Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Ideal City: Laws of the Indies - Asunción Mita, Guatemala [video]

The Laws of the Indies, or Las Leyes de los Indios, dictated the Spanish colonies of the Hispanic Americas.  These laws directives provided guideance as to how to construct new societies. In a paradoxical way the conquestedors, were to build cities in a way that would reflect human rights. You can see these in places from Savannah, GA, to Santa Fe, NM and Jackson Hole, WY.

They all had common themes, which *should* and *do* apply today:
  • Find a suitable place of land
  • Construct the plaza first
  • Display a governmental building on the plaza
  • Build a church 
  • Two sides for shops with a covered arcade and continued four blocks on two main streets for the "convience of the shop owners", i.e. just in case in rains or snows 
  • Repeat and connect schools, districts and systems  

Asucion Mita, Guatemala

On a recent trip to El Salvador, I randomly stopped in a small town along the highway to buy bricks for my mothers garden.  This lead me to the center of the City in search of an ATM, where I found the best living example I have ever seen of one of these cities in effect.

I was so excited taking the video that I forgot to mention the significance of the government near the park: democracy. It gives the people a direct place to demonstrate their grievances with the government.  But in some cases, the government had other ideas ... :/

Environmental Determinism 

There lies the great debate amongst the urbanists with the public and among ourselves. Does our built environmental reflect how we live our lives? Would it add significance to the idea of democracy if government was physically surrounded by the public [out of their cars]? 

Do you think where you lives determines how you live your life? 

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