Lima, with 9 million inhabitants, used to be a flat city. Its tiny middle class was composed mostly of government employees (predominantly white). The Peruvian capital expanded horizontally, but not vertically.
In the last two decades the social landscape of the country has changed. A new middle class, composed of immigrants from rural areas (predominantly indigenous) who are moved by a very strong entrepreneurial spirit, has emerged. This social change is driving a fever for living in apartments. Three other factors are contributing to the Condo Fever: the increasing price of fuel that makes traveling to suburbs too expensive, the increasing price of urban land, and mortgage credit. As a result, the construction industry has grown 94% in the last five years.
In 1971 when I arrived at Lima for first time, coming from Brazil, the lack of apartment buildings surprised me. Now, forty years later, Lima is resembling other Latin American metropolises such as Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Santiago and Montevideo.
Photo and post by Sebastiao Ferreira. This post is number 11 of 52 in Sebastiao’s 52-week photo journal.