Cerro de Pasco?
Boris Lefevre, Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture, Paris, France
Productive Architecture: Can architecture help to empower marginalized communities as an economic & social development tool, allowing its users to reaffirm a common identity?
Like Cerro de Pasco, the existence of a large part of the South American mining cities derives directly from the need for a significant workforce presence. Thousands of families, sometimes against their will, sometimes in search of a better future, settled there for the unique purpose of putting their energy in the service of a single economic activity. The mine, a predominant production tool, then tended to give the inhabitants a feeling of a common identity, and to legitimize their presence in territories, which were sometimes very hostile. However, the mechanization of mining techniques now leads to a significant decline in the proportion of local workers in mining activity. Like Cerro de Pasco, some of these cities continue to grow, but they are going through deep identity and social crises, which are accentuated by worrying economic, sanitary and environmental issues.