Vargas, Héctor Mendoza and de Albuquerque Bomfim, Paulo Roberto
Journal of Latin American Geography. 2014, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p215-232. 18p.
URBAN planning, SOCIOECONOMICS, AGRICULTURAL productivity, and CITIES & towns
The long tradition of regional geography was challenged in the middle of the 20th Century by the change towards a more practical perspective oriented to social and economic problems. This article discusses how Latin America was not alien to such academic transition shifting hand in hand with the International Geographical Union (IGU), first with the carrying out of the XVIIIth International Geographical Congress (Brazil, 1956) and, later, with the Latin American Regional Conference (Mexico, 1966). The comparative perspective chosen herein points out certain important coincidences and differences between both geographic experiences. A first period has been considered between 1928 and 1950, when the Pan-American Institute of Geography and History played a central role in the discipline's modernization. The work results indicate that, for Brazil, such Congress represented an updating and opening towards active geography, seen as a special analysis model basis for the country's regional planning and division by means of quantitative geography methods. For Mexico, the IGU forum prepared the road for the arrival of applied geography and the quantitative revolution linked to the country's development plans (for the transport sector, planning, water, agricultural productivity, or urban planning), as well as in producing a high precision new cartography of the national territory. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]