Planning Ciudad Guayana, an industrial new town in oil-rich Venezuela

Simone Rots*, Ana Maria Fernandez-Maldonado

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
126 Downloads (Pure)


Ciudad Guayana was born as an industrial new town in the early 1960s, as an ambitious national effort to stimulate the regional development of Venezuela. Its planning was the fruit of a unique partnership between the Venezuelan development agency (CVG) and the Joint Center for Urban Studies from Harvard University and the MIT. Looking for answers to the rapid urbanization issues, the academic planners were willing to test the latest planning and design approaches on the field, implementing several experimental projects. Ciudad Guayana became a useful urban laboratory that provided important urban lessons. Based on literature research, archival research at MIT and Harvard, and interviews with planners working on both teams, this paper presents how the two teams approached, debated and clashed about four significant challenges of building the new town. Ciudad Guayana provided important urban lessons, useful for similar kind of new towns and satellite cities, as the ones currently emerging in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-368
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Planning Studies
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Ciudad Guayana
  • Latin America
  • modern movement
  • New towns
  • urban planning


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