Check out my full blog post on Latino Urbanism on The Grid.
Last year I helped out with the Latino Urbanism Symposium in Phoenix. LU essentially is the adaptation of space in Latino immigrant communities (2nd or 3rd generation, typically) in the US. If you have ever been to a Latin American City, you probably have noticed how different it feels to be there. Did you ever once step into a private space or home? You probably spent most of your time in public squares and markets…very different from how we live in most US cities.
Two of my favorite concepts behind Latino Urbanism involve walls.
The first is the neighborhood interaction across the front fence or wall. Since our typical single-family home neighborhoods lack space for the plaza found in places like Oaxaca or Antigua, the front yard has become, in many senses, a place for conversing.
The second includes murals. Murals that tell you something: it might be a strong political message or it may just be telling you what you can find inside the building. These bring so much life to public space. Even if you are walking alone, you are still interacting with the building.