This paper explores the emergence of a new pattern of spatial segregation linked to rising urban insecurity in Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua, during the past decade and a half. Rather than fragmenting into an archipelago of isolated “fortified enclaves”, as has been the case in other cities around the world, Managua has undergone a process whereby a whole layer of the metropolis has been “disembedded” from the general fabric of the city through the constitution of an exclusive “fortified network” for the urban elites, based on the privatization of security and the construction of high-speed roads and roundabouts. This pattern of urban governance diverges significantly from Managua’s historical experience, and rests upon new urban developments that have explicitly favoured the urban elites, both directly and indirectly. These raise critical questions about the nature of relations between social groups within the city.
Environment and Urbanization (2004) 16 (2) 113-124 [doi: 10.1177/095624780401600202]
“Disembedding” the city: crime, insecurity and spatial organization in Managua, Nicaragua