[ XVBAQ2006 Blog :: Introduction ]

In a world in which the network geometry predominates, with its logic of transnational interrelations and interconnections, and a concomitant weakened presence of nations as States, cities have emerged as the main nodes of development, and competition among them has drastically increased. It is, therefore, crucial to shed some light upon the current conditions and possible futures of cities in our region. The XV Quito Architecture Biennial has chosen Latin American cities as its main concern.

Latin America is, according to United Nations demographic statistics, the continent with the highest ratio of urban population growth in the world. It is estimated that by the year 2030, approximately 85% of Latin Americans will dwell in cities. Nevertheless, it is also one of the least represented regions in the bibliography of architectural, urban and landscape design at a global scale. Our cities, their plights and proposals are invisible even within our region.

BAQ/ 2006 has been established as an initial effort to turn visible that which has remained invisible, and to bring to the foreground the urgent concerns and proposals of the planet's periphery. In the midst of a blazing spectacle, it is becoming of utter importance to observe what happens in the backstage, in the accumulating scatter of urban entropy that is shed as a by-product of global structuring and reorganization. The blurry existence of our cities must be integrated into contemporary discourses on urban and architectural practice. An overview of Latin American local efforts to respond in a rapid and appropriate manner to demographic explosion could be revealing in terms of what can be done with meager means; for if poorly managed, urban growth will simply continue to translate into further environmental degradation and poverty.

Are we prepared to face our future? Will our cities become the appealing megalopolis of urban prophecies or undesirable megaloslums? Will they be able to thrive in a world of competing urban nodes? What can be learnt from cities in other continents, which have successfully faced the impact of demographic explosion? These and other questions will be the point of departure of the XV Quito Architecture Biennial. Its end is not to provide definitive responses -a rather elusive pursuit- but to trigger a reflection on our urban realities and their future potential by focusing on the local from the multiple perspectives offered by the global. It has been thanks to bold and fine architectural, urban and landscape design that cities which barely existed on the map, suddenly became visible. Their strategies are of particular interest to us.


The XV Quito Architecture Biennale received the Federico González Suárez Award, which is endowed by the Metropolitan Council of Quito to "individuals or entities who have excelled in the Academic field."