By Axel Borsdorf and Rodrigo Hidalgo

The right to the city: the entitled and the excluded - The Urban Reinventors, Special issue, November 2009

In most Latin American cities the traditional polarization between rich and poor quarters in the urban fabric (ciudad rica and ciudad pobre) is – although still visible – weakening. New rich quarters rising in formerly poor neighbourhoods seem to suggest that the texture of society is changing and that rich and poor are beginning to mix. Yet, on closer inspection, it immediately becomes obvious that socio-spatial segregation has become more pronounced. The millionaires in the hermetically closed off luxury quarters mostly do not care less about the social environment beyond the walls of their communities They are islands of the rich located within an ocean of poverty. Accordingly, Janoschka (2002a) called contemporary Buenos Aires a “City of Islands”, and the islanders are the ones who have won. Indeed, they are “los que ganaron”, as Svampa (2001) has pointed out [...]

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Axel Borsdorf, born 1948 in Bad Oeynhausen, Germany. Studies of geography, humanities, geology and early history in Göttingen, Valdivia/Chile and Tübingen. PhD 1976, is professor at University of Innsbruck, Department of Geography. Director of the Institute for Mountain Research: Man & Environment and full member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Vice President of the Austrian Institute of Latin America. Co-editor of Die Erde, eco.mont, member of the Editorial Board of various journals. Visting Professor at the Universities of Chile; Catholic University of Chile; University of Tamaulipas, Mexico; Chulalongkorn University at Bangkok; and Berne. Author of over 30 books and more than 300 articles.

Rodrigo Hidalgo, born 1968 in Valparaíso, Chile. Studies of geography and regional planning at the Catholic University of Chile (PUC), Santiago. PhD 2000 at the University of Barcelona, Spain. Associate Professor at the Department of Geography, PUC, Santiago de Chile, from 2002-2005 head of the Human Geography Department. Visiting Professor at the Universidad Mayor de San Simón, Cochabamba, Bolivia. Author and editor of 10 books and about 80 articles.

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