esrousse@xula.edu for more info

MARI Brown Bag: Francisco Estrada-Belli "New Revelations on the Holmul Frieze and the Rise of the 'Kingdom of the North'"

View Full Event Description

Dr. Francisco Estrada-Belli, Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Anthropology Department, will present new findings about his recent excavations at the Classic Maya site of Holmul, Guatemala in a talk titled “New Revelations on the Holmul Frieze and the Rise of the ‘Kingdom of the North.’”

M.A.R.I.'s Brown Bag talk series is meant to provide a venue for students and faculty focusing on topics related to Mesoamerica to discuss their latest research in an informal and friendly setting. If you are interested in presenting, please email Marcello Canuto (mcanuto@tulane.edu) for more information. For the current speaker list of this talk series, please click here.

Please remember to bring your lunch!

New Orleans as Subject

View Full Event Description

An international conference bringing together leading scholars to question what lies beyond New Orleans' supposed exceptional history and what lurks beneath its authentic culture. Since Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has witnessed an outpouring of scholarly interest across the social sciences and humanities. Much of this scholarship has opened up new lines of analysis regarding the city and its place in broader regional, national, and international contexts. At the same time, writing and research about New Orleans continues to romanticize the city as exceptional. In many accounts, New Orleans appears as an autonomous and ahistorical zone populated solely by unique social formations and authentic cultures, isolated from other postindustrial cities. This conference brings together scholars in anthropology, English, history, media studies, and political science to situate studies of New Orleans within larger global patterns and cross-cultural comparisons.

Sponsored by the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South, with support from Tulane Office of Academic Affairs, the Stone Center for Latin American Studies, Newcomb College Institute, the Tulane Department of Music, Tulane Department of Political Science and the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. For more information please visit the website or contact Matt Sakakeeny, mattsak@tulane.edu.