Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Tables
 List of Figures
 Review of the literature on...
 Procedures of investigation
 Cali: from colonial town to industrial...
 The ecology of Cali
 Biographical sketch

Title: social ecology of Cali, Colombia.
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00090224/00001
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Title: social ecology of Cali, Colombia.
Series Title: social ecology of Cali, Colombia.
Physical Description: Book
Creator: Wagner, Eric Armin,
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Bibliographic ID: UF00090224
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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
    Table of Contents
        Page vi
        Page vii
    List of Tables
        Page viii
        Page ix
    List of Figures
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Review of the literature on ecology
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
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    Procedures of investigation
        Page 39
        Page 40
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        Page 58
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        Page 60
        Page 61
    Cali: from colonial town to industrial city
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
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        Page 97
    The ecology of Cali
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
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    Biographical sketch
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
Full Text












The writer wishes to express his deep appreciation

to the present chairman of his supervisory committee,

Dr. Joseph S. Vandiver, and to his former chairman, now at

the University of Alabama, Dr. Irving L. Webber. Without

their continuing interest and encouragement this project

might never have been completed. To them the writer owes a

great debt of gratitude.

Other members of the supervisory committee, Dr. T.

Lynn Smith, Dr. Ruth Albrecht, Dr. Walter Rosenbaum, and

Dr. Benjamin Gorman deserve the writer's appreciation for

their willingness to serve on his committee, and for their


Grateful acknowledgment is expressed to the

Rockefeller Foundation and the Center for Latin American

Studies of the University of Florida for the grant assistance

which made this project possible.

To his parents the writer owes thanks for their

constant encouragement to complete the project, and for their

providing such a pleasant place for the writing of the

dissertation. To his aunt, Gwen Edwards, and to Stephanie

Goldsberry, the writer owes thanks for help in typing.


Dr. Irving Webber's wife, Lois, helped the writer in many

ways while he was in Colombia. Others, including J. Selwyn

Hollingsworth, David Coombs, Lawrence Hlad, Hugh Bloemer,

and Robert Shelly, helped in many ways.

Last, and most importantly, the writer is obligated

to the many people in Cali who were generous with their

time, and always willing to help. Especially valuable were

the members of the Rojas family, and Mercelitas, to whom the

writer owes much.

Were it not for the support of all of these people,

the project could never have been realized. Yet the

responsibility for the project must remain with the writer



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. . . . . . . . .

LIST OF TABLES . . . . . . . . .

LIST OF FIGURES. . . . . . . . .

ABSTRACT . . . . . . . . . .


I. INTRODUCTION . . . . . . .


The "Classical" School of Urban Ecology.

Social Area Analysis . . . . .

The Ecology of the Latin American City .


Definition of the Problem. . . . .

Collection of the Data . . . . .

Field Schedule . . . . . .

Nature of the Data . . . . . .

Presentation and Interpretation of the
Data . . . . . . . . .

CITY . . . . . . . . .

The Growth of the City .. . ....

Cities in Colombia and Latin America .

Growing Industrialism--The Economic Base
of the City. . . . . . . .

. . iv

. . viii

. . xi


. . 18

. . 27

. . 39

. . 39

. . 42

. . 42

. . 46

. . 60

. . 62

. . 67

. . 73

* . 83



Topography and Transportation. .

Class Structure. . .

The Image of the City. .


Land Use . . . .

Barrio Development: The
Growth of the City .

Density of the Barrios .

The Spatial Distribution
Socioeconomic Status .

The Spatial Distribution

The Structure of Cali. .






of Family

* . .

. . .

. . .

* . .


. . . . . . 93


* . .

. . .

. .t .









. . 89



1 Population Range of Cali Barrios Used in
Studying Residential Ecology ......... 51

2 Growth of Cali from 1793 to 1964 . . . .. 68

3 Population of Eleven Largest Municipios,
1905-1964. . . . . . . . ... 74

4 Growth of Cali in Relation to the Growth of
Colombia: 1938-1951, 1951-1964. . . .. 75

5 Primacy of Urban Structure: Four Regions of
Colombia, 1964 . . . . . . . . 79

6 Rank-Size Distribution of Colombian
Cities, 1964 . . . . . . . . 80

7 Urbanization of the Latin American
Population . . . . . . . . 83

8 Economically Active Population Engaged in
Industrial Activity, By Departments, 1964. . 90

9 Social Stratification in Cali, 1964. . . ... 94

10 Industrial Barrios in Cali, 1968 . . ... 107

11 Cali Barrios, Names, Estimated Percentage of
Land Use, and Socioeconomic Status, 1968 . 113

12 Percentage of Developed Land Devoted to
Various Uses, Cali, 1968 . . . . .. 116

13 Density of Barrios by Socioeconomic Status,
Cali, 1964 . . . . . . . .. 131

14 Mean Distance of Barrios From City Center, By
Mean Number of Family Members Per Barrio . 145

15 Members Per Family of Barrios by Socioeconomic
Status, Cali, 1964 . . . . . . . 147



16 Mean Distance of Barrios from City Center, By
Mean Family Units Per Housing Unit . . .. 148

17 Family Units Per Housing Unit of Barrios by
Socioeconomic Status, Call, 196:T .. .. 149

18 Barrios Bordered by Arterial Highways, By
Socioeconomic Status, Cali, 1968 . . .. 158



1 Cali . . . . . . . . . . 100

2 Land Use in Call 1968 ....... . 102

3 Commercial Land Use in Cali Barrios 1968 . 103

4 The Growth of the Barrios of Cal. . . . 120

5 Density of Residential Barrios, Cali -
1964 . . . . . . . . .. 129

6 The Distribution of Residential Barrios by
Socioeconomic Status, Cali 1968. ... . 136

7 The Distribution of Residential Barrios
by Family Size, Cali 1964. . . . . 143

8 The Distribution of Residential Barrios by
Number of Families Per Housing Unit,
Cali 1964. . . . . . . . 144

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of
the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Eric Armin Wagner

December, 1973

Chairman: Joseph S. Vandiver
Major Department: Sociology

Urban social differentiation in Cali, Colombia, is

examined by use of elements of both "classical" ecology and

social area analysis. The barrios of the city are analyzed

in terms of population density, land use, socioeconomic

status, and family status, with maps showing the spatial

distribution of these variables. Housing is used as an

indicator of socioeconomic status, and mean number of family

members and number of family units per dwelling unit are

used as indicators of family status. These data were

derived from compilations of the Cali Municipal Planning

Office, the 1964 Colombian census, and a field survey of the

barrios of Cali during the 1967-1968 academic year.

A substantial degree of functional specialization in

land use was found, as evidenced by a clear and distinct

central commercial area and a rather sharply-defined

industrial area. At the same time, there were still a

number of traditional commercial functions scattered through-

out the city, leading to the conclusion that while the

commercial function was still in the process of changing

from a preindustrial to an industrial level of organization,

Cali was more an industrial than a preindustrial city.

While the density of the population of Call declined

from the center of the city to the periphery, level of socio-

economic status appeared to have a greater influence on

density than distance from city center. As a result, some

of the poorer peripheral areas of the city had higher

densities than more central areas. In this respect Cali was

more like non-Western than Western cities. At the same time,

central city densities in Cali are now declining, which is

more characteristic of Western than of non-Western cities.

Like the examination of land use, the examination of density

afforded a glimpse of a city in the process of change in its

ecological structure.

The analysis of the spatial distribution of socio-

economic status and family status showed that socioeconomic

status varied sectorially and family status varied concen-

trically. This confirms the findings of previous studies in

social area analysis, and adds a Latin American example to

the widening body of research exploring the dimensions of

urban social differentiation.

The clear sectorization of socioeconomic status and

the concentric distribution of family status in Cali, indi-

cative of a rather pronounced level of urban differentiation,

is more characteristic of industrial than it is of pre-

industrial cities. Thus, while land use and density data


showed that Call does not totally conform to the character-

istics of industrial and Western cities, it is clear that

Call is much closer to these theoretical types than it is

to non-Western and preindustrial cities. If this were not

the case, then the differentiation of socioeconomic status

and family status areas would have been much less clearly


In theoretical terms, the shape of the city

described in this study conforms much more closely to the

sector hypothesis of Homer Hoyt than it does to the con-

centric zone theory of Ernest Burgess or the multiple nuclei

theory of Chauncey Harris and Edward Ullman.

Further research is needed before the findings of

this study can be applied to other cities in Latin America

and the developing world.


Chapter I


The internal structure of the city in Latin America

is poorly understood. Though a number of investigations of

this topic have been published, most indicate merely that

the traditional, plaza-centered structure of the city in

Latin America is changing in the direction of the North

American city pattern, where status rises as one goes from

the center toward the periphery of the city. The gross

generality of this finding seems much too inadequate for the

actual complexity of city structure that one finds in Latin

America. Further, this finding seems to be rather culture-

bound, implying that the "ideal" North American pattern of

city structure will be attained as Latin American societies


Through a fortuitous set of circumstances, the

author was afforded the opportunity to examine the structure

of a city in Latin America. Appointment as a graduate

assistant in the University of Florida--Universidad del

Valle Joint Project in History, Political Science, and

Sociology, supported by a grant from the Rockefeller Founda-

tion, enabled him to spend the 1967-1968 academic year in


Cali, Colombia. This position provided an opportunity to

gather data for an ecological study.

Cali is a rapidly growing, rapidly industrializing

city of more than six hundred thousand people in southern

Colombia. Though not the capital of the country, it is a

regional city of great importance, and is in the center of

one of the richest agricultural areas in the world, the

Cauca River Valley. Much of its growth has been very recent,

though the city was one of the earliest to be founded in

South America, in 1536. Thus its long colonial tradition,

and recent growing industrialization, make it an excellent

example of a fairly large Latin American city. Further, Cali

is the third largest city in the second most populous

Spanish-speaking nation of the South American continent. A

study of the ecology of a major city such as Cali can make

a basic contribution to our understanding of urbanization in

Latin America.

This study focuses upon residential aspects of the

internal structure of Cali. For all the residential barrios

of the city, socioeconomic status is examined by means of a

study of housing. A map of these barrios shows their spatial

distribution. The number of family members and family units

per housing unit, indicators of family status, are also

mapped for the residential barrios. These spatial distribu-

tions are then examined to determine the structural pattern

of the city. Do the higher status people live near the


center of the city, are they moving toward the periphery, or

is another, possibly more complex, explanation needed?

Supporting this focus on residential ecology are

data pertaining to urban land use, recent growth and density

of the barrios, and an examination of the effect of major

arterial streets on the location of upper-status residential


The results of this study certainly will not be the

basis for generalization about all the cities of Latin

America. Latin America, like other large areas of the

world, is an area of great diversity. Hopefully, the results

will lend themselves to comparison and conjunction with

other studies, and eventually help in the formulation of a

more general theory of residential differentiation for Latin

America. As of now, data are not adequate nor varied enough

to support such a general theory. The next stage in the

development of such a theory should be the undertaking of

several studies of the factorial ecology of Latin American

cities, to determine their basic social dimensions. Hope-

fully, these studies will take place in several cities

already studied by more traditional methods, so that

eventual comparisons among various types of studies may be

facilitated, adding meaningfulness to the more traditional


Chapter II


The literature dealing with urban ecology is

enormous and varied. It would not be feasible even to list,

let alone to discuss, all of the sociological research in a

work of the present scope. Therefore, the approach will be

to trace the general development of the three aspects of

urban ecology which are of primary concern to this study:

(1) the "classical" school of urban ecology, focusing on

the concept of the "natural area"; (2) the more recent (post-

World War II) emphasis on social area analysis; (3) the

findings of those few studies which discuss the ecology of

the Latin American city. While disciplines other than

sociology, such as geography and anthropology, are becoming

involved in urban ecology, sociology moved first in this

area, and this study will draw primarily upon sociological

interpretations of urban ecology.

The "Classical" School of Urban Ecology

There is no one totally accepted "beginning" for the

"classical" school of urban ecology, though Americans gener-

ally consider the writings of Robert Park to have been the


foundation for this area of inquiry. But Park had his

precursors, and brief mention must be made of.them.

Among the earliest ecological studies were the

nineteenth-century studies of M. de Guerry de Champneuf in

France (Elmer, 1933: 63-70) and Henry Mayhew and Joseph

Fletcher in England (Levin and Lindesmith, 1961: 14-21).

M. de Champneuf studied the spatial distribution of crime,

relating the levels of crime to French departments (Elmer,

1933: 63-70). One of Mayhew's works, The Criminal Prisons

of London, included a shaded ecological map of London, show-

ing the density of the London population (Levin and

Lindesmith, 1961: 17). Fletcher's book,Summary of Moral

Statistics of England and Wales, was "centered around a

series of 12 ecological maps in the appendix of the volume

and an ecological map in the frontispiece colored to

represent what we might call 'natural areas' in England and

Wales" (Levin and Lindesmith, 1961: 19). Unfortunately for

the historical reputations of their authors, these empirical

studies were soon overshadowed by the social philosophizing

of Comte and Spencer, and were essentially forgotten by

later students of urban ecology.

Perhaps the most important of the precursors of

Robert Park was Charles Booth, whose monumental seventeen-

volume Life and Labour of the People in London had great

influence in late eighteenth-century England. This work

classified the people of London according to "social

condition," on the basis of class, space, and time, and

with divisions of "poverty," "industry," and "religious

influences" (Pfautz, 1967: 47-50). In the process of this

analysis Booth discussed several of the ideas which were

later to receive much attention by the Chicago school of

urban ecology, such as the centralization of urban functions

(Pfautz, 1967: 99-102), residential segregation and

succession (Pfautz, 1967: 90-96), concentric rings with dif-

ferent types of population (Pfautz, 1967: 54-55, 78-79),

and the "separation between place of residence and place of

work" (Pfautz, 1967: 106-107). Indeed Booth was a pre-

cursor of modern urban ecology, as Pfautz notes: ". . con-

tained in his classic survey are both theoretical and

methodological contributions that make it one of the prin-

cipal antecedents of the research methods and interests

informing the rise of an empirical sociology of the city in

America in the twenties . ." (Pfautz, 1967: 6).

Robert E. Park was certainly aware of Booth's work,

but did not seem to credit it with much of a contribution

beyond the descriptive level. "It was not, however, Booth's

statistics, but his realistic descriptions of the actual

life of the occupational classes . which made these

studies a memorable and permanent contribution to our know-

ledge of human nature and society" (Park, 1929: 46).

Robert Park was more a social theorist and less an

empiricist than Charles Booth. In fact, Park's writings

were relatively devoid of substantive research findings.

Park's students and colleagues at the University of Chicago

(such as Ernest Burgess, Louis Wirth, Harvey Zorbaugh, and

Nels Anderson) provided the substantive support for his

theorizing with a number of specific studies (Burgess, 1925;

Wirth, 1938; Zorbaugh, 1929; Anderson, 1923). But it was

Park's writing more than that of anyone else which was

instrumental in the establishment of the "Chicago school" of

urban sociology.

In his now-classic essay, "The City: Suggestions

for the Investigation of Human Behavior in the Urban Envir-

onment," Park specified what he meant by human ecology:

There are forces at work within the limits of the urban
community--within the limits of any natural area of
human habitation, in fact--which tend to bring about an
orderly and typical grouping .of its population and
institutions. The science which seeks to isolate these
factors and to describe the typical constellations of
persons and institutions which the co-operation of these
forces produce, is what we call human, as distinguished
from plant and animal, ecology (Park, 1925: 1-2).

To isolate these factors at work within the natural areas of

the city, Park suggested that social scientists "study the

growth of cities, to compare the idiosyncrasies in the dis-

tributions of city populations" (Park, 1925: 6), discover

"the forces which tend to break up the tensions, interests,

and sentiments which give neighborhoods their individual

character" (Park, 1925: 8), and study the vocational types

that the division of labor of the city has produced (Park,

1925: 14). In addition to these factors, Park suggested

that urban ecologists study what he termed "the moral


It is inevitable that individuals who seek the same
forms of excitement, whether that excitement be furnished
by a horse race or by grand opera, should find themselves
from time to time in the same places. The result of
this is that in the organization which city life spon-
taneously assumes the population tends to segregate
itself, not merely in accordance with its interests, but
in accordance with its tastes or its temperaments. The
resulting distribution of the population is likely to be
quite different from that brought about by occupational
interests or economic conditions (Park, 1925: 43).

Roderick D. McKenzie, one of Park's earliest students

at the University of Chicago, expanded and refined many of

Park's ideas, and more clearly defined human ecology

as a study of the spatial and temporal relations of
human beings as affected by the selective, distributive,
and accommodative forces of the environment. Human
ecology is fundamentally interested in the effect of
position, in both time and space, upon human institutions
andfhuman behavior (McKenzie, 1968a: 4).

McKenzie also made a notable contribution of his own,

by introducing the concepts of ecological processes to show

the dynamic (or, as he termed it, "fluid") nature of urban


By ecological process is meant the tendency in time
toward special forms of spatial and sustenance group-
ings of the units comprising an ecological distribution.
There are five major ecological processes: concentra-
tion, centralization, segregation, invasion, succession
(McKenzie, 1968b: 23-24).

These dynamic processes of urban ecology were linked to

specific areas of the city, as exemplified by the process of


The general effect of the continuous processes of inva-
sions and accommodations is to give to the developed
community well-defined areas, each having its own
peculiar selective and cultural characteristics. Such
units of communal life may be termed "natural areas," or
formations, to use the term of the plant ecologist
(McKenzie, 1968a: 17).

Numerous as the ideas of Park and McKenzie were, it

remained for one of their colleagues to make the most

memorable contribution to the literature on urban ecology.

This is the well-known concentric zone theory of Ernest W.

Burgess. He hypothesized that "the expansion of the city

can best be illustrated, perhaps, by a series of concentric

circles, which may be numbered to designate both the suc-

cessive zones of urban extension and the types of areas dif-

ferentiated in the process of expansion" (Burgess, 1925:

50). At the center was the central business district,

surrounded by a zone in transition from residence to business

and light manufacturing. Beyond this was a zone of working-

men's homes, a residential zone, and finally a commuters'

zone (Burgess, 1925: 50-51). Burgess admitted this was an

ideal scheme which might not fit any city exactly (1925:

51-52), but believed it would be of great help in studying

the social organization of the city.

Indeed it was. Many studies, a few of which are

indicated below, made use of Burgess' theory. Shaw and

McKay (1931) studied juvenile delinquency in a number of

American cities, and found that juvenile delinquency declined

in each successive zone. White (1932) related crime and a

number of social factors, and found that these factors and

crime correlated closely with the zones. Ford (1950)

studied population succession in Chicago, and discovered

that each new immigrant group in Chicago pushed older immi-

grant groups farther from the center of the city. Kish

(1954) found that differentiation in metropolitan areas

decreases with distance from the center of the city, though

it does not decrease in a straight line.

Along with Park, McKenzie, and Burgess, Louis Wirth

had great influence in the Chicago school of urban sociology,

though he did not deal as directly with urban ecology as did

these other men. However, in "A Bibliography of the Urban

Community," which Wirth wrote for Park, Burgess, and

McKenzie's The City, he devoted a section to the ecological

organization of the city (Wirth, 1925: 187-195). In this

section he defined the ecological organization of the city

as "the spatial distribution of population and institutions

and the temporal sequence of structure and function following

from the operation of selective, distributive, and competi-

tive forces tending to produce typical results wherever they

are at work" (Wirth, 1925: 187). This appears to the

writer to be one of the most comprehensive definitions of

urban ecology to be offered by a member of the Chicago

school. Louis Wirth also reiterated the usefulness of the

concept of the natural area, and defined it.

Plant ecologists have been accustomed to use the
expression "natural area" to refer to well-defined
spatial units having their own peculiar characteristics.
In human ecology the term "natural area" is just as
applicable to groupings according to selective and cul-
tural characteristics (Wirth, 1925: 188).

Perhaps Louis Wirth's best-known contribution came

in his classic study of "Urbanism As a Way of Life" (1938).

In this article he delineated three highly useful variables.

"On the basis of the three variables, number, density of

settlement, and degree of heterogeneity, of the urban popu-

lation, it appears possible to explain the characteristics

of urban life and to account for the differences between

cities of various sizes and types" (Wirth, 1938: 18).

Although the "classical" school of urban ecology was

dominated by the Chicago urban sociologists, and especially

by Burgess' concentric zone theory, two other theories which

this writer would call "classical" are important. These are

Homer Hoyt's sector theory and Chauncey D. Harris and Edward

L. Ullman's multiple nuclei theory.

Hoyt's sector theory, or "sector hypothesis," as it

is often called, was presumably derived from the work of

Richard M. Hurd (1924). In his study, Hurd suggested that

urban growth involved two principles which operate at the

same time: central growth and axial growth. As the city

grew, it would spread outward from the center in all direc-

tions, or along transportation routes, such as water courses,

railroads, and turnpikes, forming a star shape (Hurd, 1924).

Homer Hoyt elaborated on these principles of Hurd by

studying rental data from a large number of American cities,

with special emphasis on high-rent areas. By tracing the

movement of high-rent areas, he was able to show how they

moved outwards along radial lines in distinct sectors of the

city. Hoyt felt that "the movement of the high-rent area is

in a certain sense the most important since it tends to pull

the growth of the entire city in the same direction" (Hoyt,

1939: 114), and deduced a number of hypotheses concerning

these high-rent areas:

1. High-grade residential growth tends to proceed from
the given point of origin either along established
lines of travel or toward another existing nucleus of
building or trade areas.
2. The zone of high rent tends toward high ground which
is free from risk of floods and to spread along lake,
bay, river, and ocean ports, where such waterfronts
are not used by industry.
3. High-rent residential districts tend to grow toward
the section of the city that has free open country
beyond the edges and away from "dead end" sections
which are prevented from expanding by natural or
artificial barriers.
4. The higher-priced residential neighborhood tends to
grow toward the homes of the community leaders.
5. Sometimes movement trends of office buildings, banks,
and stores pull the higher-priced residential neigh-
borhoods in the same general direction.
6. High-grade residential areas tend to develop along
the fastest existing transportation lines.
7. Deluxe apartment areas tend to be established near
the business centers in old established residential
8. The growth of high-rent neighborhoods continues in
the same direction for a long period of time.
9. High-rent neighborhoods do not skip about at random
in the process of movement--they follow a definite
path in one or more sectors of the city.
10. It is possible, under some conditions, for high-rent
areas to "double back," or return toward the center
of the city.
11. High-rent areas tend to be adjoined by medium-rent
areas, and sharp disjunctions in rental areas are not
frequent (Hoyt, as quoted in Thomlinson, 1969: 146-

Harris and Ullman's multiple nuclei theory is the

third and last "classical" theory of urban ecology that will

be presented here. Harris and Ullman argued that the multiple

functions of the city, such as commerce, industry, and

residence, would tend to develop separate centers, or nuclei.

Four factors were hypothesized to lead to the emergence of

nuclei: like activities tend to group together; some unlike

activities are incompatible; some activities require

specialized facilities; and some activities cannot afford

the high rents of the most desirable sites (Harris and

Ullman, 1945: 7-17).

Studies of "classical" urban ecology seem to have

centered around four factors, as described by Park.

It is the interaction of . four factors--(1) popula-
tion, (2) artifacts (technicological [sic] culture),
(3) custom and beliefs (non-material culture), and (4)
the natural resources that maintain at once the biotic
balance and the social equilibrium, when and where they
exist (Park, 1936: 15).

To simplify these propositions of Park, it seems to this

writer that the essential nature of urban ecology revolves

around two basic axes. One of these axes, areal analysis,

has been the focus of attention of "classical" ecologists.

The other axis, social organization, is the focus of social

area analysts and factorial ecologists, and will be dealt

with more extensively in the next section of this chapter.

The ecologist seeks to understand the dynamic relationship

between these basic axes and population categories. He wants

to explain how organization (sometimes referred to as the

division of labor) and areal environment are related.

Areal analysis, usually referred to by the term

"natural area," occupies a central position in urban ecology

and in this study. This emphasis grew out of the biological

foundations of urban ecology, in which breakdowns by area

were seen as evidence of environmental adaptation. This

adaptation was usually discussed in terms of competition and


the dynamic ecological processes introduced by McKenzie, and

previously elaborated upon in this study.

A major criticism directed at the "classical"

school of urban ecology has been that it placed too great

an emphasis on biological analogies and the economic deter-

minism of land values (Firey, 1947; Alihan, 1938; Firey,

1961). The subsocial biotic competitive nature of man

became a major focal point of this criticism. By starting

with the competitive biotic community of man ecologists are

forced to minimize or limit their attentions to society. As

Hollingshead puts it,

This type of reasoning assumed that man in society is
basically, ever and always, man the primordial animal.
Society and its concomitant culture are only excrescences,
not integral parts of the animal man (1947: 196).

This process of impersonal competition provides the main

framework of ecological structure with the interdependence

of individuals and groups termed "symbiotic" rather than

societal. However, as Alihan shows us, the two ecological

terms of community and society are so confused by ecologists

themselves that arbitrary distinction becomes meaningless

(Alihan, 1938: 18-49).

Another criticism of the "classical" school of

urban ecology has been stimulated by Firey's advocacy of

greater importance for social values such as sentiment and

symbolism (Firey, 1961).

It seems to this writer that "classical" ecologists

such as Park and Burgess were not just tied to a biological


determinism as exemplified by their emphasis on the idea of

competition, but did deal with cultural factors as well. At

the same time it is true that the role of cultural factors

received much less emphasis than perhaps should have been

the case. Clearly values do play an important part in ecolog-

ical differentiation, as numerous studies indicate

(Jonassen, 1961; Myers, 1961). But the relationship between

values and urban structure has not been clarified; values

may relate to a different aspect of the urban ecological

system than do such things as competition. However, there

seems no reason to believe that either of these approaches

("biological" competition or cultural values) ought to be

eliminated from the sphere of urban research. Certainly we

have few enough tools with which to work in the social

sciences, and there can be no doubt that the "classical"

school of urban ecology opened the door to a great deal of

knowledge about our urban areas. Much of what we know about

our cities today is based on ecological studies.1

The use of the concept of the "natural area" has

been subject to criticism. Hatt reports that many areas

turn out to be fictitiouslyy homogeneous and intensify the

gradient and natural area pattern; and this to the point of

'It is by no means certain that the "biological"
aspect of man's social nature should be treated secondarily,
or brushed aside. The field of human ethology within
sociology seems to be enjoying a resurgence of academic
interest, reflecting, perhaps, the remarkable rise in the
popularity of an ethological approach in the biological

almost creating a reality where none exists" (Hatt, 1961:

106). As a result he argues for a distinction "between

natural areas as logical, statistical constructs integrated

with a plan for research (or administration) and the con-

cept of natural areas as a series of spatial and social

factors which act as coercive influences upon all who inhabit

the geographically and culturally defined area" (Hatt, 1961:

107). Awareness of this distinction should help avoid the

reification of the concept of the natural area. Timms,

however, argues that concern with lack of areal homogeneity

is not the point.

The existence of differences within a census tract or
any other small area is only prejudicial to the use of
the area in ecological analysis if the differences
relate to the proportions of the population possessing
specified traits in major divisions of the area. The
criticisms of such writers as Hatt, Myers and Mabry,
constituted on the finding that census tracts contained
heterogeneous populations rather than homogeneous ones,
are believed to be misdirected (Timms, 1971: 42).

Timms presents one of the most persuasive arguments

for the use of natural areas that this writer has seen. By

reviewing a great deal of research on the city that has been

done in the last three or four decades, he shows that the

local area is a factor of great explanatory usefulness; more

specifically, the local area is the framework within which a

great deal of behavior occurs. Timms shows that "three

major sources of material are available for an analysis of

the relationship between residence and behavior: studies of

the association between propinquity and friendship, studies

concerned with explicating the socio-cultural factors

involved in deviant behavior, and studies concerned with the

relationship between area of residence and educational

experience" (Timms, 1971: 9). Some of the research

reviewed shows that "the frequency of.marriage decreases as

the distance between the two parties increases" (Timms,

1971: 13), the closer people are to each other, the more

friendship contacts they have (Timms, 1971: 10-12), "where

an adolescent lives will have a major effect on the chances

of his becoming delinquent" (Timms, 1971: 17), and that

most early personality development takes place in local

areas (Timms, 1971: 31-34). Robson also talks about the

. importance of the effects of the milieu on urban
social structure. .. No matter what the area, the
attitudes of individual families were more similar to
those prevailing around them than to those of their
"objective" social class. The area of residence is
therefore either a clue to or a determinant of these
attitudes (Robson, 1969: 244).

Timms sums up his review very neatly:

The consequences for human behaviour of residence in one
neighborhood rather than another are mediated by the net-
work of social relationships which connect the individual
with his family, with peer-groups, with voluntary
associations, and with a plethora of other groups. The
neighbourhood is important because so many of these
relationships depend on face-to-face contact and this
form of interaction is particularly sensitive to spatial
distance (Timms, 1971: 34).

It is the contention of this study that areal

analysis, through the use of the natural area, has an impor-

tant organizing and analytical function. It will play an

essential role in the present research.

Social Area Analysis

Criticisms of the "classical" school of urban

ecology, some of which were reviewed in the previous section

of this chapter, dominated urban sociology in the United

States during the pre-World War II and World War II period.

There were few new developments in the study of urban struc-

ture during this time. It was an era of consolidation,

refining what was known and filling in gaps in empirical


A major breakthrough in the study of urban structure

came in 1949, when Eshref Shevky and Marilyn Williams pub-

lished The Social Areas of Los Angeles: Analysis and

Typology (1949). Although not without criticism, this study

and a later one by Eshref Shevky and Wendell Bell, Social

Area Analysis: Theory, Illustrative Application and Compu-

tational Procedures (1955), which elaborated upon the theory

and methodology involved in social area analysis, stimulated

a great deal of research on the social structure of the city.

The dimensions and breadth of this breakthrough are still

not known in the early 1970s. New studies in social area

analysis (now often referred to as factoriall ecologies")

are being published regularly.

The major difference between "classical" ecologists

and social area analysts is that the former looked at the

way social organization was spatially evidenced in the city

while the latter examined the way that areal units were

situated in social space. As Shevky and Bell describe

social area analysis,

The urban typology of The Social Areas of Los Angeles
(1949) is a classificatory schema designed to categorize
census tract populations in terms of three basic fac-
tors--social rank, ubranization, and segregation. Each
census tract population was given three scores, one for
each of the indexes of the factors; and then the tract
populations with similar configurations of scores on the
three indexes were grouped together into larger units
called social areas (Shevky and Bell, 1961: 227).

Briefly, Shevky and Bell started by describing basic

aspects of modern society and the organizational trends that

are associated with these aspects. They then connected

organizational trends to structural changes in modern society,

which they "redefined as structural reflections of change to

serve as descriptive and analytic concepts for the study of

modern social structure" (Shevky and Bell, 1961: 227).

These structural reflections of change, used as factors, are

social rank (sometimes termed socioeconomic status), urban-

ization (sometimes termed family status), and segregation

(sometimes termed ethnic status). Census statistics were

then used to construct indexes for each of these factors

(Shevky and Bell, 1961: 227-229).

The authors claimed a number of uses for social

area analysis. Though early applications of the procedure

dealt with the census tract as the unit of analysis, it was

felt that whole cities could become the unit of analysis,

enhancing our knowledge of regional and even national

similarities and differences among cities. Being able to

define specific subareas of the city should aid the urban

planner and the social scientist. By use of the typology,

sociologists and others should be able to undertake compara-

tive studies of cities at one point in time, or test the

conditions of change at several points in time (Shevky and

Bell, 1961: 232-234). Finally, "in addition to its use as

a frame for the manipulation of available statistics such as

crime rates, suicide rates, and others, the typology can be

used as a frame for the design and execution of field

studies" (Shevky and Bell, 1961: 234).

This latter contention was elaborated upon by Bell

(1961) in a subsequent study. In examining social participa-

tion by type of neighborhood in San Francisco, he found that

by specifying social areas or neighborhoods, he could

generally account for differences in social isolation. Thus

"the Shevky method of analysis of census tract data provides

a frame within which detailed investigations of the social

relations in sub-communities within that city can be

designed and executed" (Bell, 1961: 251). Specifically,

Bell stated that "the typology can be used as a device for

the selection of neighborhoods for intensive study, . .

provides an integrative frame for urban sub-area field

studies through conceptual articulation and integration with

a large mass of ordered data . [and] is adapted to the

analysis of the combined or independent effect of personal

and unit characteristics on dependent variables" (Bell,

1961: 251-252).

Social area analysis has been strongly criticized

by Amos Hawley and Otis Dudley Duncan (1957). Their

criticism centers around what they feel is the lack of an

adequate theoretical base for characterizing social differ-

entiation. They argue that Shevky and Bell do not answer

the question of why residential areas within cities should

differ from one another, and argue that the Shevky and Bell

"efforts at 'construct formation' . look suspiciously

like an ex post facto rationalization for their choice of

indexes . ." (Hawleyand Duncan, 1957: 339). In addition,

Duncan (1955) questions the empirical validity of the indexes

of social rank, urbanization, and segregation. Interest-

ingly, other scholars do not seem to have joined in Hawley

and Duncan's criticism, or to have advanced criticism of

their own. Researchers from other disciplines seem to have

been even more favorably inclined toward social area analysis

than sociologists (Tiebout, 1958; Timms, 1965).

Many researchers used social area analysis as

described by Shevky and Bell to study the city. Anderson

and Egeland (1961) studied Indianapolis, Indiana, Syracuse,

New York, and Akron and Dayton, Ohio, to determine the

spatial aspects of social area analysis. They discovered

that economic status is generally sectorially distributed

while family status is distributed concentrically (Anderson

and Egeland, 1961: 392-398). McElrath, in a study of Rome,

found that economic status and family status were distributed

both concentrically and sectorially, with large families of


low economic status occupying the outer edges of the metrop-

olis (McElrath, 1962). Several studies examined the gen-

erality of the Shevky indexes, to see if they were valid and

if they could be used with success in cities other than Los

Angeles and San Francisco. Van Arsdol, Camilleri, and

Schmid, in a study of ten large American cities, discovered

that "at least three factors were necessary to account for

census tract variation in each of the ten cities studied .

the Shevky indexes appear to have high generality for the

cities of this study" (Van Arsdol, Camilleri, and Schmid,

1961: 239). Anderson and Bean (1961) replicated the Van

Arsdol, Camilleri, and Schmid factor analysis of the var-

iables of the Shevky-Bell social areas in Toledo, Ohio, and

showed that four rather than three major dimensions may be

extracted. Specifically, while it was found that the social

rank factor loaded highly on occupation and education, and

the segregation factor loaded heavily on Negroes, double-

occupancy, and crowding, the original urbanization-family

status factor should be broken down into two factors.

Urbanization (or housing characteristics) loads most heavily

on owner-occupancy and multifamily dwelling units, and family

characteristics loads most heavily on the fertility ratio,

females in the labor force, and double occupancy (Anderson

and Bean, 1961: 119-124).

The real importance of the Van Arsdol, Camilleri,

and Schmid study and the Anderson and Bean study lies in

their application of the techniques of factor analysis to

the seven variables used in social area analysis by Shevky

and Bell and other census variables. As described by


The principal concern of factor analysis is the resolu-
tion of a set of variables linearly in terms of (usually)
a small number of categories or "factors." This reso-
lution can be accomplished by the analysis of the corre-
lations among the variables. A satisfactory solution
will yield factors which convey all the essential
information of the original set of variables. Thus, the
chief aim is to obtain scientific parsimony or economy
of description (Harman, quoted in Timms, 1971: 47-48).

These studies of factor analysis led to a number of additional

researches, which became known as factoriall ecologies."

Factorial ecology is "the application of factor analysis to

data describing the residential differentiation of the

population" (Timms, 1971: 54).

Probably the best review of the findings of factorial

ecologies to date is Philip Rees' chapter in Berry's City

Classification Handbook: Methods and Applications (Rees,

1972). Here some thirty-five factorial ecologies were sum-

marized and compared, and the three factors used in social

area analysis (social rank, urbanization, and segregation)

were generally found to be basic, although several other

factors, such as residential mobility, the degree of recent

immigration, and urban growth, were found in a number of

studies (Rees, 1972: 286-287). Timms, who also reviewed a

number of factorial ecologies, emerged with essentially the

same conclusion.

. in the various studies of factorial ecology the
most striking feature . is the general consistency
of the findings. The manifold variation of sub-area

populations within the great majority of the cities so
far analysed appears to be reflection of no more than
three or four underlying dimensions of differentiation.
A factor interpreted as socio-economic status or social
rank appears to be effectively universal.; ~set of
Factors which index differences in the family types
characteristic of the population is also generally appar-
ent. Factors relating to the ethnic composition of the
population and to its mobility characteristics occur
rather less frequently, but 1 tiTl sufTiciently often to
warrant their inclusion as general differentiating
dimensions. Although specific factors relating to the
peculiar characteristics of the populations concerned
may occur in any city, the basic pattern is organized
around a small number of dimensions (Timms, 1971: 55).

Thus it seems clear that three or four basic factors differ-

entiate among areas of the city--at least in Western

industrialized cities.2

Unfortunately, little is known about the factorial

ecology of cities in relatively unindustrialized countries.

The only examples available are those of Calcutta (Berry and

Rees, 1969) and Cairo (Abu-Lughod, 1969). There are no

known published studies of the factorial ecology of a Latin

American city, though there is apparently a Brazilian study

in preparation (Rees, 1972: 283).

In the study of the factorial ecology of Calcutta,

it was found that one of the factors, a land use and familism

gradient, "is the direct equivalent of the Shevky-Bell urban-

ization (family status) dimension" (Berry and Rees, 1969:

489). Nine other factors were also discovered (two tradi-

tional commercial communities, substantial residential areas,

2With the exceptions of Cairo, Egypt, and Calcutta,
India, the factorial ecologies examined by Rees and Timms
were of Western industrial cities.

literacy, Muslim concentrations, and four special land-use

configurations) (Berry and Rees, 1969: 470-481). These

other factors led to the conclusion that "socioeconomic

status and minority group membership are linked," making

ethnicity more important than socioeconomic status "in

defining the social dimensions within which choices are made"

(Berry and Rees, 1969: 490).

the findings . reveal that alongside . rich
ethnic variability . Calcutta is also characterized
by a broadly concentric pattern of familism, an axial
arrangement of areas according to degree of literacy,
and both substantial and increasing geographic special-
ization of areas in business and residential land uses,
gradually replacing the former mixture of businesses and
residences that were separated, rather, into occupational
quarters. This mixture of preindustrial and industrial
ecologies thus lends support to the idea that the city
is in some transitional developmental stage (Berry and
Rees, 1969: 469).

Abu-Lughod found three main factors in her factorial

ecology of Cairo--style of life, male dominance, and social

disorganization (Abu-Lughod, 1969: 205-207). These were

not the three basic factors of social rank, urbanization,

and segregation postulated by Shevky and Bell. However,

Abu-Lughod's style of life factor did include both social

rank and urbanization variables. This factor, "while

clearly representing socio-economic status, also includes

many variables indicative of family life, suggesting that it

is to be interpreted as a 'style of life' vector in which

class and family patterns are inextricably linked" (Abu-

Lughod, 1969: 205). This link between class and family

characteristics she attributed to the "scale" of the society,

whereby "the pattern of social (and physical) differentia-

tion in preindustrial societies (cities) would be relatively

simple and perhaps virtually unidimensional; as the scale of

society increased, there would be increased complexity of

differentiation and a separation of the axes or dimensions

of differentiation"3 (Abu-Lughod, 1969: 199).

Rees, after reviewing the studies of Cairo and

Calcutta, concluded that "it was abundantly clear even from

two studies that the factorial ecology of non-Western cities

was very different from that of Western cities but capable

nevertheless of being examined within the same framework"

(Rees, 1972: 296). It should be stressed, however, that

the studies of Cairo and Calcutta both accounted for a sub-

stantial proportion of urban social differentiation on the

basis of family status and socioeconomic status. In Calcutta,

family status was a specific factor, while socioeconomic

status was tied to ethnicity. In Cairo, family status and

socioeconomic status were combined in a style-of-life fac-

tor. Thus it seems that socioeconomic status and family

status are major determinants of urban social structure in

both Western and non-Western societies.

One other general conclusion can be drawn from a

review of studies of social area analysis. It appears that

3This theory of scale, in hazy form, Abu-Lughod
attributes to Eshref Shevky and Wendell Bell, Social Area
Analysis: Theory, Illustrative Application and Computa-
tional Procedures (1955).

socioeconomic status varies sectorially, family status

varies concentrically, and ethnic status shows a tendency to

cluster in particular parts of the city. Thus it may be

said that the "classical" models of urban ecology (Burgess'

concentric zone theory, Hoyt's sector theory, and Firey's

"sentiment and symbolism" approach) were each capturing a

basic dimension of urban social differentiation.4

The Ecology of the Latin American City

Neither a factorial ecology nor a social area

analysis (sensu stricto5 of a Latin American city has yet

been published. What we know about the internal structure

and social differentiation of the city in Latin America

comes from a few descriptive studies based on the "classical"

theories of urban ecology. However, Schnore points out that

most of these descriptive studies were not originally under-

taken to study the ecology of the city, but came about as a

"byproduct" of other studies (Schnore, 1965). From the

historical standpoint this paucity of research is surprising,

4This conclusion has been tentatively reached by
Berry and Rees (1969: 459) and Anderson and Egeland (1961:

5Rees defines social area analysis (sensu strict)
as "the type of analysis proposed by Shevky and outlined in
Shevky and Bell (1955). Some seven census variables are
used to construct three indices: social rank (economic
status), urbanization (family status), and segregation
(ethnic status). The terms in parentheses are Bell's, the
preceding terms Shevky's" (Rees, 1972: 324).

since Latin America has such a long and rich urban tradition.

From the methodological standpoint it is not so surprising,

since data on subareas of the city in Latin America are

exceedingly difficult to obtain.

Though neither the Aztec nor the Inca was an urban

civilization, both had cities of some size., This city tra-

dition, coupled with the Spanish proclivity to found cities,

led to an emphasis on the city in colonial Spanish America.

This emphasis was certainly not urbanization, but did lead

to a city-directed and controlled society, and indeed a

city-oriented society. As Gakenheimer points out, this

orientation affected both Spaniards and Indians.

There is evidence that arriving Spaniards expected to be,
and insisted upon being, city dwellers. . a person
attracted to America by the promise of great opportunity
was not apt to isolate himself, by becoming a country
dweller ..
This attitude of the Spanish population was complemented
by that of the Indians, for a special aspect of Inca
culture was its amenability to urban living. . the
complex social and economic organization which character-
ized the Inca Empire and the rigid social controls
exerted on the population made adjustments to urban life
fairly easy for the Indians (Gakenheimer, 1967: 35-36).

Jorge E. Hardoy provides a succinct outline of the

stages involved in urbanization in Latin America. The first

is "the precolonial urban culture of the Aztecs and Incas,"

which provided the basis for the second stage, "the deter-

mination by the Spanish of the territorial pattern of founda-

tion, on the basis of the regional and urban infrastructure

of the indigenous culture and the distribution of the

Indian population" (Beyer, 1967: 57-58). The third stage

was virtually completed by 1580, when "the Spanish and

Portuguese [had] established the essential settlement pat-

tern of Latin America" (Beyer, 1967: 58). Next was "a

period of consolidating colonial institutions and establish-

ing the structure of colonial society," which lasted nearly

two hundred years, until the fifth stage of great European

immigration, which reached Latin America about 1880 (Beyer,

1967: 60-61). In the sixth and last stage, which we are

living in, rural groups poured from the countryside into the

city (Beyer, 1967: 62).

Though it is not the intention to discuss the urban-

ization process in Latin America here, it has been useful to

point out Hardoy's parameters of urbanization, because it is

these parameters that have had great effect on the ultimate

structure of Latin American cities. Specifically, the early

laying out and planning of colonial cities, the coming of

the early Spaniards (and thus the landholders) to the city,

the coming of the indigenous people to the city, and the

building of the social structure and organization on the

basis of the city all had lasting effects upon the internal

structure and the residential differentiation of Latin

American cities.

The earliest study of the internal structure of a

Latin American city was Hansen's description of Merida (1934).

Writing in the 1930s, his most important finding was that

Merida, capital of the Yucatan, was beginning to change from

its traditional pattern of highest status groups in the

center and lowest on the periphery of the city, to a North

American pattern, where status increased as one went out-

ward from the center toward the periphery. Yet the tradi-

tional pattern was still very dominant.

In general, status declines with distance from the
center. As the periphery of the city is approached the
ratio of thatched houses becomes higher, rents are
lower, and individuals wearing the traditional costume
of the lower class are seen more frequently (Hansen,
1941: 31).

This traditional pattern in Latin America is closely

associated with the "plaza plan" of colonial Spanish towns.

In these towns the social and geographic center of the city

was an open square, which generally was surrounded by a

cathedral, a city hall, and possibly another governmental

building or two. Adjacent to these was the market and a few

commercial enterprises, and the homes of the more important

personages. As one went further outward from the plaza,

social status declined. This structural organization was

composed of blocks which were usually laid out in a grid


The next studies were those undertaken by Hayner in

Mexico City and Oaxaca. He chose these two cities to

illustrate contrasts between the "old" colonial Mexico and

the "new" modern Mexico. In Oaxaca he found that the "old"

patterns still persisted.

In the cities of Mexico . the better homes were in
the past characteristically located near the central
plaza, and the least desirable areas were on the per-
iphery. Oaxaca still exhibits this plaza-centered
structure (Hayner, 1944: 91).


In Mexico City Hayner found that the original plaza-centered

structure (which he felt was similar to Hansen's description

of Merida) was breaking down, with many of the better homes

moving toward the periphery. This movement he attributed to

increasing industrialization and commercialization; he felt

it was leading in the direction of the typical North

American city structure, where the traditional pattern of

status declining from the center of the city was reversed.

"One wonders whether under the influence of increasing popu-

lation and modern means of communication and transportation,

all other large Latin-American cities are assuming an

ecological pattern similar to that of cities in the United

States" (Hayner, 1945: 295-304). In a related study

supporting the findings for Mexico City, Hayner found that

crime generally decreased as one went outward from the

center of the city. -At the same time, the four worst slums,

all of which were new, were on the periphery (Hayner, 1946:

428-438). Thus while the upper class has left the center of

Mexico City for the periphery, many elements of the tradi-

tional ecological structure persist in the face of


Though ecological studies generally deal with fairly

large cities, there is evidence both pro and con that the

traditional pattern may be found in smaller communities as

well. In San Luis Jilotopeque (Guatemala) Gillin found that

the ladinos, and thus the better residences, clustered

around the plaza (Gillin, 1945: 1-14). In Pichataro (an

Indian village in Mexico) Stanislawski found the opposite.

The anatomy of the town indicates its difference from
Hispanic settlements. There is far less concentration
of activities. . There is little difference in
quality between a house on or near the plaza and a house'
at the outskirts. In fact, the two chief officials of
town at the time that this inquiry was made lived at one
extreme corner of the village. They both agreed that
one place was as good as another for one's home
(Stanislawski, 1961: 350-351).

This provides some evidence for the supposition that a dif-

ferentiated ecological structure does not exist unless there

is a heterogeneous population (as is generally true in a

city). In San Luis Jilotopeque there was class heterogeneity;

in Pichataro there was homogeneity.

The Hawthorns, who lived in Sucre, Bolivia, in 1941-

1942, investigated the internal structure of that city in

connection with a study of social stratification. They

found that high-status residences were clustered near the

center of the city, and low-status residences were on the


Sucre's social classification of itself recognizes very
clearly this distribution of residences and holds them
to be symbols of social ranking. Whoever occupies a
permanent town residence well away from the plaza--as
far away as four blocks--is breaking a prime social rule
for membership in the top social ranks and needs to be
certain of his secure place. In general, suburbio
retains the meaning of the lower class area; the middle
and upper class development of the suburbs has not pro-
ceeded as far as in the majority of Latin American
cities (Hawthorn and Hawthorn, 1948a: 23).

Leonard, studying La Paz, Bolivia, emerged with

conclusions strikingly similar to those of the Hawthorns.


He too found the more desirable residential areas surrounded

the plaza, though a few upper-status families had moved to

the periphery. Most of the Indian population was "along a

fringe of settlement just outside the city limits where they

build their own, inexpensive, mud or adobe huts .. ."

(Leonard, 1948: 454).

Caplow's analysis of Guatemala City is one of the

most interesting of Latin American studies, because he pre-

sents the reader with rich historical data to show how the

ecological processes worked to bring about the city structure

(Caplow, 1949). Visiting Guatemala City in 1948, Caplow

found old maps and descriptions of the city which enabled

him to trace its evolution in some detail. Thus he was able

to show that the tradition of urban planning and the control

of growth were supported by

the legal and later customary restrictions on the
residence of the indigenous population. Their location
on the periphery of the city or even in communities
apart from the city was gradually transformed from a
strategic administrative policy to a time-honored
custom. Similarly, the attachment of the upper class
population to the center of the community arose from the
planned location of the ruling group in colonial times
. (Caplow, 1949: 129).

Yet, for all the varied sources which he used, Caplow

emerged with essentially the same conclusions as previous

investigators of Latin American ecology. In Guatemala City

"the poorest and the least prosperous segments of the popu-

lation are located peripherally," and "there is only one

area of markedly poor housing within two kilometres of the

commercial center" (Caplow, 1949: 125). This physical

structure is reflected in the social organization of the

city, as public health problem areas "form almost a contin-

uous border around the city," and "the percentage of non-

attendance among children of school age rises consistently

as one moves out toward the urban periphery" (Caplow, 1949:


The Dotsons' study of Guadalajara (1954) is of

particular relevance because their methodology is similar to

that to be used in this research. Housing in all residential

areas of the city was rated by direct observation. "Out of

this experience came the conviction that five types of

housing, sufficiently distinct to be differentiated quickly

by external appearance, exist in this city" (Dotson and

Dotson, 1954: 369). Class I consisted of modern upper-

income houses, class II were colonial upper-income houses,

class III were colonial and small modern middle-income

houses, class IV were lower-middle and working-class houses,

and class V were the "dwellings of the very poor" (Dotson

and Dotson, 1954: 369). An index of residential telephones

was also used, to support the housing classification. Both

methods uncovered approximately the same patterns of

residential housing areas, which the authors felt had three

salient features:

(1) The housing near the commercial center is good,
although most of it is certainly not the best in the
(2) The best housing forms a sector running westward
from the center to the edge of the city.

(3) Except for this first-class sector, the city is
completely surrounded by a fringe--of greatly varying
depth, to be sure--of housing of the poorest quality
(Dotson and Dotson, 1954: 370).

Thus the authors concluded that "modern Guadalajara conforms

neither to the traditional Spanish American nor to the North

American ecological pattern" (Dotson and Dotson, 1954: 372).

In his review of most of the aforementioned studies,

Schnore pointed out that they contained strikingly similar


(1) All of the authors comment on the existence of the
"traditional" or "colonial" pattern, in which higher-
status groups tend to be found near the center.
(2) In every case, however, this pattern is reported to
be in one or another stage of "breakdown."
(3) There is an apparent tendency for all of the cities
--in Bolivia, Mexico, and Guatemala--to shift in the
general direction of "the North American pattern"
(Schnore, 1965: 358).

Their similarities notwithstanding, Schnore felt these

studies of cities in Latin America neither confirmed nor

denied the Burgess hypothesis, "simply because the necessary

controls are lacking and because so many relevant items of

information are missing" (Schnore, 1965: 376).

Though his study contains many useful ideas, and an

excellent review of the methodological and theoretical

problems involved in ecological studies, it appears that

Schnore has failed to take account of a surprisingly similar

finding of the studies. This finding is the uniform way in

which upper-class residential areas move to the periphery;

they do not seem to move directly from the center to the

periphery, but rather move outward gradually from the center

in a particular area, or sector, of the city. As a result,

the periphery of these cities is not becoming upper class.

Only one segment of the periphery may be tending toward

upper-class residence. Witness the findings of some of the

various studies. In M6rida, Hansen found the "invasion of

Santa Ana by upper-class persons from the center" (Hansen,

1941: 31). (Santa Ana is a barrio in the northern part of

M6rida.) In Sucre, the Hawthorns found that "An estimated

ten percent of exceptions to the rule that upper and middle-

class houses stand near the plaza include a group of houses,

newer than most buildings in the city, which stand separately

in an area well away from the center, near a park" (Hawthorn

and Hawthorn, 1948a: 22-23). In La Paz, Leonard found that

"with the increase in number of privately owned automobiles

and better public transportation, the white, and upper

class, families are moving on down the valley, where they

can secure more space as well as escape" (Leonard, 1948:

454). In Guatemala City, Caplow reports that "the develop-

ment of the last half-century has followed the plan of an

expanded center trailing suburbs in one direction . ."

(Caplow, 1949: 124). As reported previously, in Guadalajara

the Dotsons found "the best housing forms a sector running

westward from the center to the edge of the city" (Dotson

and Dotson, 1954: 370).

Another line of evidence is available to show that a

shift toward the North American pattern of higher status

residences on the periphery may be misleading. This is a

phenomenon well known to all students of the city in Latin

America; it is the pervasiveness of the squatter settlement.

In Brazil it is called favela; in Argentina, banda de
miseria; in Peru, barriada. In Colombia it is tugurio.
But whatever the name, its characteristics are the same:
It is the rudest kind of slum, clustering like a dirty
beehive around the edges of any principal city in Latin
America (Schulman, 1966: 30).

Clearly, peripheral slums do not conform to the North

American concentric zone pattern. Just as clearly, there

are upper-status residential areas moving to the periphery.

This does not mean, however, as some of the studies men-

tioned have implied, that these upper-status areas will

eventually replace the slums on the periphery. The current

rapid growth of these slum areas indicates that they are

likely to be with us for a long time, and will not be

readily displaced. As a result, a theory of residential

differentiation that gives only a part of the periphery to

upper-status residences seems to be called for.

Though it does not provide such a theory, one recent

study does agree with this interpretation, and calls for a

modification of existing theory: ". . it is suggested

that a refinement of the model (of inverse-concentric

circles and its reverse) is called for, that previous studies

bear re-examination, and that future studies ought to be

conceived in terms of the modification reported here"

(Pefialosa, 1967: 229). This study of three small cities

in the Mexican state of Guanajuato showed that

families of higher socioeconomic status are found
primarily along arterials and importantly but to a some-
what lesser extent, in the vicinity of the plaza. The
more industrialized the city, the more dispersed are the
residences of the rich and comfortable from the central
plaza (Pefalosa, 1967: 226).

As in other Latin American studies, the better residences

move to the periphery in specific areas. To tentatively

explain this movement, Penalosa emphasized the importance of

accessibility to the center of the city, and the key function

played by major arterial streets in providing this access-


It seems quite plausible that the concept of arterial

accessibility may play an important role in the patterning

of residences in Latin American cities. In the next chapter

we shall be looking at this and other factors as possible

determinants of the shape of residential distribution in a

Latin American city.

Chapter III


Definition of the Problem

It is from what is here perceived as the complemen-

tary nature of trends in the three areas reviewed in the

last chapter (the "classical" school of urban ecology,

social area analysis, and the ecology of the city in Latin

America) that the methodology for this study is derived.

"Classical" ecology tells us that the dynamic processes of

concentration, centralization, segregation, invasion, and

succession gave us well-defined areas of the city, often

termed "natural areas." These "natural areas" are the unit

of analysis of "classical" ecologists, and have an important

organizing and analytical function for any study of city

structure; these "natural areas" look at the way social

organization is spatially evidenced in the city.

From social area analysis, we find that "natural

areas" are distributed through the city in certain patterns

because of the way in which population characteristics are

distributed. Specifically, the social space in which these

areal units ("natural areas") are distributed seems based

upon the dimensions of socioeconomic status, family status,

and ethnic status; these dimensions seem to be the major

determinants of urban social structure.

While "classical" ecologists see "natural areas" as

the means by which to investigate city organization, social

area analysts see the dimensions of socioeconomic status,

family status, and ethnic status as the means by which to

investigate city organization. These two approaches study

the city from different directions. One starts with the

areas, and groups the areas to show patterns of organization.

The other starts from the opposite side, and examines dimen-

sions of organization, to be able to group areas. If this

reasoning is correct, both approaches should add to our

understanding of the structure of the city.

The implication of this reasoning for the study of

Latin American cities is that one should be able to find the

same general patterns of city structure that have been found

by the "classical" approach by using a social area analysis

approach. That is, while previous students of the structure

of Latin American cities have used natural areas to show

patterns of organization, a study examining dimensions of

organization ought to emerge with comparable results. Carry-

ing this logic one step further, it also seems that one

could use aspects of both of these approaches, and expect

results comparable to previous studies. In other words,

areal analysis and social organization both have important

organizing and analytical functions, and it is important to

understand the dynamic relationship between these two axes

of urban ecology. This is what is planned for this study,

in the context of a description of Call, Colombia.

The research reported here is an ecological examina-

tion of the residential areas of Call, Colombia. This

research is based upon the author's field work in Cali, and

is reported through the use of elements of both "classical"

ecology and social area analysis, in the widest sense of the


Data are assembled on the basis of the "barrio unit,"

which is somewhat analogous to the census tract in the United

States. The central thrust of the research is the mapping of

an indicator of socioeconomic status on a barrio basis, and

two indicators of family status on a barrio basis. Ethnic

status is not examined in this study, because data are not

available. Housing is employed as an indicator of socio-

economic status. Number of family members and family units

per housing unit are employed as indicators of family status.

Supporting the central thrust of the research are

related data. Types of land use (residential, commercial,

industrial, public-institutional) are mapped for the city of

Cali. Population density data are also presented. Finally,

the relationship of housing areas to major arterial streets

in the city is examined.

Collection of the Data

Collection of the data was accomplished during the

author's residence in Cali, from September, 1967, to June,

1968. The data come basically from two sources. Population'

and family data by barrio come from excellent compilations

by the statistical section of the Cali Municipal Planning

Office (Oficina de Planeaci6n Municipal, Secci6n Estadistica).

These data are based upon the 1964 Colombian census. Hous-

ing and land use data come from a field survey by the author

of the one hundred and fifty-seven barrios of Cali. In this

survey, information on terrain, natural features and divi-

sions, land use, functions focused in the barrio, historical

information, and public amenities (such as streets, side-

walks, sewers, electricity, and water) were amassed.

Detailed information on housing was also collected, includ-

ing such things as size and type of house, maintenance,

building material, presence of maids, yard decoration, type

of flooring, and observable family belongings such as cars

and television antennas. The field schedule for the Cali

ecological study follows.

Field Schedule


Terrain: Level Sloping Hilly_ On Steep

Slope On Ridge

Natural Divisions: (describe) (such as rivers, major high-

ways, etc.)

Barrio Bordered by: (describe) (other barrios; farm land;

airport; etc.)

Historical Background of Barrio; Origin; Has it been

Planned; Is it a Legal or an Invasion Barrio

Land Use: Commercial: 50-100% 10-50%
2-10% Very Slight

Industrial: 50-100% 10-50%

2-10% Very Slight

Residential: 75-100% 50-75%

10-50% 2-10%

Slight _

Functions Focused in Barrio: (describe) (bus "terminals,"

and number of bus lines serving the barrio; university;

sports area; markets; parks; a community building, or a

meeting place for the junta communal; etc.)

Sanitary Facilities: Water: Private, in Homes
Public Don't Know

Sanitary Sewers: Yes No

Open Ditches for Sewage Observable:

Yes No

Privies Observable: Yes

Health Centers: Private Public None

Don't Know

Drugstores: Observed No Observed

Electricity: Observed Not Observed

Telephones in Barrio: Yes No Don't

Public Residential


Sidewalks: 95-100% 50-95% 10-50% 1-10%


Streets: Paved: Good Fair Poor

Gravel: Good Fair Poor

Dirt: Good Fair Poor

Residence: (where possible, in percentages)

House Type: Modern Colonial "Stucco"

"Poor" Temporary

Houses Not Completed

House Sizes: Very Large Large Medium

Small Very Small

Maintenance: Excellent Good Fair Poor


Building Material: Ornamental Stone or Brick Pebbles

in Stucco Stucco Bamboo

Cardboard Wood Other

Yard Decoration: Shrubbery, Flowers, Lawn Extensive

Some A Very Small Bit of

Decoration None

Maids Observable: Yes No

Front Room Used For Sleeping: Yes No

Floors: Hardwoods Tile Cement Gravel


Observable Family Belongings: TV Antennas

Cars Other

Additional Comments

In addition to this systematic data collection, two

other sources of information were used. One of these

sources was hundreds of highly informal chats with various

barrio residents. By supplementing the statistical data

concerning housing characteristics, they were helpful in

determining the classification of the socioeconomic status

of each barrio.

The other source of information was personal contacts

of the author with residents of Cali. Particularly useful

were acquaintances derived from the exceptionally considerate

and congenial middle-class Colombian family with whom he

lived. This family made it possible for the author to visit,

often repeatedly, the homes of their friends and relatives

throughout the city. This informal visiting, often to the

poorer parts of the city, coupled with the folk anecdotes

which were constantly related, led to a much greater under-

standing of the city than a field survey, by itself, could

possibly have afforded.

Nature of the Data

The basic unit of analysis involved in the study of

Call, Colombia, is the barrio. Although the term barrio is

often used in Latin America to mean "neighborhood," it is

more properly viewed as a geographic administrative unit of

the city. As a geographic unit, the barrio has generally

been given a name for either historical or administrative

purposes. The older barrios of Call, a few of which go back

nearly to the founding of the city in 1536, were often named

after the churches which were located there. Examples of

this are San Pedro, El Calvario, San Pascual, and San Bosco.

Some of the newer barrios were named after the housing

developments that were built in them, such as Unidad

Venezolana and Prados del Norte-La Merced (popularly known

as Vipasa). Other barrio names reflect the informal terms

used by the residents of the barrio, such as Popular, Uni6n

Vivienda Popular, and Obrero, or were named after various

personages, such as Jorge Isaacs, Marco Fidel Suarez, Sim6n

Bolivar, Alfonso L6pez, and Lleras Camargo. Obviously,

there is great variety in the sources of names for the


People were almost universally aware of the barrio

in which they lived. This was especially true of the poorer

classes; for them, the barrio served as an extended neigh-

borhood. This is important for this study, because it

indicates that the barrio is more than an administrative-

statistical construct and plays a role in the social organ-

ization of the city.

This role can be seen at least partly from the

social division of the barrios of the city into barrios

populares and barrios residenciales. The distinction between

the two is basically economic. Popular barrios are poor,

and residential barrios are fairly well-off, but there are

exceptions, and it is not clear to which group some barrios

belong. A popular barrio has an Acci6n Comunal, which is a

junta elected by the people of the barrio to present the

needs of the barrio (such as street paving, water, etc.) to

the City Planning Office. The juntas also undertake various

projects in the barrios, such as landscaping an open plaza,

or helping barrio residents hit by a catastrophe. Over one

hundred barrios in Cali have such juntas.

It might still be objected that using the barrio as

the basic unit is "arbitrary," and that the difference

between one barrio and another is simply an artifact of

drawing random lines. However, from a practical standpoint,

this is all we have; this is the smallest breakdown of data

that is available. From a theoretical standpoint, the

objection seems probably less valid than similar objections

that have been raised about the use of the census tract in

the United States. In the United States, most census tracts

were drawn several decades ago. With the growth of the

city, and the movement of the population, these tracts have

in many cases come to be less homogeneous than they were

when they were first drawn. In Cali, much of the growth

of the city has been more recent; it grew from a population

of 284,186 in 1951 to a population of 637,929 in 1964. Thus

many of the barrios in the city are new. The boundary lines

of these new barrios almost always were drawn on the basis

of homogeneous areas, according to conversations with staff

members of the Cali Municipal Planning Office; observation

confirmed this homogeneity. Though there were some excep-

tions (mainly in the commercial center of the city), it

seemed to this observer that the older barrios in the city

also exhibited striking internal residential homogeneity.

At the time of the field work there were one

hundred and fifty-seven barrios in the city for which data

were collected, but not all of them are residential. Some

are composed entirely of institutions, such as the main

public hospital and the air force base. Others have such a

small population that their inclusion would be meaningless.

For example, barrio Paso-Ancho had a 1964 population of one!

The population range among the barrios is unfortunately

large, ranging from less than one hundred to more than

twenty-eight thousand for barrio Alfonso L6pez.

For most of the purposes of this study, two types

of barrios included in the field survey and in the statis-

tical compilation of data by the Municipal Planning Office

will be eliminated.1 The first type consists of specialized,

'For a very few of the eliminated barrios included
in the statistical compilation of data by the Cali Municipal
Planning Office, data were incomplete.

generally nonresidential barrios. These include the water

reservoir, a municipal park, railroad repair yards, an air

force base, the water aqueduct and plant, the main prison, a

psychiatric hospital, army barracks and base, a cemetery, a

country club, a sugar mill and fields, the university

(Universidad del Valle) and the university hospital, a

women's prison, and a race track (horse races). There are

twelve such specialized barrios. Although a number of other

barrios were heavily commercial or industrial, in every case

they contained a sizable residential population as well, and

therefore will be included in the study of residential


The second type of eliminated barrio consists of

"rural-oriented" areas that have recently been included in

the statistics for the city of Cali. There are fourteen of

these barrios. None has a population in excess of eight

hundred, and all but two have a population of less than

three hundred. These barrios were eliminated because it was

felt they were not representative of urban social structure,

but of rural social structure; their inclusion could have

seriously biased findings oriented to urban residential

differentiation. In the field work, it was patently obvious

that these people were not oriented to the city. Virtually

all of them were engaged in agricultural occupations, and

had lived there for a long time. The rapid growth of the

city boundaries, which often extended far beyond the area of

settlement, had simply included much of the rural hinterland.

Many of the people, in fact, denied that they were

connected in any way to the city of Cali.

One well-known author of a number of studies of

urban ecology has pointed out the dangers of including rural

areas in studies of urban structure. In an examination of

theoretical and methodological implications of his compara-

tive studies of Boston and Helsinki, Frank Sweetser

commented that

the evidence is not entirely clear, but it is at least
highly suggestive, and it leads to one practical con-
clusion--that in the delimitation of metropolitan com-
munities for factorial ecological analysis, careful
attention ought to be paid to the outer boundaries
chosen. Boundaries too narrow--geographically constric-
tive city limits, for example--may produce distortion
through an overemphasis on the inner city mode of dif-
ferentiation. Boundaries too wide--extended metropolitan
regions, for example--may introduce unwanted effects of
the rural-urban mode of differentiation (Sweetser, 1969:

This study is not a factorial ecological analysis, but it

appears the principle is the same. Our examination of

indicators of socioeconomic status and family status would

almost certainly be affected by a rural-urban mode of dif-

ferentiation. To include these rural areas would have meant

including a new dimension that would have been difficult, if

not impossible, to control in this study.

With the elimination of the twelve specialized

barrios and the fourteen rural barrios, there remain one

hundred and thirty-one barrios upon which the study of the

residential ecology of Cali will be based. The population

distribution of these remaining barrios is given in Table 1.



Population Number of
Range Barrios

0 999 16
1000 2999 43
3000 4999 29
5000 9999 29
10000 14999 8
15000 19999 4
20000 29999 2
Total 131

As related earlier, the central thrust of the

investigation is to study the effect of socioeconomic status

and family status on the residential differentiation of the

city. Having established the rationale for using the barrio

as the basic unit of analysis, and having delineated the

universe of barrios, we turn now to a consideration of

socioeconomic status and family status, and the indicators

used in measuring these.

The main indicator used to measure socioeconomic

status is housing; the use of one basic indicator for such

an important dimension of urban differentiation requires

both explanation and justification. In their theoretical

elaboration of social area analysis, Shevky and Bell used

nine types of sample statistics to measure the social rank

(socioeconomic status) construct. These were years of

schooling, employment status, class of worker, major

occupation group, value of home, rent by dwelling unit,

plumbing and repair, persons per room, and heating and

refrigeration (Shevky and Bell, 1961: 228). For our study,

systematic education and occupation data by barrio were not

available, and there was no way in which we could system-

atically include these variables in a measure of socio-

economic status. Likewise specific barrio-by-barrio data

for value of home, rent by dwelling unit, plumbing and

repair, persons per room, and heating and refrigeration

could not be obtained. Very early in the study, however, it

became apparent that a barrio-by-barrio field survey of

housing could include most of the important aspects of this

latter group of five sample statistics, and thus allow the

construction of a typology of barrios by socioeconomic


The field survey was oriented to the construction of

this typology. The classification scheme ranged from one to

six, with one being the highest and six being the lowest.

After a survey of each barrio, a number in this socioeconomic

classification was assigned to it. A one meant that the

barrio was well-to-do, being upper class. A two meant the

barrio was well off, though clearly not so much so as the

one barrios; these barrios were comprised mainly of the

middle class. A three referred to a lower-middle-class

barrio, where the people were clearly above the working

class, but not very well off. A four referred to the stable

working-class barrio which was somewhat more secure and


established than the bulk of the working-class barrios. The

poor but usually-employed working class, who lived on the

margins of real poverty, lived in barrios which were classed

five. These were the most prevalent barrios in the city.

The desperately poor, who had to struggle each day just to

survive, lived in barrios classed as six. These were the

slum barrios often referred to as tugurios.

There was surprisingly little difficulty in differ-

entiating among these classifications. Perhaps because of

living in the city for more than five months before the

field survey was undertaken, and thus having acquired great

familiarity with housing types within the city, it was

usually quite clear to which category a barrio belonged,

once the field survey of each barrio had been completed.

This categorization was supported by on-the-spot observations

of electricity, sidewalks, sewage systems, internal plumb-

ing, and the factors included in the field schedule.

The six-fold classification was chosen because it

seemed the clearest to the author, and because it afforded a

check on the reliability of the field-survey data. The Call

Municipal Planning Office had previously classified all the

barrios of Cali according to "RS" status, which ranged from

one to six, with one being the highest and six being the

lowest. "RS" referred to socioeconomic status, and was

composed of such indicators as water, sewage, type of house

construction, paved streets, transportation, education,

health, culture, green zones, and community juntas (Oficina

de Planeaci6n Municipal, "Estratificaci6n Socio-Econ6mica

S. ," n.d.; Oficina de Planeaci6n Municipal, "Distribuci6n

de la Poblaci6n . .," n.d.). These indicators were

assigned point values (0, 5, or 10), and the classifications

were delineated on the basis of point totals. (Unfortunately,

some of these data were missing, which made it impossible to

use these data directly.) When the results of the field

survey were compared with this classification, the similar-

ities were striking. Of the one hundred and thirty-one

barrios to be used in the examination of residential

ecology, only sixteen were classified differently by the two

methods, and in not a single instance was the difference

greater than one.2 Of these sixteen barrios, thirteen were

classified lower and three higher. The reason for this

deviation, generally, was the tendency for a few extremes to

differentially weight the RS rankings of the Call Municipal

Planning Office. In a few cases the difference was a result

of different time periods; the Municipal Planning Office

data were gathered several years prior to the field survey.

In the field survey, it should be noted that the

general housing characteristics used to classify the barrios

according to socioeconomic status were supported by much

informal data on such things as education, occupation, and

2It should be noted that not all of the one hundred
and thirty-one barrios had been classified by the Municipal
Planning Office. Data were unavailable for eight of these

income obtained through informal chats with barrio resi-

dents. This should give additional validity to the six-

fold classification of barrios by socioeconomic status based

on the general criterion of housing.

A question of somewhat greater importance is whether

the use of housing is valid as a measure of socioeconomic

status, or, put another way, whether one can discriminate

among socioeconomic status levels on the basis of external

housing appearances.

Caplow, in his study of the ecology of Guatemala

City, discussed this as an important factor, and did not

feel housing could be used in this way.

While location near the center remained an important
element of status, it is striking that the use of hous-
ing itself as a form of conspicuous display or as a
means of social mobility was inhibited by a number of
characteristics in the Spanish colonial housing pattern.
Both the climate and the culture helped to maintain the
interior privacy of the dwelling which turned a blank
wall or barred windows toward the street. This, added
to the one-story limitation, accounts for the curious
fact that even today it is sometimes impossible to dis-
tinguish between the four-room marginal slum dwelling in
a built-up area and the twenty-room palace which may be
next to it, by their external appearance (Caplow, 1949:

Perhaps Guatemala City is different from the rest of

Latin America, though this seems highly doubtful. Excepting

this possibility, one wonders how a trained observer with

much experience in Latin America could arrive at Caplow's

conclusion. Richard Morse, one of the outstanding experts

on the city in Latin America, and especially the colonial

Latin American city, holds views diametrically opposed to


those of Caplow. In one of his brilliant reviews of recent

research on Latin American urbanization, Morse talks of

Latin America as an area "where conspicuous consumption

motivates the upper class" (Morse, 1969: 498), where "For

many observers urban shanty towns are the most spectacular

visible hallmark of the social composition of a Latin

American city (though the mansions of the rich run them a

close second)" (Morse, 1969: 488). Whiteford, in talking

about the upper class in Queretaro, Mexico, noted that "A

large house was one of the most important symbols of social

position" (Whiteford, 1964: 69-70). In Popayan, Colombia,

Whiteford implied that external appearance also distinguished

lower class homes.

In Popayan, as in Queretaro, .they [the lower classes]
lived in crowded, inadequate, unsanitary rooms scattered
throughout the city, or were concentrated in various
undesirable areas on its peripheries. In the Barrio
Alfonso L6pez Viejo . houses were small, poorly
built, and almost totally without utilities. Most of
them were built of unplastered, unpainted adobe blocks
and, of 240 houses, 116 had only one window, and 65 had
no windows at all; 134 had no running water, 188 had no
toilets, and 191 consisted of three small rooms or less
(Whiteford, as quoted in Smith, 1967: 367).

In the Dotsons' study of Guadalajara, Mexico, which was

commented on previously in this study, they came to the

"conviction that five types of housing, sufficiently dis-

tinct to be differentiated quickly by external appearance,

exist in this city" (Dotson and Dotson, 1954: 369).

Faris, in reviewing the work of urban ecologists in

the United States, noted that

S. a strong connection exists between urban
ecological research and the study of socio-economic
differentiation which has been in so great vogue in
recent years. The schematic zones of the city do
describe variations of social class levels almost as
well as any other factor, except perhaps for the var-
iable of education. Some scales devised to measure
social differentiation in fact employ area of residence
as one of the variables (Faris, 1967: 63).

In sum, the position taken by Caplow seems to have

little support. The preponderant weight of evidence seems

to be that housing is a reflection of socioeconomic status.

Thus the socioeconomic status of city areas (e.g., barrios)

can be delineated on the basis of the external appearance of


Housing having been justified as a valid indicator

of socioeconomic status, our attention turns to a considera-

tion of the indicators used to measure family status. Shevky

and Bell used four types of sample statistics to measure the

urbanization (family status) construct: age and sex, owner

or tenant, house structure, and persons in household (Shevky

and Bell, 1961: 228). These broke down to a fertility

score, a women-in-the-labor-force score, and a single-

family-detached-dwelling-units score (Shevky and Bell, 1961:


Fertility data and women-in-the-labor-force data,

by barrio, are not available for the city of Cali. However,

data pertaining to the number of family members, by barrio,

are available. These data, though not the functional

equivalent of fertility, should also measure "differentiation

of function," one of the key postulates concerning industrial

society posited by Shevky and Bell (1961: 228). In addi-

tion, data giving number of family units per housing unit

by barrio are available; these data are similar to Shevky

and Bell's single-family-detached-dwelling-units score.

All data for the indicators used to measure family

status were obtained from the Cali Municipal Planning Office

and are based on the 1964 Colombian census results (Oficina

de Planeaci6n Municipal, "Distribuci6n de la Poblaci6n . ."

n.d.). Data are available for all of the one hundred and

thirty-one barrios included in the study of the residential

ecology of Cali.

Lack of data measuring the participation of women in

the labor force, a basic aspect of the Shevky-Bell urbaniza-

tion (family status) construct for which data are not

available, may not be serious. This is because, first, the

participation of women in the labor force is generally not a

highly significant factor until a city reaches some advanced

stage of industrial maturity, which Cali has not yet reached,

and second, Latin America has a very low level of labor

force participation by women. As Abu-Lughod points out in

her examination of the theory of social area analysis, "The

proportion of females in the labor force does not relate

closely to variations in family types in those societies

where the over-all proportion is either very high or very

low" (Abu-Lughod, 1969: 202). She suggests the use of sub-

stitute measures in cross-cultural applications of social

area analysis. One of these measures is average family size,


which we are using in this study (number of family members)

(Abu-Lughod, 1969: 202-203).

Data relating to the growth of the barrios and their

density are used to support the discussions of socioeconomic

status and family status. These data, obtained from the Cali

Municipal Planning Office, are based on the 1951 and the 1964

Colombian censuses (Oficina de Planeaci6n Municipal, "Com-

parativo Por Sectores . ."). Also supporting the dis-

cussion of socioeconomic status and family status are data

relating to the distribution of various land uses in the

city of Cali. These data were obtained through the field


Finally, information concerning major arterial

streets will be offered, on the assumption that residential

location in Latin American cities is and has been determined,

at least in part, on the basis of the accessibility of

transportation. Smith and McMahan make this explicit.

One who has visited South American cities can hardly
have failed to notice that the worst slums frequently
are on the very outskirts of the communities and that
Rio de Janeiro's favelas, the miserable quarters in
which a large share of the Negroes live, are spread over
the hills which overlook the city. Such observations
suggest that the availability and cost of transportation
are basic factors in determining the ecological pattern
of any city.
The abundance of rapid, cheap, and convenient transpor-
tation, and especially.the automobile, seems largely
responsible for the fact that in [North] American cities
generally the most undesirable residential districts are
those nearest the center, whereas the most desirable are
at the greatest distance from the downtown areas. On
the other hand, in Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, Lima,
and other such cities, where the automobile is still a
luxury, residences of the least privileged classes are

relegated to the more remote sections (Smith and
McMahan, as quoted in Schnore, 1965: 381).

Presentation and Interpretation of
the Data

This study is essentially descriptive. Data per-

taining to density, growth, land use, socioeconomic status,

and family status are mapped. Mapping has been chosen as

the method of data presentation because it seems the most

comprehensive and the easiest to understand. Tables are

used as a supplementary method of data presentation whenever

they seem appropriate.

Several approaches are used in interpreting the

results. The first, and most important, is a "common sense"

approach, whereby the various maps are examined carefully to

see if any obvious patterns or configurations appear.

The second approach is inspired by that used by

Anderson and Egeland (1961) in their study of the spatial

aspects of social area analysis. Barrios of the city are

marked off, ranging from the center to the periphery, and

are examined for differences in family status. Details of

the procedure are presented when it is utilized.

The third and final approach is to determine if

barrios of high socioeconomic status show a greater relation

to major arterial streets than do barrios of low socio-

economic status. The procedure adopted here, to be

explained when it is used, is inspired by the Peialosa study


This study makes no claims to methodological

innovation, and indeed does not wish to do so. In an area

of the world where patterns of residential differentiation,

other than "traditional" patterns, are essentially unknown,

it seems wise to use methodological tools that have already

been used in other areas, such as the United States, if we

are going to have much hope of comparing our results to

those studies. Further, studies which are "one-of-a-kind"

usually add very little to the generation of basic theory,

which ought to be part of the long-range hope of most

research. In sum, in this study we do not wish to confuse

findings of content with findings of method.

Before we can meaningfully present the findings of

content, a comprehensive picture of the city with which we

are working must be drawn. It is to this task that we turn

in the next chapter.

Chapter IV



Shortly after the conquest of Peru, one of Pizarro's

lieutenants, Don Sebastian de Belalcdzar, marched north from

Peru to explore what is today Ecuador and southern Colombia.

He established cities as he went, and upon his arrival in

the Cauca Valley in Colombia in 1536 founded the city of


At this .time the broad Cauca Valley was heavily

populated with Indian villages. Because of the fierce

nature of these Indians, they fought the Spanish, and

through war and subsequent famine were virtually exter-

minated (Cieza de Le6n, 1864: 93-97). This explains why

Cali, virtually from its inception, had so few Indians. Yet

the city was apparently named after these Indians, as Smith

notes that "the Indians of the Cauca Valley were the Lili or

Cali" (Smith, 1970: .67).

The Spaniards who first settled in Cali appear to

have been Castilians (Smith, 1970: 70). Bringing with them

a Spanish culture which had been involved with "appropriating

lands reconquered from Islam" (Morse, 1969: 475), they

divided the lands and devoted themselves to cattle raising

rather than to intensive tillage of the soil. "Less than a

generation sufficed for the Spaniards to convert the once

intensively tilled bottom lands [of Indian times] into . .

pastures" (Smith, 1967: 66).

Unlike many of today's largest Latin American

cities, which early acquired political importance, Cali was

completely overshadowed by Popayan, about seventy miles to

the south, and it long remained a minor town in the social,

economic, and political sense. Cali did not emerge as a

major Latin American city until the twentieth century.

During the colonial period, all of the important affairs

were handled by Popayan. It was Popay&n which became "the

-capital of an intendencia which stretched from Ecuador to

the Caribbean . ." (Whiteford, 1964: 9), and it was

Popayan which was granted a charter and a coat of arms, and

became "the seat of a university, and an important center in

the hierarchy of the church" (Whiteford, 1964: 10).

Throughout the colonial period, Cali was of very

secondary importance to Popaydn, and was not much more

"important" than several other small towns in the Cauca

Valley, such as Buga, Cartago, Anserma, and Tulua. Indeed,

much of the colonial history of Cali is replete with the

economic and political marginality of the town, with refer-

ences to commercial decline (ca. 1580) (Arboleda, I, 1956:

92), economic prostration (ca. 1618) (Arboleda, I, 1956:

167), litigation over boundaries with neighboring towns,

such as Buga (ca. 1668-1680) (Arboleda, I, 1956: 283, 304),

the economic difficulty of the city because of "la

decadencia de la ganaderia" (ca. 1690) (Arboleda, I, 1956:

317), which was a repeated theme (ca. 1753) (Arboleda, II,

1956: 82-83), "La ganaderia iba siempre en desmedro," (ca.

1754) (Arboleda, II, 1956: 265), restriction of municipal

autonomy (ca. 1739) (Arboleda, II, 1956: 113-114), prohibi-

tion of foreign commerce (ca. 1745) (Arboleda, II, 1956:

121), economic depression (ca. 1770) (Arboleda, II, 1956:

360), the prohibition against sending cattle beyond municipal

boundaries (ca. 1788) (Arboleda, III, 1956: 66-67), and a

boundary dispute with Cartage (ca. 1791) (Arboleda, III,

1956: 109). Taken together, these references give a pic-

ture of a colonial town that was important only in its local

area, and not in the wider region. Concern was devoted

almost exclusively to local matters, and it was not until

the 1800's, with the outbreak of the cry for independence,

that Cali began to assume some regional importance, when the

city demanded the division of the province dominated by

Popayan, and hosted a meeting of representatives from cities

in the area for this purpose (Arboleda, III, 1956: 285-310).

Cali early rebelled against the Spanish, while Popayan was a

Spanish stronghold. "On the outbreak of the independence

war Buga, Cartago, Caloto, Toro, and Anserma were all quick

to join Cali in a 6-city federation to challenge the power

of absentee Spanish landlords" (Friedel and Jimenez, 1971:


While it is clearly impossible to ascribe the

transformation from a town to a large city to a single

factor, or a single set of factors, it does appear that the

regional leadership exercised by Call during the Indepen-

dence period, along with its support for the lessening of

Popay6n's sphere of influence, led to Cali's clear emergence,

in the early 1800's, as a "first among equals" of the cities

in the Cauca Valley region. This was a formative period in

Colombia's history as a nation, for "the warfare that

characterized the Spanish American Independence movements

was of such intensity and duration (1810-28) that it could

not help but affect the societies of the nations involved"

(Maingot, 1969: 297). At the same time that Cali was

achieving this local predominance, Popayan was in decline, a

decline that took place throughout the nineteenth century,

though it was perhaps most pronounced in the middle of the

century, when Popayan's vast territories were divided. As

Whiteford notes,.

As Popaydn . was divested of its richer lands, which
became part of the wealth of new or neighboring states,
its fortunes declined drastically. Its rich and fertile
valleys became the state of Valle del Cauca, its mines,
which once supported the aristocracy in a life of royal
wealth, passed to the states of Narifo and Antioquia,
and even its mountainous southerly regions of unexplored
but potential riches were turned over to the state of
Huila. Popayan was left to rule a decimated state,
small in size, and composed principally of rolling hills
and unexplored mountains. The shock of loss, the feel-
ing of impoverishment . led to a paralysis, an
inactivity, which deterred and impeded the full and
active exploitation and development of those resources
and potentialities which did remain. The result was
stagnation. . Increasingly, [Popayan] became
isolated . and traffic with the outside world

dwindled at the very time when other cities were
expanding their commerce and increasing their relation-
ships with other regions and other nations. Popayan was
superseded by Call as the principal city of southern
Colombia . (Whiteford, 1964: 11-12).

Colombia is a country of extreme regionalism, and

each of the main regions seems to focus on an important

urban center.

Today at least four principal regions are significant in
terms of population and resources. Each also has a
major urban center. These regions are: the eastern
cordillera, centered on Bogota; the department of
Antioquia and its southern extension, Caldas, centered
on Medellin; the Valle del Cauca in southwestern Colombia,
formerly focused on Popayan, now on the economically and
demographically burgeoning Cali; and the Atlantic
coastal region, once with Cartagena as its principal
city, but with Barranquilla now dominant (Dix, 1967: 21).

Thus Popayan's decline left a socioeconomic void in southern

Colombia, a void that Cali began to fill.

Yet regional leadership alone cannot account for

Cali's development as an industrial city. Other factors,

such as a rich agricultural hinterland, la violencia, which

drove many southern Colombians from their rural homes to the

safety of the cities, the port of Buenaventura and the

development of Cali as a transportation nucleus, and foreign

investment must surely have been important. Another factor

contributing to Cali's eventual rapid urbanization is that

"Valle was more 'urbanized' and unified than most regions

because many of its 16th-century village nuclei had sur-

vived . ." (Friedel and Jimenez, 1971: 67). One factor

that has probably not been important in Cali's rise to

prominence is the Catholic Church. Unlike many large Latin

American cities, Cali was not a religious center of impor-

tance, and only in 1964 was it made an archdiocese.

The Growth of the City

The reconstruction of the demographic history of Cali

is difficult. There are no census figures for the first two

hundred and fifty years of its existence, and figures for

all except the 1938, 1951, and 1964 censuses leave much to

be desired. Of course, even the 1938, 1951, and 1964

censuses have shortcomings, though they become progressively

better. Those figures that are available are given in

Table 2.

This table shows that, at the outbreak of the Wars

of Independence in the early nineteenth century, Cali was

still a relatively small city which grew very slowly for

nearly a century. With the exception of the 1840s, when

"Cali's growth spurt . seems explainable by an influx of

freed slaves and the Cauca tobacco boom" (Friedel and

Jimenez, 1971: 67), the average annual growth rate until

1893 was considerably less than one per cent. From 1893 to

1905, Cali grew rapidly, at an average growth rate of nearly

seven per cent per year. Much of this growth is probably

attributable to the coffee boom, for "it developed an

internal market, creating a large class of small independent

farmers in Antioquia, Caldas, and Valle . [and] brought

prosperity to . most of the nation's cities" (Friedel

and Jimenez, 1971: 72-73). From 1905 to 1912, the city's



Year Inhabitants

1793 6,548

1797 5,690

1807 7,192

1836 8,000

1851 11,848

1870 12,743

1893 14,000

1905 30,740

1912 27,747

1918 45,525

1928 122,847

1938 101,038

1951 284,186

1964 637,929

Source for 1793, 1797, 1807:
Arboleda, III, 1956: 120, 154, 207.
Source for 1836:
Friedel and Jimenez, 1971: 62.
Source for other years:
McGreevey, 1967(?). ("The data
presented here are derived entirely
from published sources available at
the University of California
Library at Berkeley.")

population declined, for unknown reasons.' From 1912 on,

the city entered into a period of growth that has not yet

ceased.2 This growth stems from several important factors.

In 1915, the Pacific Line railroad linked Cali with the

port of Buenaventura, and, via the newly-opened Panama

Canal, Europe and the eastern coast of the United States,

and "soon these two cities were the major coffee shippers

from Caldas, Valle, Tolima, and southern Antioquia" (Friedel

and Jimenez, 1971: 74). The transportation link with the

port of Buenaventura, the coffee boom, and the relatively

large population base in the hinterland around Cali probably

all played a role in the incipient industrialization that

began in Cali around 1920. At the same time, Cali was

becoming the commercial center of Valle, and this too con-

tributed to its steady growth during the twentieth century.

Around 1950, another factor leading to great popula-

tion growth added its force to the factors of burgeoning

industrialization and commercial vigor that were already at

work. This was la violencia, which was to be a significant

factor in Cali's growth for the next fifteen years.

1It is entirely possible that the census figures are
in error, and that no decline took place. While the 1912
census figures appear to have some validity, there is a
possibility that the 1905 figures may be inflated.

2While the figures in Table 2 show a population
decline between 1928 and 1938, it is probable that there was
a steady increase in the population between 1918 and 1938.
The 1928 population total is almost certainly highly
inflated, which would account for both a too-steep rise from
1918 to 1928 and a decline from 1928 to 1938.


"La violencia . is a general term which . [is] used

to refer to banditry, kidnapping, and homicides, partic-

ularly in rural areas" (Payne, 1968: 91). Dix notes that

"in the years between 1948 and 1964, la violencia took

between 100,000 and 200,000 Colombian lives, perhaps more

than in all of the country's nineteenth-century internal

strife, and was responsible for an undetermined number of

maimed and wounded" (Dix, 1967: 362). While few authorities

agree on the exact number of lives lost in la violencia, the

magnitude of the loss was certainly great enough to cause

huge numbers of rural dwellers to flee to the sanctuary of

the larger cities, which were relatively free of the vio-

lence. Cali received a large share of these migrants,

because la violencia was especially pronounced in..southern

Colombia and the province of El Valle, in which Cali is

located. The following account indicates the extent and

impact of this violence:

Between March 19 and 22 [1955], in El Valle, two
brothers were assassinated by pistol fire; a coffee-
roaster was killed by stab wounds and his place of
business sacked; a man was shot and killed by "long-
range" fire; the body of another was found dead of bul-
let wounds on a lonely road; and a hacienda owner was
killed by seven bullets fired at close range. Total in
El Valle killed by persons unknown, seven. In these
same days, many people fled for safety from the district
of Monteloro (El Valle); a Cali newspaperman was
threatened with death because of stories he had written
about the violence; panic spread through the area
(Fluharty, 1957: 271).

Clearly, migration from country to city in Colombia

"is intensified by.the violent fighting between Conservative

and Liberal villages, which has scared thousands of country


people into the 'safety' of the city . ." (Powelson, 1964:

30). La violencia, then, is one of the chief causes of

recent migration to Cali. Another is the "city's rapid

industrial growth [which] has given it a sort of El Dorado

reputation that exerts a magnetic effect on peasants who are

tired of the meager existence of the countryside" (Holt,

1964: 165). Yet one should probably not overestimate the

magnitude of the industrial pull on these rural peoples, for

the land-tenure system and the agrarian reform laws have

undoubtedly had a strong influence in "pushing" many rural

dwellers out of the countryside. As Smith notes, other

forces leading to migration are also at work, such as more

modern transportation and communication, educational

improvements and aspirations, social legislation, and social

ferment among the masses (Smith, 1970: 109). In fact, the

causes of migration are complex and intertwined, and

specific causes for individual migrants often cannot be


What can be ascertained, at least for the recent

period of Call's history, is the effect of migration on the

city's growth. The Cali Oficina de Planeaci6n Municipal

estimated that approximately 43 per cent of Cali's growth

during the 1951-1964 period was attributable to migration,

while a report prepared for CELADE assumes "that 62.3 per

cent of Call's urban growth was derived from in-migration in

recent years" (McGreevey, 1965: 6). Probably the most

accurate estimates of migration to Cali are those based on


sex and age distributions made by McGreevey. He found that

101,132 migrants came to Call in the 1938-1951 period, and

constituted 67 per cent of the adult population in 1951; and

that 210,232 migrants came to Call in the 1951-1964 period,

and constituted 58.9 per cent of the adult population in

1964 (McGreevey, 1965: 14). Most of the migrants "were of

working age on arrival and the majority (53.9 per cent in

the first period, 54.3 per cent in the second) were female"

(McGreevey, 1965: 16); "census figures in Colombia . .

indicate that older people tend to stay in the rural areas"

(Beyer, 1967: 207). McGreevey's figures, cited above,

indicate that while the total numbers of migrants were

increasing, the percentage of the total population of the

city that was of migrant origin was decreasing. Given the

size of the city, which in the early 1970s has reached per-

haps one million people, this is almost inevitable.

Increasingly, natural increase (the importance of which has

tended to be underestimated by social scientists) should

account for the largest part of the city's growth. Further,

la violencia has ceased to be a major cause of migration from

rural areas, although sporadic violent incidents still

occur. In fact, it is probable that la violencia seriously

depopulated some rural areas in Colombia, so that the

ultimate rural source of migrants is not nearly as fertile

as it was in the past few decades.

While the origins of the migrant stream to Cali were

in the rural areas, evidence from recent Latin American


migrant studies (Browning and Feindt, 1971; Leeds and Leeds,

1967; Morse, 1971b; Beyer, 1967) indicates that rural

dwellers migrate to small towns, and their offspring then go

on to the larger urban areas. Thus migrants to urban areas

are considerably more "urbanized" than had at first been

realized. There is some evidence that this may be the case

with Cali (though the extreme migration induced by la

violencia may have altered "normal" patterns of migration).

McGreevey notes that

migrants to the city have a lower rate of unemployment
than do native-born Calefios. While native-born Calefios
made up less than 20 per cent of the labor force, they
contributed 25 per cent of the unemployed population.
S. there can be little doubt that the migrants con-
tribute more to production than they use up in consump-
tion, at least as compared to the native-born population
(McGreevey, 1965: 12).

Whatever the role of the migrant in an economic

sense, there can be no doubt that migration in a demographic

sense has made Cali one of the largest cities in Colombia

and Latin America. This demographic growth

is one of the key determinants of change in physical
pattern Moreover, the "components" of population
growth (for example, net migration versus natural
increase) may exert an influence on spatial patterns; in
general, growth via migration will probably be more
conducive to change (Schnore, 1965: 381-382).

Cities in Colombia and Latin America

Table 3 shows the population of the Cali municipio

for the years 1905, 1918, 1951, and 1964 in relation to

the other ten largest municipios in Colombia on these

dates. From this table, it is evident that Cali in 1964











































































Source: McGreevey,

1967(?) : Table

has clearly become the third largest city in Colombia.

While Cali grew at an annual average rate of 8.3 per cent

between 1938 and 1951, and 6.3 per cent between 1951 and

1964, Colombia grew at an annual average rate of 2.1 per

cent for the 1938-1951 period, and 3.3 per cent for the

1951-1964 period. No other major Colombian city grew as

fast as Cali in the 1938-1951 period, and only Bogota among

the major cities exceeded Cali's rate of growth in the

1951-1964 period.

During the recent period of rapid growth (1938-1964),

Cali has steadily increased its share of the total national

population from 1.2 per cent in 1938 to 3.6 per cent in

1964, as can be seen in Table 4.


1938-1951, 1951-1964

Percentage of Colombia's
Year Cali Colombia Population in Cali

1938 101,038 8,701,816 1.2
1951 284,186 11,548,172 2.5
1964 637,929 17,484,508 3.6

Source: Departamento Administrativo Nacional de
Estadistica, 1967: Tables 3 and 4.

While some, such as Schnore, have contended that the popu-

lation growth of the city is closely connected to the popu-

lation growth of the national population (Schnore, 1971: 38),

it is apparent that Call's growth has run well ahead of

national population growth during this period. This seems

due to the pronounced effect of migration on Call's growth.

As migration declines in importance as a factor in Cali's

growth, as it now seems to be doing, and natural increase

becomes a more predominant factor, it might be expected that

the rate of Cali's growth will conform more closely to that

of Colombia.

National urban structure is usually examined either

by the concept of urban primacy or by the concept of a

"normal" urban hierarchy, often termed the "rank-size rule."

Both of these are useful in exploring the structure of

cities in Colombia, and each will be examined in turn.

Morse summarizes the ways in which urban primacy is

usually conceived:

Urban primacy has various definitions. Some refer to
national pyramids of cities, ranked by population size,
culminating in a primate city which is by one or another
criterion abnormally large. Looser definitions emphasize
concentrations of functions and services. Interest
attaches to the phenomenon because of the suspicion that
primate cities may be dysfunctional, parasitic, and
symptomatic of underdevelopment (Morse, 1971b: 36).

One of the most cited studies of urban primacy is that of

Mehta (1964). In this study his measure of primacy is "the

percentage of the population of the four largest cities

residing in the largest city of the country" (Mehta, 1964:

141). The study, using circa 1955 data, ranked 87 countries

in terms of the primacy of their urban structure. Twenty-one

of these countries were in Latin America. Of these 21

countries, Colombia was ranked 21; it had the lowest level

of primacy of all the Latin American countries listed (all

of the countries in South America were listed, except Guyana,

which was not an independent country in 1955). Of the 87

countries included on the total list, Colombia was ranked 80

(Mehta, 1964: 141). Clearly, Colombia is not dominated by

one large city, as are so many of the Latin American


Yet Colombia is highly regionalized, and it may be

that there is a tendency for regional primacy to exist.

Although there are few studies of regional primacy, it seems

reasonable that one could combine the already-tested measure

of primacy used by Mehta with a recent unpublished regional-

ization of Colombia (Hollingsworth and Webber, 1968). How-

ever, the regionalization devised by Hollingsworth and

Webber must be modified to fit the purposes of this study.

Their scheme delineated twelve sociocultural regions in

Colombia (Costa Atlantica, Los Santanderes, Cundinamarca-

Boyaca, Medio Magdalena, Grupo Paisa, Costa Pacifica, Valle,

Alto Magdalena, Cauca, Narifo, Llanos, Otros). However, for

this study, three of the regions (Medio Magdalena, Costa

Pacifica, and Llanos) can be eliminated, because they do not

contain one of the largest cities in the country, which are

the cities for which adequate .data are available. The nine

remaining regions are combined into four larger regions,

which I term southern Colombia (including Valle, Alto

Magdalena, Cauca, and Nariio), the "Paisa" group (including

only the Grupo Paisa), highland Colombia (including Los

Santanderes, Cundinamarca-Boyaca, and Otros), and the

Atlantic Coast (including only the Costa Atldntica). It

should be noted that two of these new regions are the same

as the Hollingsworth-Webber regions, and the other two

regions appear to have some basis in fact--all of the parts

of the southern Colombia region (Valle, Alto Magdalena,

Cauca, and Nariio) send sizable numbers of migrants to Call,

while all of the parts of the highland Colombia region (Los

Santanderes, Cundinamarca-Boyaca, and Otros) send sizable

numbers of migrants to Bogota. The four largest cities in

each of these regions are listed in Table 5. The measure of

primacy used in this table is the percentage of the popula-

tion of the four largest cities residing in the largest city

of the region.

The results of Table 5 are somewhat surprising.

While the mean level of primacy for the 87 countries in the

Mehta study was 59.8, the mean level of primacy for the

four "regional cities" in Colombia was 62.0. If the median

rather than the mean is used, then the median level of

primacy for the 87 countries in the Mehta study was 60.0,

while the median level of primacy for the four "regional

cities" in Colombia was 59.5. Thus there does not appear to

be a high level of regional primacy in Colombia, contrary to

what has been suggested: "Colombia is highly regionalized;

a city like Medellin might be said to have primacy at the

departmental level" (Morse, 1969: 486 [footnote 43]).



Population of
Each of the Measure
Four Largest Cities Largest Cities of
Region in the Region* in the Region Primacy

Southern Colombia Cali 637,929 60.5
Ibagu6 163,661
Palmira 140,889
Pasto 112,876

"Paisa" Group Medellin 772,887 58.5
Manizales 221,916
Pereira 188,365
Armenia 137,222

Highland Colombia BogotA 1,697,311 78.1
Bucaramanga 229,748
Cdcuta 175,336
Barrancabermeja 71,096

Atlantic Coast Barranquilla 498,301 50.9
Cartagena 242,085
Monteria 126,329
Cienaga 113,143

SIt is interesting that all of the fifteen largest cities
in the country are included in this list; Barrancabermeja
ranks 27 in size among Colombian cities.

Source: Departamento Administrativo Nacional de.
Estadistica, 1967: Table 6.

Another way to examine national urban structure is

by means of the "rank-size rule." This is a theoretical

model of the distribution of cities by size, where "the

population of each city tends to be in inverse proportion to

its rank by order of size . the second, third, and

fourth largest city might be expected to have one-half,

one-third, and one-quarter the population of the largest

city, and so forth" (United Nations Commission for Latin

America, 1969: 194). If the actual population of the

largest cities in Colombia and the "expected" population of

these cities (based on one-half, one-third, one-quarter,

etc., the population of the largest city) are compared, as

is done in Table 6, it is found that there is a rather good

"fit" between the actual and the "expected" population.

Thus Colombia conforms rather well to the idea of an urban














Actual Population











"Expected" Population











Source: Departamento Administrativo Nacional de
Estadistica, 1967: Table 6.

hierarchy, theoretically indicating that there is a rather

well-balanced structure of cities in Colombia, without an

overwhelming predominance of just one or two cities, as is

so often the case in Latin America.

An interesting theoretical discussion of the rank-

size distribution of cities is provided by Vapfarsky, when

he examines regions in Argentina for both primacy and rank-

size distribution (Vapharsky, 1969). In this study he

insists that regions must be drawn not on the basis of

geographic or political boundaries, but on the basis of

ecological systems. This has been the intent of the

Colombian regionalization presented above. Vapfarsky also

observes that "primacy and rank-size rule are not mutually

exclusive models" (Vapiiarsky, 1969: 584). Thus, as Morse

notes, "primacy depends on the level of closure or self-

containment of an area (i.e., proportion of interactions

beginning and terminating within the system) and rank-size

distribution upon the level of internal interdependence or

interaction of an area" (Morse, 1971b: 43). Since the

rank-size rule appears to apply to all cities in Colombia,

while there is a very low level of primacy, the Vapfiarsky

model would lead us to expect both a high level of closure

and high interdependence. Colombia, with its extreme

regionalization, undoubtedly does have a high level of

closure, whereby most interactions beginning within the

region terminate within that region. Interdependence is the

interaction that takes place among the units in a region, so

that "low interdependence means relative isolation of the

units from each other in the area" (Vapiiasky, 1969: 585).


While this is not the place to test the level of interaction

within the various regions of Colombia, it does appear that

there is a high level of regional interaction, at least with-

in the southern Colombia region, with which the author is

most familiar. Therefore, Colombia appears to "fit" the

Vapharsky model, to have both high closure and high inter-

dependence, with a rank-size distribution which generally

applies to all the cities.

Turning from the structure of cities in Colombia to

the level of urbanization, the facts show that Colombia has

become an urban rather than a rural nation. In 1938, the

first year for which urban-rural data were available, 30.9

per cent of the Colombian population was urban; this rose to

38.9 per cent of the population being classed as urban in

1951. By 1964, the date of the most recent census, 52.8 per

cent of the Colombian people were urban, which means that

these Colombians were living in places of 1,500 or more

inhabitants (Webber, 1973: Table 1).

In Table 7, Colombia is compared with other Latin

American nations in terms of per cent urban. As can be seen

in the table, Colombia is one of a growing number of Latin

American countries which have crossed the threshold from a

predominantly rural to a predominantly urban population.



Country Date of Data Per Cent Urban

Uruguay 1963 80.8
Chile 1970 76.0
Venezuela 1970 (E) 75.7
Argentina 1970 (E) 74.3
Cuba 1971 (E) 60.5
Mexico 1970 58.7
Brazil 1970 55.9
Peru 1971 (E) 53.2
Colombia 1964 52.8
Panama 1970 47.6
Nicaragua 1968 (E?) 44.7
Dominican Republic 1970 39.8
El Salvador 1971 39.4
Ecuador 1970 (E?) 38.3
Paraguay 1970 (E?) 35.7
Bolivia 1970 (E) 35.0
Costa Rica 1963 34.5
Guatemala 1964 33.6
Honduras 1969 (E?) 32.2
Guyana 1970 (E) 29.5
Haiti 1970 (E) 16.2
Trinidad and Tobago 1970 12.4

E = estimate
E? = estimate of questionable reliability
Source for all except Argentina, Bolivia, Haiti:
United Nations, 1972: Table 5.
Source for Argentina, Bolivia, Haiti:
Beyer, 1967: 223. (Estimates of the Inter-American
Development Bank.)

Growing Industrialism -- The Economic
Base of the City

Prior to the twentieth century Cali was a small,

rather plebeian town whose economy was based almost entirely

upon agriculture, and especially upon the raising of cattle.

Other activities which were beginning to center in Cali were


the tobacco and sugar interests. Tobacco made its presence

felt in the city before the middle of the nineteenth cen-

tury, and the sugar industry began shortly thereafter.

In 1864 . the first major enterprise in commercial
agriculture was initiated in Valle: the planting of a
relatively large hacienda in sugar cane and the
installation of steam-powered sugar mill by a Russian-
American immigrant to Colombia, James Eder. His
successful example was followed by the Caicedo sugar
mill in the early 1900's, and later by others (Posada
and Posada, 1966: 52).

There were also a few other small commercial ventures which

dealt with the Cauca Valley area, as the smaller cities in

the region were beginning to look to Cali for commercial


In 1915, the city of Cali was linked with the

Pacific port of Buenaventura by the railroad. With the

opening of the Panama Canal at nearly the same time, the

city had an outlet to the rest of the world. Suddenly there

was a market for the produce of the Cauca Valley, and as

the transportation network in the Cauca Valley steadily

improved, Cali became the hub for the accumulation and ship-

ment of this produce, and the center for the concentration

of the wealth that was derived from these activities. This

stimulated the beginnings of industrial expansion, from

about 1925 to 1930. While the worldwide depression subse-

quently slowed industrial growth, after 1930 "several types

of government investment took place, especially in trans-

portation, communications, and electric energy facilities,

which generated industrial activity" (Dow, 1971: 32-33).


At the same time in the early 1930s, "because of protection

to agriculture . agricultural production gained

impetus" (Posada and Posada, 1966: 52).

The Second World War and its aftermath led to a

boom in manufacturing production, and "For the first time

large industrial establishments and the consequent large-

scale production started to replace the smaller establish-

ments" (Dow, 1971: 33). Foreign capital, which had flowed

into Colombia during the 1925-1930 period, but had been

severely curtailed during the depression (Lipman, 1969:

26), again began to pour into Colombia.

In the most recent decades, agriculture in the Cauca

Valley region has advanced rapidly. One of the world's most

efficient and modern sugar factories, La Manuelita, is

located in the municipio of Palmira, near Cali. The wide-

spread use of tractors is most prevalent in the

department of El Valle del Cauca, whose rich, productive
and level lands, after 400 years of use in a very rudi-
mentary pastoral culture, rapidly are being transformed
into sugar-cane, rice, and cotton plantations. . .
it is here that the mechanized system of agriculture is
making the most headway (Smith, 1967: 233).

Thus the years after World War II in Colombia were

marked by both industrial growth and the rapid expansion of

large-scale commercial agriculture in the Valle region. It

is the growth in both of these vital sectors of the economy

that made the rapid growth of the city of Cali possible.

Yet at the same time this agricultural "modernization"

hardly touched a large part of the agricultural potential,

so that much of the rural area is still rather backward.

The result is that agriculture in the Cauca Valley
today is unevenly developed, and the contrasts are
stark. It is highly mechanized and productive for a
small group of large owner-operator and tenant-operator
wealthy farmers; it is extremely backward, even primi-
tive for the vast majority of the owners of small and
medium-sized farms, located especially in the hills
(Posada and Posada, 1966: 52).

One of the most important factors that is presently

at work in the Cauca Valley stimulating agricultural

development and also greatly aiding industrial growth is

the Autonomous Regional Corporation of the Cauca Valley

(CVC). Rather like the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in

the United States, this decentralized, administratively

autonomous agency was established in 1954 "for the purpose

of promoting the unified development of the natural resources

of the Upper Cauca River Valley in Colombia" (Posada and

Posada, 1966: 11). The specific goals of the CVC are to

render "a series of public services, such as generation,

transmission, and distribution of electric power; the promo-

tion of agricultural and industrial enterprise; and cooper-

ation in the development of programs in education, public

health, and community action" (Posada and Posada, 1966: 63).

By the late 1960s, the CVC had had success with three pro-

grams: "(a) Supplying electric power for the entire region,

as a result of which its industrial development has

obviously increased; (b) land reclamation (flood control,

irrigation, and drainage), and (c) raising the standard of

living of the rural population by disseminating modern and

improved methods of production" (Posada and Posada, 1966:


Perhaps the most crucial project for the growth of

industry in Cali is the supply of energy. Indeed, one of

the most useful indicators of modernization is per-capita

energy consumption. "Even though the surprising industrial

development of Valle during the past two decades [1945-

1965] cannot be attributed to electricity alone, it is

evident that the supply of a greater volume of electric

power has been an element basic to this development" (Posada

and Posada, 1966: 106). One study noted that between 1956

and 1958 electrical production increased from 77,569,000 to

83,157,000 kilowatt hours (Pendleton, 1965: 44). Another

study reported that

the electric power potential of Valle is excellent and
relatively easy to harness. The total installed
capacity of the Cauca Valley region in 1955 was 75,000
kilowatts, of which 49,200 was from hydro sources and
25,900 thermal. But the rapid expansion of population
and industrialization led to an estimate made in 1955 of
an increase in demand for power of 150,000 kilowatts by
1965. However, these estimates of demand have been
periodically revised upward as the progressively
increasing population growth rate invalidates previous
estimates in demand (Posada and Posada, 1966: 46).

While more recent estimates of energy demand are not avail-

able, it is apparent that the demand has been rapidly grow-

ing. Now under construction in the Valle region by a

Mexican construction company is "one of the largest dams in

South America. When it's finished, it will supply power for

the 900,000 residents of Cali, and most of the other people

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