Urban Patterns in Latin America
Before the Europeans established colonies in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, most people lived in rural settlements. Cities were often laid out with a central area including marketplace, religious structures, government buildings, and homes of wealthy families. Families with less wealth and recent migrants to the city lived in the edge.
Cities Since Independence
Following independence, Latin American cities have grown in accordance with the sector and concrete zone models (right). An elite sector forms along a narrow "spine" that contains offices, shops, and amenities attractive to wealthy people, such as restaurants, theaters, and parks. In Mexico City, the "spine" is a 14-lane, tree-lined boulevard called the Paseo de la Reforma, designed by Emperor Maximilian in the 1860s.