LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
Starting point: Poorest country in South America; deep split between native population and wealthy class, with change coming through election of an indigenous President, Evo Morales
Organizing strategy: Education and economic development harnessed for wider population
Tools: Government redirection of the economy
Outcomes: Most dramatic is new aerial tram linking capital city with nearby city, El Alto, with a dominant indigenous population
Prime Resources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Paz and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hSBYe9m1Kg for more on the tram
From the NY Times:
LA PAZ and EL ALTO, Bolivia — In these two cities, geography and rank stand in inverse relation. La Paz — the seat of government, old money and a lighter-skinned elite — sits in a valley. Above it on a high plateau is the frenetic city of El Alto: poorer, younger and generally darker-skinned. La Paz has always looked down on its upstart younger sibling above.
Now, that relationship is being challenged, and this urban Möbius strip, where down is up and up is down, is getting a new twist. A mass-transit aerial cable-car system, a cross between a ski gondola and an elevated train, is being installed to better connect them, chipping away at the physical barriers and possibly some of the psychological ones.
Much as the subway system changed New York in the early 20th century, the cable-car system has the potential to transform La Paz and El Alto, connecting distant neighborhoods to the city center, raising real estate values, slashing commute times and altering social relations.
Bolivia and La Paz struggle with vivid contrasts based on class, race, tradition and wealth. Imaginative approaches have been promising