February 20, 2012

James Rojas Explains Latino Urbanism

by: Taz Loomans

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The Latino Urban Form lecture brought to you by Women Design Arizona and Blooming Rock is this Wednesday!! I have asked each of the three speakers to give us a short rundown of Latino Urbanism and its significance in the community we live in.

Today I’m featuring a short interview with one of our speakers, James Rojas, the founder of Latino Urbanism and a transportation planner at the City of Los Angeles.

The lecture will take place on Wednesday February 22 at 6pm at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market. Tickets are $5 and you can buy them here.  All ticket sales go towards making the Sustainable Communities Lecture Series possible. RSVP on Facebook.  A special thanks to event sponsors: Habitat Metro, Venue Projects, Kellogg + Associates, Barrio Cafe and The Clarendon Hotel.

Blooming Rock: What is your definition of Latino Urbanism?

James Rojas: Latino urbanism is based on people’s needs:  needs for survival and a need for to express and create.  It’s not an architectural style but rather a process to how people responded to the built environment.  It’s the pattern language of a neighborhood that takes into account all the different variables that create place.

Blooming Rock: Why is it important that communities understand what Latino Urbanism is?

James Rojas: Latino urbanism impacts infrastructure, developments, policies and plans.  It’s important that communities themselves understand the spaces they create as well as others that view them.  Because the spaces communities create impacts infrastructure and urban planning it’s important that the community members be able to articulate there ideas as well as others understand the spaces they create.

In addition Latino urbanism is an opportunity to examine how people change the environment and what we can learn and adopt from this process.

Blooming Rock: How is Latino Urbanism is impacted by SB1070?

James Rojas: I don’t believe SB1070 will impact Latino urbanism because it is already happening. It’s not going to away because of policy, but rather flourish as culture does.

Come to the lecture this Wednesday to find out more and ask James questions about Latino Urbanism!

Photo credit: Photo of the Avalon neighborhood in Phoenix. Photo by the author.

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