ABSTRACT

Chicana/o urbanism in the new millennium signals the middle period of the ethnic transformation of urban spatial relations. In all major cities of the Southwest and selected cities with significant Latina/o populations, this ethnic group is reconfiguring the sociocultural meaning of urban life. The population now enjoys a modicum of political empowerment and is confronting urban policy in locations unaccustomed to difference. Whether Chicanas/os are located in the centers of political power or the periphery, city planning is forced to defend its past vision on urban form and policy. Barrio urban issues-affordable housing, middle-class flight, revitalization strategies, infrastructure maintenance, and inclusionary planning-are now mainstream considerations. The era of controversy and protest that characterized the relationship between Chicanas/os and the planning profession are transitioning into a new framework in which the reins of power are no longer totally controlled by Euro-American (mainly male) elites, either in the bureaucracy or the legislature. This shift in power relations, however, has not dramatically changed the nature of the contests over urban policy and redistributive strategies.