International Studies Questions, Essay Example

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Essay

BRASILIA

PART 1: LECTURE QUESTIONS

What were the problems that Brasilia was designed to solve?

The city was supposed to serve as the capital of Brazil. The said choice was made by the government in response to the need of transferring the capital from Rio de Janeiro thus allowing for a more centralized location for the country’s capital city.

What did the architects and planners envision for the new capital city and why? What does their plan reflect about what they thought about human beings and modernity?

The architects, headed by Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer have planned the design to be divided in numbered blocks and sectors that would denote the zoning system in the developing area. In relation to modernity, such organizations imposes on the proper assignment of locations that would either be dedicated to economic activities or other areas that would be dedicated to residential areas to house the members of the society.

How was the Brazilian government able to build the city so quickly? What early problems emerged?

The establishment of Brasilia was part of the Juscelino Kubistscheck’s fifty years of prosperity in five project. This is the reason why he made sure that such promise to the people would be accomplished within the stretch of his administration. Among the problems incurred during the process include that of the allocation of resources and deciding on who are supposed to be considered as the head planners of the development project. The desire to make the whole city more futuristic in appearance made the chosen city planners to become more concerned on how they are going to use and assign the available area-measurement in the city towards defining the city they want to establish.

How did the military coup in 1964 change people’s view of Brasilia?

it began to symbolize the united efforts of the nation to overthrow the presidency of Joao Goulart as when he was in Brasilia [where he hoped to be protected from the coup], he was not heard by the people and the communities stand on their ground as they push for wha they desire which is freedom from his administration.

What is the critique in the “Shock of the New Video?” See video below.

The video presents a new sense and indication on what Brasilia specifically represents in relation to civilization, change and development. The ambitious plan for the city to become the ‘city of tomorrow’ specifically allowed it to become the face of what the future specifically holds especially in the field of architecture. Imposing a new sense of improving the zoning system applied in a relatively empty slate made the city ‘the place to be’. Even during its earliest times, it could be considered that it has specifically go beyond the political pressures happening around to create a new wave of development for the people. The process was hard to contend with, the city had to learn hard truths about being too ambitious. Nevertheless, it was the beginning of something better.

How have people started to reinterpret Brasilia in a positive light? What are the major disadvantages of the city that have emerged?

Being a city built on ambitious thoughts about the future, Brasilia tried to rebuild its stance and use modern technology to redefine the path that it hopes to take. At present, with the help of new technologies, the city of tomorrow has finally been built according to plan. People then began to see the competence of the city’s capacity to actually serve what it hopes to do for the people to be a good possibility that would serve the needs of the communities surrounding the area.

PART 2: READING QUESTIONS

What are the lessons that one can learn from Brasília according to the readings? How have people reshaped their lives in Brasilia to better suit their habits?

The reading presents a great pattern on how the Brasilians learned from the past, took important lessons from it and used it to recreate the future that they are facing. The ambition of making it the city of tomorrow actually placed them at a faster pace in embracing modernity as it is still being cooked within the sheets of history. Most likely , the people learned how to adjust to the situation and to make sure that their demands fit whatever resources their city has. It was respectively a cooperative operation between the people and the administrators who are expected to give protection and assistance to the people as they realize their life’s dreams in the city of Brasilia.

How has the rigid planning at Brasilia made life difficult for the poor and working class? In other words, how is Brasilia different from the average Brazilian city?

One specific disadvantage in the planning of Brasilia is that it did not make any room for poor communities. The ambition was too certain that the people would live good lives, and that they would have everything they want [without actually considering the changing tides of the economy]. This is the reason why when it comes to poor communities, they seem to be simply misplaced in the grandeur of the plan therefore making it hard for them to connect with the community as if they were no part of it.

MEXICO CITY

PART 1: LECTURE QUESTIONS

How did the Spanish reshape the Aztec capital?

Due to empire establishment, the Spanish, founded Mexico City in 1325. Their presence in the area was based on the desire to impose their administration amongst the people living in the area. Even though they were resisted by the natives, their beliefs became their primary tool to reach to the people and make them believe in Christianity. Hence, this changed the pagan ways of the natives into something more concrete of a religious division.

How did Porfirio Diaz modernize Mexico City? What were the benefits vs. the problems?

During his time, modern infrastructures were established. Roads and schools were created making transportation easier and education something that has been able to establish a better civilization in the city. He has also improved the communication systems in the area. However, because of such adjustments, the country’s resource has been centrally focused on being used within the capital city while leaving other regions to poverty.

How did the socialism of the post Revolutionary era reshape Mexico City? How did they try to create a modern city in the socialist style?

Learning from the past, it was evident how the people of Mexico city embraced growth as a matter of culture. The desire of the people to manage the city and make it one of the most modernized areas of the world allowed it to incur huge changes on how its areas have been rezoned and its infrastructures re-identified for functionality and aesthetics; a distinct characteristic of the socialist style.

What was the industrial policy of the modern ruling party and how did it impact Mexico City?

The creation of most industrial sectors of the country to be located in Mexico city has brought about several millions of local individuals from all the other sections of the country into the city. Considerably, it could be understood that because of this the city had to adjust immensely on how it distributes resources including job opportunities to the in-pouring number of internal immigrants from other regions in the nation.

How have the poor found space near Mexico City? What kinds of settlements have they created?

Given that the job opportunities are in the city, the poor communities decided to crate shanties around the area. Not really affecting the original zoning system of the city, the poor communities decided to create their own zones just beside the outskirts of the city’s border allowing them to enter into the city whenever they need to for the sake of seeking better employment or better business opportunities.

How has neoliberalism reshaped the city?

Free trade has become one of the most compelling elements that fueled the city’s economy. Allowing for free trade to flow within the city allowed it to achieve a particular status of economic stability that even allowed it to reach out to other regions in the country as it tries to give them the opportunity to engage in export activities for the sake of engaging in international trade.

PART 2: READING QUESTIONS

What are the problems and strengths identified in Mexico City in the 2 videos?

Over-population is one specific problem noted in both videos. Apparently, the zoning system that has been created for the creation of the city was not effectively followed especially in the onset of people flowing in the area. The poor areas have specifically overthrown the socialist communities making it possible for high crime-rate to be a normal element of the supposed modernized society. The strength on having people to work for the supposed developments aimed in the city however creates a positive thought among administrators pointing out that if proper administration is applied, the population could be dealt with effectively.

Based upon the lecture that I have given, and description of life in Mexico City in the 1st video, why would bus rapid transit work better in Mexico City as compared to a city like Chicago?

Considering the space allocated for transport, it would best support the city’s high rate population if the transport system carried a mass number of passengers at one time. This would allow for shorter time of travel and a lower density of cars [specifically private vehicles] thus further improving traffic conditions in the area. Besides, the economy-level that the people belong to would make mass public transportations much easier to survive in the area.

Why is a bus rapid transit system financially reasonable for a place like Mexico City?

The condition of the people along with their economic capacities makes such forms of transportation practical. Space allocation is another consideration that should be noted thus making it easier for people to travel with less hassle on the road and the traffic that it creates.

How does the organization of the system reflects the neoliberal (privatized) vision of Mexican government today?

The administration of a neoliberal system in the country has specifically attracted more people to come into the area. Relatively though, without close consideration on how the people are directed, it would be less likely that such aspect of administration would pull through in making sure that the resources available for the people at present would still be available for the residents of Mexico City in the future.

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