Urban growth and access to opportunities: a challenge for Latin America

Hosted by the Latin America and Caribbean Centre (LACC)

Tower Two, Floor 9, Room 5, United Kingdom


Dr Pablo Sanguinetti

Chief Economist, CAF Development Bank of Latin America

Prof Anthony Venables

Oxford University

Prof Gareth Jones

Prof Gareth Jones

Director, LSE Latin America and Caribbean Centre


Dr Álvaro Méndez

Dr Álvaro Méndez

Co-director, LSE Global South Unit

The Latin America and Caribbean Centre and the LSE Global South Unit are delighted to be hosting Dr Pablo Sanguinetti, Chief Economist, CAF Development Bank of Latin America for a panel discussion with Prof Anthony Venables (Oxford University) and Prof Gareth A Jones (LACC Director). This lecture seeks to understand the most critical development challenges currently faced by Latin American cities. Special attention is given to the concept of accessibility, that is the capacity of households and firms to reach the opportunities offered by a city. Accessibility depends on four areas of public policy action, which are closely related to each other: planning and regulation of land use, urban mobility, the performance of the housing market, and the existence of mechanisms for metropolitan coordination. The concept of accessibility draws attention away from the debate on whether cities should be more or less compact. Accessibility can be achieved in different urban layouts, with different sizes and levels of population density. Any efforts made in this regard must consider the fact that Latin American cities will tend to expand due to the process of secular economic development, which leads households to seek larger properties and use cars to a greater extent.