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Next week, the Sustainable Communities Lecture Series, brought to you by Women Design Arizona and Blooming Rock, will present a lecture on Latino Urban Form featuring three great thinkers on the subject.

James Rojas, a transportation planner at the City of Los Angeles, is the founder and foremost authority on Latino Urbanism in the country. Kevin Kellogg, who has been featured and has written for this blog several times, is an architect and urban planner who has hands-on experience with Latino urban planning and design. And Daniel Arreola is a professor at ASU who teaches about Mexican Ancestry Populations in Phoenix.

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. RSVP on Facebook. A special thanks to event sponsors: Habitat Metro, Venue Projects and Kellogg + Associates.

I have asked each of these experts to talk a little bit about Latino Urbanism to give you a sense of what it is all about. Today I’ll feature a short interview on the topic with Kevin Kellogg.

Blooming Rock: What is your definition of Latino Urbanism?

Kevin Kellogg: I define Latino Urbanism as the specific adaptation of Mexicans and Mexican Americans to urban and suburban neighborhoods in the US.  Probably other Latin American countries have contributed to this type of urbanism, such as Cuba, Central and South America. The houses and businesses that were built long ago by other immigrant groups according to American architecture and planning principals are adapted to suit the needs to people who have a heritage that includes courtyard houses, plazas and unique expressions of color, signage, language, improvisation and ritual. I also include community governance, processes and views of common versus individual rights in my definition of Latino Urbanis, as distinct from generic American Urbanism.

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

Kevin Kellogg: It’s important because this kind of urbanism is sustainable, vivacious, fun beautiful, accessible and teaches us about each other and the many ways we all can live together in a diverse community.

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

Kevin Kellogg: In my opinion, not much, and not for very long.  SB 1070, in my humble opinion, is a fleeting legal fad that will pass.  Latino Urbanism has its roots in legal doctrine dating to the 1670’s, the Spanish Law of the Indies.  SB 1070 is an annoyance to the tolerance and celebration of our ethnic and artistic differences, but I doubt if will have much effect other than a temporary cause of increased vacancy rates in some areas.

Come to the lecture next week to learn more and askquestions about Latino Urbanism!

Photo Credit: Map of the Cartagena de Indies. Image from Creative Path.