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Chapter

Swanson Reading


Department
Geography and Planning
Course Code
JGI216H1
Professor
Matthew Turner

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Revanchist Urbanism Heads South:
The Regulation of Indigenous Beggars
and Street Vendors in Ecuador
Kate Swanson
Introduction
Rural-to-urban migration is a popular strategy for indigenous peoples from the central Andean provinces
Agriculture is large unviable due to excessive soil erosion, declining agricultural productivity, etc
Temporary rural-to-urban migration alloys many to improve their conditions and finance their kids
education.
But: cities are re-shaping urban spaces to revive city centres (Revitalization, renewal)
annihilating urban spaces for beggars, vendors, homeless. Smith (1996) refersto this urban geography as
the ‘revanchist city’: reaction against the poor, as dominant classes attempt to tame the wild city; put
under their control
Ecuadors revanchism is related to whitening, race plays a big role. In the modern view of the nation,
dirty indians dont fit in.
Ecuador: Neoliberalism and Indegenous Peoples
Political instability, 60% poverty, 9/10 indegenous people are poor. SAPs in 1980s.
Has the strongest Indigenous political movement in L.A, despite this, little change in Ecuador’s poorest.
Agriculture has always been big; yet with the SAPs its made it increasingly hard to sustain, country seems
to focus on big, industrialized farming, leaving behind the majority of small-scale agriculturalists. This
has driven rural indigenous people to abandon their plots and pursue non-agricultural activities, in the
urban informal sector.
Streets are filled w/ poor,indigenous migrants as vendors, beggars, and child workers. Municipal
governemts are on the move.
Municipal Responses: Guayaquil & Quito
Guay and Quito have turned to tourism for money, and have been working hard to rehape their urban
images. The trourist friendly image doesnt need informal street workers. Indigenous street vendors are
perceived as betraying Quit an dGuay need of modernity to tourist, thus efforts to clean them out are
ongoing.
In 2002 Guay brought a former NY police commissioner to come up w/ a plan. Plan Bratton”: urban
undesirables ace harsh sanctions, can be imprisoned, fined. Guays Malecon 2000 (its boardwalk) is
heavily guarded and cops can decide who is in/out. Not only monitor crime, but the occupation of public
stpace by informal workers.
In quito, its slower, yet street works are highleight as a problem for tourism.
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