By John Luke Gallup, Gaviria A., Eduardo Lora

Geographic interpretations of improvement lately became the topic of a lot renewed curiosity and debate inside scholarly and public coverage circles. concentrating on Latin the USA, this publication examines how actual and human geography has stimulated the region’s strength for monetary and social development.The ebook assesses how geography impacts transformations in improvement among international locations and extra in particular among Latin the US and different areas of the realm. the results of geography on neighborhood improvement are tested via 4 channels: the productiveness of land, medical conditions, frequency and depth of common failures, and entry to markets. The ebook then explores how geography has stimulated improvement inside of nations via case experiences of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru—countries major for his or her geographical range in addition to their vast socioeconomic disparities. those case reports illustrate a number of exceptions to foreign styles and turn out that whereas geography issues, it don't need to ascertain a country's destiny.Using the data received from those views, the publication concludes with techniques for regulations which could support nations triumph over the constraints imposed via geography and thereby increase their power for financial and social improvement.

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Lagging investment in basic infrastructure also puts populations and assets at greater risk. As shown by the impact of Hurricane Mitch in Central America and El Niño in Peru and Ecuador, poor quality roads, bridges, airport, dams, and dikes are often destroyed during hurricanes and floods. This damage to infrastructure leads to higher numbers of fatalities, as well as wider and longer disruption of food distribution and economic activity. In the case of Hurricane Pauline in Mexico in 1997, half of the 400 fatalities were due to the inability to reach populations in isolated areas (Pan American Health Organization 1998).

44). Cities in the region are particularly vulnerable to earthquakes and floods because of narrow streets, adobe or dry stone construction, and a lack of paved roads and green spaces. Migration to cities has increased demand for urban space and resulted in the expansion of poor neighborhoods on low-value terrain in risk-prone areas. Examples include the favelas on the slopes overlooking Rio de Janeiro, the shantytowns of Guatemala City in ravines prone to landslides, and the slums of Tegucigalpa on flood plains and steep hillsides.

Despite Colombia’s access to the Atlantic and the Pacific, the bulk of the country’s economic activities are located in the 50 IS GEOGRAPHY DESTINY? Andean mountains, where climate conditions are more benign but access is difficult. Until recently, the country even lacked good roads to connect its main regions. Roads in Colombia up until the 20th century connected villages only within each region, with no roads across regions. As late as 1930, the main link from the capital of Bogota to the outside world was a 12-day steamboat trip down the Magdalena River.

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