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Latin America perspectives a series of information and comment about Latin America with Dr. C. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. These programs are recorded by station w s i u FM here now is Dr. Gardner regarding the urban world of the 20th century. We Americans have good reason for being concerned. After all the population is moving in and industry is moving out at places that find urban tensions exploding. The pressures upon the cities and the changing nature of them have focused considerable attention upon concepts of urban planning. In some respects our problems are those of the changing world at large. But in other ways our problems are peculiarly our own. For example no other area on Earth has moved from home of 1 million
non 7 Terry people to 200 million sedentary individuals in the time interval that has paralyzed paralleled the commercial and industrial revolutions. In other words our cities peculiarly the products of an era of economic revolution are peculiarly vulnerable to the ever changing industrial order. Having no reason for being and indeed no existence prior to the industrial revolution our great unplanned cities post special problems for would be urban planners. Witness the messy state of so many urban renewal schemes. Some consequently would assume that urban planning is a modern concept a product of only those recent generations that have accompanied the modern industrial urban revolution. The falsity of this
view is evident if one turns to the latest volume issued within the planning and Cities series under the general editorship of George R. Collins of Columbia University that latest volume in the illustrated series on the history of urbanisation is entitled urban planning in pre-Columbian America written by Jorge do away spelled H A R D A Y. The volume is published by George Brazil they are incorporated of New York first word about the Argentine scholar Jorge Dawei. Doctor Our droid directs the Center of Urban and Regional Studies at an institute in Buenos Aires. He has taught there and elsewhere indeed was educated not only in his homeland but in this country at Harvard University a prolific writer.
He's the author of numerous articles and books on urban and regional history of his native continent. He uses social and political factors the production of goods and services population labor force power structure and much more as the determining criteria for a planned city rather than merely the existence of a regular layout. In the case of each of the classical cultures of Central and South America he discusses ways in which the technical capacity of the society the characteristics of the sites and the material and human resources available influence the scale choice of materials and tools and design of the cities. In a well illustrated volume we find him looking chronologically at these pre-Colombian cities the first to draw his
attention is the ceremonial city of Khan in the Valley of Mexico. That city the center of Teotihuacan was started and finished in the course of the first three or four centuries of the Christian era. Later it was modified in appearance with the incorporation of certain religious groups of secondary importance and palaces which bordered the principal central axis of movement. But layout scale and general characteristics were respected. The citadel at Toyota While Khan was built about the third or fourth century A.D. its architecture more refined and detailed than that of the two pyramids. The Pyramid of the sun the Pyramid of the moon belonging to a previous period. A large enclosure was discovered a few years ago in front of the citadel. Also organized around the sunken central square.
The functions of the square are not very clear as yet but it may have been the commercial center of the city. The system of circulation in the city was the most simple and functional solution that could be found. The city was constructed around a cruciform schema and nothing existed or has appeared which would have justified any different pattern. Another urban setting to which he turns attention pre-Colombian Latin America finds him moving a little to the south to the country of the Mayans in their treatment of urban spaces the Marya's reached one of the peaks we know of in the history of urban design such ceremonial centers as teak Col-Col pun gate was shocked and others were true works of art despite the destruction of some of them. It is nevertheless still possible to appreciate the skill in taking advantage of
topography the incredible subtlety displayed in the modeling of sequences the deliberate handling of the element of surprise and a clear intention to avoid monumental axes. Although limited in technique working with only a few architectural forms and urban elements such as the pyramid the platform the low wall or embankment stairways a varied sizing gradient and stair lie. The latter column like monuments. They arrive at the desired aesthetic unity the beauty of the Maya and ceremonial centers resides in the extraordinary variety of formal combination they present from various vantage points to the visitor. These magnificent displays of artistic sensibility cannot have been merely improvised moving still in the area that is Spanish North America.
The next urban setting considered is that of Monterey. On Monday I'll dine was settled during the formative period. It was one of the most continuously populated pre-Colombian centers. Indeed during the first millennium a D. It was a highly influential center in middle America the capital of these upper tech Indians. The core of Montreal Bonn and Montreal of Bonn I would remind you is in the state of one Haka in Mexico today with its great square one of the most beautiful open spaces ever conceived by man. The square was developed over the centuries on top of a hill that had been flattened out to provide a surface of some 400 by 200 meters and was completely surrounded by temples and palaces. The conception of the great square of Montreal Bonn is a flexible
one incorporating the monumental axiology of the ceremonial centers of central Mexico with the free disposition and the architectural elements of the mafia's. Any expansion of the great square was limited by the natural possibilities of the site. The fronts of the buildings face the square leaving no openings toward the valley that surrounds the hill on three sides. They provide a sense of total enclosure and a detachment in relation to the topography and environment that is quite unique in middle America. Sliding farther along in the course of time but still within the world of Spanish America on the continent of North America the next city of pre-Colombian day is considered his famed notion to line the Indian capital which was to yield its sight to modern
day Mexico City. The layout of tonight's TD line lacks the precision of that of take a walk on upon an original spontaneous pattern. Certain regulatory criteria were super imposed which gradually gave rise to a relatively orderly plan for the city. Furthermore although the monument tally of the great temple was obviously calculated judging by the scale of it separate constructions and their concentration within a restricted area the refinement and perfect progression of Teo to con is absent from to know how to live without doubt to know stood long with the dynamic capital of an expanding state in continuous transformation. Within the brief span of their existence its rulers and artists were never quite able to complete their work. The author being a South American
also turns his attention from Spanish North America to the proven world of South America. There contemporaneously with a tale he was caught on a culture flourished to the south of Lake Titicaca which from the year 150 A.D. had a regional center until one local the valley of Tier 1 Arkell was already inhabited during the formative period. The flowering of Tia when Arco took place between the years one hundred fifty and three hundred sixty A.D. The principal constructions in the design of the center date from this period. It is a design without known antecedents in South America when Arco was constructed of adobe and stone constructions prior prior to the flowering as well as the civic buildings were made of mud brick in the construction of ceremonial edifices as in the small semi underground temple red sandstone from the hills to the south of the city
was used after tier 1 ARCO. The author moves north in Peru to that great city of Chiang China on the coast and after Chang Chan he turns attention next to much you picture you. And after much repeat you he then draws conclusions. But the Golden Age as far as South America is concerned concerned the area that is chon chon in the valley of mulch a few miles north of Trujillo one of the first Spanish cities in Peru. The ruins of Chan chan spread over an area of 20 kilometers. No coastal city prior to Chan chan was of such dimensions. We have that in this work a study of the pre-Colombian cities in America stretching from central Mexico to southern Peru much more will undoubtedly be written about this because in
Latin American perspectives II
Episode Number
Episode 26 of 38
Producing Organization
WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Producing Organization: WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Producing Organization: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-31-26 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:13:31
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Chicago: “Latin American perspectives II; Episode 26 of 38,” 1969-03-03, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 12, 2022,
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APA: Latin American perspectives II; Episode 26 of 38. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from