A Line in the Andes

Felipe Correa


In collaboration with Ramiro Almeida


A Line in the Andes—a one-year investigation developed at the Harvard Graduate School of Design—examines the transformative role of the first underground metro line currently being implemented in the city of Quito (Ecuador).


6.75 x 10.5"
Trade Cloth
Publication date: 
Rights world: 

Essays from Rahul Mehotra, Quito Mayor Augusto Barrera, Edgar Jacome, Pablo Perez Ramos, Martin Cobas, Graciela Silvestri, and Ana Maria Duran Calisto. Published in collaboration with the South America Project


A Line in the Andes —a one-year investigation developed at the Harvard Graduate School of Design— constructs a graphic biography of Quito’s (Ecuador) urban history. Through archival material, original drawings and text, the book frames the current proposal for a new metro line within the city’s historic and current urban form, visualizing the urban potential of this contemporary valley-city. The book also includes a collection of essays by Rahul Mehotra, Quito Mayor Augusto Barrera, Edgar Jacome, Pablo Perez Ramos, Martin Cobas, Graciela Silvestri, and Ana Maria Duran Calisto.  The writings expand on a series of themes related to Quito and frame the city within a broader geographic and disciplinary context.

“A Line in the Andes illuminates the contradictory beauty of a city both ancient and contemporary and challenges us to believe in the possibility that geography can catalyze a truly unique urban future. This book is a valuable resource for scholars, designers, and those who believe in our collective responsibility to bring innovation and insight to the evolution of every city.” —Marion Weiss Graham Chair Professor Of Architecture, University Of Pennsylvania, Cofounder Of Weiss / Manfredi - Architecture / Landscape / Urbanism

“The manner in which this applied research project examines the diverse forms of urban transformation and growth of Quito –with the impact of major transportation projects upon a generic and elastic grid– frames Quito as a paradigm for other cities with limited resources that are undergoing processes of rapid urbanization.”—Joan Busquets Martin Bucksbaum Professor In Practice Of Urban Planning And Design, Harvard University, Author Of Barcelona: The Urban Evolution Of A Compact City


“A Line In The Andes is a daring and brilliant exploration of infrastructure’s potential to shape future architecture and urbanism in the Andean metropolis of Quito, Ecuador. With Latin America and much of the Global South at the edge of a new era of city growth, Correa’s visually spectacular proposals for Quito’s core, periphery, and region provide a compelling design agenda for rapidly expanding cities in Latin America and beyond.”—Brent Ryan, Associate Professor Of Urban Design And Public Policy, Massachusetts Institute Of Technology, Author Of Design Afterdecline: How America Rebuilds Shrinking Cities

About the author: 

Felipe Correa is an architect and urbanist based in New York City (USA) and Quio (Ecuador). He is Associate Professor and Director of the Urban Design Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Correa is also co-founder of Somatic Collaborative, a research based international design-practice, which focuses on a speculative approach to architecture and urbanism, and engages a wide host of material geographies and design procedures. In 2011, Correa started the South America Project, a trans-continental applied research network that proactively endorses the role of design within rapidly transforming geographies of the South American Continent.

Ramiro Almeida is a Visiting Scholar at MIT Media Lab focusing his work at the intersection of cities + innovation + technology. He is a former Harvard University Loeb Fellow at the Graduate School of Design. He leads a wide variety of social entrepreneurship and innovation activities to improve the quality of life in cities. Almeida is also President and Founder of QUITOLAB, the first Urban Innovation Laboratory in Latin America, in collaboration with MIT Media Lab.