USA Today - 'New Urbanism' Embraces Latinos

Hispanics are the largest minority group in the U.S.A. In California, where Hispanics are projected to be the majority by 2050, areas like Santa Ana are embracing "new urbanism" development techniques. Movements have been made back to communities mimicking the traditional plaza as Hispanics continue to live in more dense walkable communities. Some speculate that socioeconomics and demographics drive the marketplace rather than ethnicity and race.

USA Today
'New Urbanism' Embraces Latinos
By Haya El Nasser
Posted on February, 15,2005 at 11:35PM ET

...But it's new urbanism with a twist: Latino new urbanism.

Advocates of this budding movement suggest that places where Hispanics are fast becoming the majority could help rein in sprawl by capitalizing on Latino cultural preferences for compact neighborhoods, large public places and a sense of community.

"I grew up in Mexico. We had a traditional urban square and plaza where everything is happening," says Mario Chavez-Marquez, 31, who lives in one of downtown Santa Ana's new loft apartments. "To me, it made sense to move back to the center, closer to my job. Now I can walk to a supermarket."

Builders and planners have largely ignored the cultural identity of this new wave of home buyers, says planner Michael Mendez, who coined the term "Latino new urbanism."

To read more, go to 'New Urbanism' Embraces Latinos


Cultural preferences or income level?

I appreciate the debate this article stirs in questioning the recent success of 'Latino new urbanism.' Chicago planners and new urbanists should further investigate California's Latino new urbanist market trends and begin marketing to our local Hispanic community, while carefully considering contextual differences between both regions.

I'd like to know more demographic information about Santa Ana's Latino residents living in new urbanist developments...


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