The interconnectedness of the ideas of the city and the civil, the city and citizenship, has been around since classical antiquity, as the linguistic proximity between the terms indicates. Cicero was perhaps the first to articulate the concept of the civitas, a social entity that also implied some sort of spatial as well as legal organization, and in architectural history it has long been an underlying tenet that the construction of urban space held social responsibilities and expectations. This idea has had particular traction in Latin America. It was energetically upheld by the Spaniards during the early colonial period: sixteenth-century chroniclers regularly used the phrase “orden y justicia” to describe what their newly founded grid-plan towns would achieve. These same chroniclers also used the phrase, with surprise and respect, when they first encountered Inca towns and villages, reading the visible urban...

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