Abstract space: the impact of the rational paradigm of local and state plans on informal settlements.

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Lopez Barrera, Silvina
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Lopez Barrera, Maria
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The Department offers a five-year program leading to the Bachelor of Architecture degree. The program provides opportunities for general education as well as preparation for professional practice and/or graduate study.

The Department of Architecture offers two graduate degrees in architecture: a three-year accredited professional degree (MArch) and a two-semester to three-semester research degree (MS in Arch). Double-degree programs are currently offered with the Department of Community and Regional Planning (MArch/MCRP) and the College of Business (MArch/MBA).

The Department of Architecture was established in 1914 as the Department of Structural Design in the College of Engineering. The name of the department was changed to the Department of Architectural Engineering in 1918. In 1945, the name was changed to the Department of Architecture and Architectural Engineering. In 1967, the name was changed to the Department of Architecture and formed part of the Design Center. In 1978, the department became part of the College of Design.

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  • Department of Structural Design (1914–1918)
  • Department of Architectural Engineering (1918–1945)
  • Department of Architecture and Architectural Engineering (1945–1967)

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Today, rural areas of Mercedes/Soriano in western Uruguay are facing changes related to rural-urban migration and the development of industrial agriculture. As a result of rural migration, economic crises, labor issues, and other critical problems, the outskirts of Mercedes began to be appropriated by squatters. In the last few years different strategic plans and policies carried out by governments at multiple levels have attempted to regularize and relocate some of the informal settlements. Using Lefebvre’s (1991) theory of space, this study explores how plans under the rational paradigm have transformed the spatial practice of informal settlements in Mercedes, Uruguay. Rationality embodies the contradictions between planning theory or research and current practice. Secondary data and resulting analytical maps are utilized to understand recent changes produced in the urban-rural space of Mercedes. Regional and local plans and policies are discussed through informal conversations with staff from local and national governments. Results show that interactions between plans, policies, and social mobility have transformed public spaces and existing neighborhoods, emphasizing the social-spatial fragmentation between the inner city and the periphery and/or informal settlements. Recommendations center on how governmental institutions can develop new policies and regulations to improve and change critical aspects of Mercedes’ growth.

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Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2013