Catalina Muñoz and Friederike Fleischer Receive 2023 Best Article in the Journal of Urban Affairs Award (Sponsored by Routledge | Taylor & Francis)

Dr. Catalina Muñoz (Universidad de los Andes) and Dr. Friederike Fleischer (Universidad de los Andes) were selected as the recipients of the 2023 Best Article in the Journal of Urban Affairs Award for their paper “Contentious memories and urban redevelopment in Bogotá Colombia.” This award was sponsored by Routledge | Taylor & Francis.

This annual award gives recognition to a paper published in the Journal of Urban Affairs (during the previous year) that is considered particularly outstanding as a scholarly contribution to the field of urban affairs.


“Catalina Muñoz and Friederike Fleischer are the winners of the Best Article in the Journal of Urban Affairs Award for 2022 (volume 44). In their article, “Contentious memories and urban redevelopment in Bogotá Colombia”, the authors use oral history and participant observation to explore how residents of an historic working-class neighborhood perceive and experience urban renewal and gentrification. 

The research focuses on Las Aguas, for many decades an industrial district with mostly low-income residents that is undergoing rapid and far-reaching redevelopment triggered by the expansion of a nearby university. The oral histories of long-time residents shed light on their varied and conflicting views towards neighborhood change, views that are deeply informed by differences in the residents’ memories of the neighborhood prior to its redevelopment. By showing residents’ perspectives as differentiated and heterogeneous, the reader gains a much fuller picture of the social and spatial composition of this Bogotá neighborhood before and after redevelopment. 

The authors are to be congratulated for their nuanced and original approach to urban redevelopment and gentrification, topics of contentious debate. The article is insightful, well written, and original, with important lessons for our understanding of neighborhood change.”


Alex Schwartz, The New School (Chair); Angela Y.S. Park, Kansas State University; Stefan Norgaard, Columbia University; Jae Hong Kim, University of California, Irvine; Raksha Vasudevan, Teachers College, Columbia University


Catalina Muñoz (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania) is an associate professor of history at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. Her publications include A Fervent Crusade for the National Soul: Cultural Politics in Colombia, 1930-1946 (Lexington Books, 2022) and articles in the Hispanic American Historical Review, Ethnohistory, History and Anthropology and the Journal of Urban Affairs, among others. She was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the Humanities Action Lab in Rutgers University-Newark in the fall of 2017, was awarded a membership in the Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science, in the fall of 2022, and is currently Visiting Research Scholar in the Program in Latin American Studies at Princeton University (Spring 2023). A public and oral historian, her research and practice explores the uses of the past in the political struggles of contemporary social actors. Her current research examines the relevance of historical thinking and longue durée analysis to transitional justice, a field traditionally dominated by lawyers. In the context of the 2016 peace accords in Colombia, Muñoz co-founded Historias para lo que viene, a public history project that has implemented programs to enrich the public debate about peace in Colombia from a historical perspective.

Friederike Fleischer, Ph.D. Anthropology, CUNY Graduate Center, is Associate Professor at the Department of Anthropology, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá. Previously she was a post-doctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany. Her work in urban anthropology in China and Colombia examines socio-economic and spatial stratification processes; housing, inequality, mobility; social support and wellbeing. Friederike is author of the monographs Suburban Beijing (Minnesota University Press, 2010) and Soup, Love, and a Helping Hand: Social Support in Guangzhou, China (Berghahn, 2018). Recent research has been published as, “’Like Sardines in a Can’. Gender Stratification, and Mobility in the Lives of Female Household Employees in Bogotá, Colombia,” in Urban Mobility and Social Equity in Latin America (Emerald, 2020) and “The Normalization of Bogotá Social Housing Residents. Class Tensions in Third World Urban Peripheries,” City & Society 32(3). Friederike’s current projects are “Vertical Peripheries: Planning and citizenship in Colombia’s commodified periurban housing towers,” with L. Sotomayor, L. Brant, A. Hurtado (York University, Toronto, and CIDER, Universidad de los Andes); and “Care Blocks in Bogotá,” with M.J. Alvarez-Rivadulla and Adriana Hurtado (Universidad de los Andes) about a new public policy to bring social services to women in underserved urban areas.


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