Latino Urbanism: A Model for Economic and Cultural Development
The community organization, Centro CHA, Mayor Robert Garcia and First District Councilperson Lena Gonzalez are sponsoring a lecture and panel discussion called Latino Urbanism: Defining a Model for Economic and Cultural Development. The event will take place at the Museum of Latin American Art on Thursday, October 13, 2016, 4:30-7:00pm. The Museum is located at 628 Alamitos Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802. Mayor Garcia will provide opening remarks and Antonio Ruiz, Publisher, PalacioMagazine.com, will moderate the event.
Defining Latino Urbanism
Urban planner, community activist and artist James Rojas will speak about U.S. Latino cultural influences on urban design and sustainability. Mr. Rojas has written and lectured extensively on how culture and immigration are transforming the American front yard and landscape. He is the founder of the Latino Urban Forum, an advocacy group dedicated to increasing awareness around planning and design issues facing low-income Latinos.
In an interview in Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s Talk Story- Culture in Motion, Rojas described Latino Urbanism this way:
“It has to do with how Latinos are transforming urban spaces. I initially began thinking about this in context of where I grew up, East L.A. When I moved away from the city, I became more conscious of a particular vivid landscape of activities: street vendors pushing carts or setting up temporary tables and tarps, murals and hand-painted business signs, elaborate holiday displays, how people congregate on public streets or socialize over front-yard fences.
Latinos bring their traditions and activities to the existing built environment and American spatial forms and produce a Latino urbanism, or a vernacular. And it’s important to recognize that this vernacular shouldn’t be measured by any architectural standard. Latino urbanism is about how people adapt or respond to the built environment—it’s not about a specific type of built form.”
Mr. Rojas will be followed by a panel discussion that includes community stakeholders, developers, banking and Arts representatives. Long Beach is experiencing a major and expansive development and redevelopment that is transforming the city.
The Latinos in Latino Urbanism
Latinos comprise nearly 44% of the population of Long Beach. According to the U.S. Census American Community Survey 2015 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, the city’s population was 474,172 of which 207,890 were Hispanic or Latino persons.
Latino Urbanism and Economic Development
A U.S. Census Bureau 2012, 2007 Survey of Business Owners revealed that Hispanic/Latino owned businesses had increased between 2007 and 2012 to nearly 31% of Long Beach businesses.
The lecture and panel organizers believe that it is critical the Long Beach Latino community plays a major role and has a voice in setting the new development agenda that will impact its future. According to Centro CHA, this event is an opportunity to address the economic development needs of this critical population and reflects the community’s needs and its cultural identity.
The Latino Urbanism Event Program
- 4:30 – 5:00 pm: Networking, light refreshments and music.
- 5:00 pm: Mayor Robert Garcia welcome and introductions
- 5:15 pm: Mr. Rojas lecture
- 6:00 – 7:00 pm: Panel discussion and Q&A
For more information, call (562) 612-4157 or RSVP at https://latino-urbanisn-economic-cultural-development.eventbrite.com