chapter  10
11 Pages

Heritage as a mediator of socio-spatial segregation

Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
WithCésar Augusto Velandia Silva, Juan José Ospina-Tascón, Mirjana Ristic

This chapter reveals the ways in which urban heritage in the Old Town of Cartagena de Indias has mediated the socio-spatial segregation of the city since 1900. Drawing on documentary sources, such as census data, urban growth statistics and planimetric maps, it traces the origin and evolution of what has evolved into the greatest urban segregation in Colombia’s history. It is argued that the city’s segregation has been conditioned by the heritage conservation and management policies that focused on the preservation of colonial heritage, linked to the city’s European descendants, without taking into account the diverse local heritage, linked to the descendants of the indigenous people and former slaves. This has resulted in the gentrification of the Old Town by the upper social classes and, consequently, in an increase in the value of land, which has pushed the lower social classes to the areas outside of the Old Town.