Mestizo Urbanism: Enduring Racial Intersections in Latin American Cities

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Across Latin America, there continues to be strong resistance to the claim that racism plays a role in the production of urban space. Deemed antipatriotic, this issue remains widely unaddressed in urban planning and geography. Based on qualitative research in Bogotá and secondary literature on other Latin American cities, this article explores the afterlife of mestizaje (racial mixture) as a racial–colonial project from the viewpoint of its materialisation in the city and society–space relations. In particular, it illustrates how racism in the city is transfigured as ‘always something else’ (e.g., culture, class, regionalism, displacement) through a variety of normative, discursive and operational devices. Thus, the article confronts the need to divest from the racial hegemony of mestizaje in urban planning and geography, suggesting that it is hindering the path towards more equitable urban futures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-62
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Latin American Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2024


  • race
  • mestizaje
  • whiteness
  • cities
  • Latin America
  • Bogotá
  • spatial imaginary
  • neoliberalism
  • coloniality


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