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The City in Latin America

Ancient Indigenous America: Mesoamerican And Andean Civilization, Colonial Spanish America, Republican And Contemporary Latin America

The history of the city in Latin America stretches over three thousand years and a vast geographic area. The cities vary considerably over space and time. Prior to the coming of the Spaniards, many pre-Columbian cities are thought to have been cosmograms or cosmologically conceived—the cities' buildings and plans emulated the cosmos as their leaders conceived of it. After the conquest, the Spanish Crown sought to impose order on the new lands in its possession and based planning on a grid that had a centrally located church fronting on a plaza. The checkerboard grid plan persisted throughout the colonial period. After independence from Spain, Latin-American countries sought out new forms of city planning in Europe, especially France, that would make visible their status as newly formed republics.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Chimaeras to Cluster