Change the City to Change Society: Republican Plazas in the Province of Buenos Aires (Argentina) 1820-1943
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One of the most significant episodes in Argentinian urbanization was the establishment of more than one hundred cities and towns in the Province of Buenos Aires during the 19th century. These cities were built following an urban model which combined the Spanish colonial tradition and new republican ideas. In this model, the central square was the main civic center and represented spatially the quest for modernization of the new nation state in newly populated territories. This article analyses the location, design, cultural and social functions of these squares by studying the original plans of the cities and the urban evolution. These places had a singular meaning for the city and its citizens not only due to their central location and composition, but mainly because the buildings located around them: they held the new activities related to the “civilizatory process” of this territory. The republican plazas reflect spatially the attempt of the state to modernize a rural society by creating social cohesion between people with different cultural backgrounds.
CitationPesoa, M. Change the City to Change Society: Republican Plazas in the Province of Buenos Aires (Argentina) 1820-1943. "Moderne Stadtgeschichte (MSG)", Juny 2019, núm. 1/2019, p. 104-116.