Buenos Aires (/ˈbweɪnəs ˈɛəriːz/ or /ˈaɪrɪs/, Spanish: [ˈbwenos ˈaiɾes]) is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the continent's southeastern coast. The Greater Buenos Aires conurbation, which also includes severalBuenos Aires Province districts, constitutes the third-largest conurbation inLatin America, with a population of around fifteen and a half million.
The city of Buenos Aires is neither part of Buenos Aires Province nor the Province's capital; rather, it is an autonomous district. In 1880, after decades of political infighting, Buenos Aires was federalized and removed from Buenos Aires Province. The city limits were enlarged to include the towns of Belgrano and Flores; both are now neighborhoods of the city. The 1994 constitutional amendment granted the city autonomy, hence its formal name: Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires (Autonomous City of Buenos Aires). Its citizens first elected a Chief of Government (i.e. Mayor) in 1996; before, the Mayor was directly appointed by the President of the Republic.
Buenos Aires is, along with Mexico City and São Paulo, one of the three Latin American cities considered an 'alpha city' by the study GaWC5.Buenos Aires has the third best quality of life of Latin American cities.Buenos Aires' quality of life is ranked 81st in the world, with its per capita income among the three highest in the region.It is the most visited city in South America (ahead of Rio de Janeiro) and the second most visited city across Spanish Latin America (behind Mexico City). It is also one of the most important, largest and most populous of South American capitals, often referred to as the Paris of South America.
Buenos Aires is a top tourist destination, and is known for its European-style architecture and rich cultural life, with the highest concentration of theaters in the world. Buenos Aires held the 1st Pan American Games in 1951 as well as hosting two venues in the 1978 FIFA World Cup. Buenos Aires will host the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics.
People from Buenos Aires are referred to as porteños (people of the port). The city is the birthplace of the current pope, Francis (formerArchbishop of Buenos Aires), and of Queen Máxima of the Netherlands.
|Autonomous City of Buenos Aires|
|Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires|
From the top, left to right: Central Business District skyline, the Palace of the Argentine National Congress, Puente de la Mujer, Tango dancers in San Telmo, Casa Rosada, the Metropolitan Cathedral, Cabildo, the Obelisco,Teatro Colón, La Recoleta Cemetery, thePlanetario within Parque Tres de Febrero, andCaminito.
The Queen of El Plata (La reina del Plata), The Paris of South America (La París de Sudamérica),
Seaman Juan Díaz de Solís, navigating in the name of Spain, was the first European to reach the Río de la Plata in 1516. His expedition was cut short when he was killed during an attack by the native Charrúa tribe in what is now Uruguay.
The city of Buenos Aires was first established asCiudad de Nuestra Señora Santa María del Buen Ayre (literally "City of Our Lady Saint Mary of the Fair Winds") after Our Lady of Bonaria (Patroness Saint of Sardinia) on 2 February 1536 by a Spanish expedition led by Pedro de Mendoza. The settlement founded by Mendoza was located in what is today the San Telmo district of Buenos Aires, south of the city center.
More attacks by the indigenous people forced the settlers away, and in 1542 the site was abandoned.A second (and permanent) settlement was established in 1580 by Juan de Garay, who arrived by sailing down the Paraná River from Asunción (now the capital of Paraguay). He dubbed the settlement "Santísima Trinidad" and its port became "Puerto de Santa María de los Buenos Aires."
From its earliest days, Buenos Aires depended primarily on trade. During most of the 17th and 18th centuries, Spanish ships were menaced by pirates, so they developed a complex system where ships with military protection were dispatched to Central America, cross the land, from there to Lima, Peru and from it to the inner cities of the viceroyalty. Because of this, products took a very long time to arrive in Buenos Aires, and the taxes generated by the transport made them prohibitive. This scheme frustrated the traders of Buenos Aires, and a thriving contraband industry developed. This also instilled a deep resentment in porteños towards the Spanish authorities.
Sensing these feelings, Charles III of Spain progressively eased the trade restrictions and finally declared Buenos Aires an open port in the late 18th century. The capture of Porto Bello by British forces also fueled the need to foster commerce via the Atlantic route, to the detriment of Lima-based trade. One of his rulings was to split a region from the Viceroyalty of Perú and create instead the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, with Buenos Aires as the capital. However, Charles's placating actions did not have the desired effect, and the porteños, some of them versed in the ideology of the French Revolution, became even more convinced of the need for independence from Spain.
The Executive is held by the Chief of Government(Spanish: Jefe de Gobierno), elected for a four-year term together with a Deputy Chief of Government, who presides over the 60-member Buenos Aires City Legislature. Each member of the Legislature is elected for a four-year term; half of the legislature is renewed every two years. Elections use the D'Hondt method of proportional representation. The Judicial branch is composed of the Supreme Court of Justice (Tribunal Superior de Justicia), the Magistrate's Council (Consejo de la Magistratura), the Public Ministry, and other City Courts. The Article 61 of the 1996 Constitution of the City of Buenos Aires states that "Suffrage is free, equal, secret, universal, compulsory and non-accumulative. Resident aliens enjoy this same right, with its corresponding obligations, on equal terms with Argentine citizens registered in the district, under the terms established by law."
Legally, the city has less autonomy than the Provinces. In June 1996, shortly before the City's first Executive elections were held, the Argentine National Congress issued the National Law 24.588 (known as Ley Cafiero, after the Senatorwho advanced the project) by which the authority over the 25,000-strong Argentine Federal Police and the responsibility over the federal institutions residing at the City (e.g., National Supreme Court of Justice buildings) would not be transferred from the National Government to the Autonomous City Government until a new consensus could be reached at the National Congress. Furthermore, it declared that the Port of Buenos Aires, along with some other places, would remain under constituted federal authorities. As of 2011, the deployment of the Metropolitan Police of Buenos Aires is ongoing.
Beginning in 2007, the city has embarked on a new decentralization scheme, creating new Communes (comunas) which are to be managed by elected committees of seven members each.
In the census of 2001 there were 2,891,082 people residing in the city. The population density in Buenos Aires proper was 13,680 inhabitants per square kilometer (34,800 per mi2), but only about 2,400 per km2 (6,100 per mi2) in the suburbs. The racial makeup of the city is 88.9% White, 7% Mestizo, 2% Asian and 1%Black.
The population of Buenos Aires proper has hovered around 3 million since 1947, due to low birth rates and a slow migration to the suburbs. The surrounding districts have, however, expanded over fivefold (to around 10 million) since then.
The 2001 census showed a relatively aged population: with 17% under the age of fifteen and 22% over sixty, the people of Buenos Aires have an age structure similar to those in most European cities. They are older than Argentines as a whole (of whom 28% were under 15, and 14% over 60).
Two-thirds of the city's residents live in apartment buildings and 30% in single-family homes; 4% live in sub-standard housing. Measured in terms of income, the city's poverty rate was 8.4% in 2007 and, including the metro area, 20.6%. Other studies estimate that 4 million people in the metropolitan Buenos Aires area live in poverty.
The city's resident labor force of 1.2 million in 2001 was mostly employed in the services sector, particularly social services (25%), commerce and tourism (20%) and business and financial services (17%); despite the city's role as Argentina's capital, public administration employed only 6%. Manufacturing still employed 10%.
The city is divided into 48 barrios or, districts, for administrative purposes. The division was originally based on Catholicparroquias (parishes), but has undergone a series of changes since the 1940s. A newer scheme has divided the city into 15 comunas (communes).
The villas range from small groups of precarious houses to larger, more organised communities with thousands of residents. In rural areas, the houses in the villas miserias might be made of mud and wood. Villas miseria are found around and inside the large cities of Buenos Aires, Rosario, Córdoba and Mendoza, among others. The villas draw people from several backgrounds. Some are local citizens who have fallen from an already precarious economic position. In most cases, a villa miseria is populated by the children and grandchildren of the original settlers, who have been unable to improve their economic status.
In addition, Buenos Aires does not have enough green space. On average it has below 2 m2 (22 sq ft) of green space per person, ten times less than New York, seven times less than Madrid and five times less than Paris. The World Health Organization (WHO), in its concern for public health, produced a document on the subject stating that every city should have a minimum of 9 m2 (97 sq ft) of green space per person. An optimal amount would sit between 10 and 15 m2 (161 sq ft) per person.
The majority of porteños have European origins, with Italian, German and Spanish descent being the most common, from the Calabrian, Ligurian, Piedmont, Lombardy, Sicily and Campania regions of Italy and from the Andalusian, Galician,Asturian, and Basque regions of Spain. Unrestricted waves of European immigrants to Argentina starting in the mid-19th century significantly increased the country's population, even causing the number of porteños to triple between 1887 and 1915 from 500,000 to 1.5 million.
Other significant European origins include Scottish, Norwegian, Polish, French, Portuguese, Swedish, Greek, Czech, Croatian, Dutch, Russian, Serbian, English and Bulgarian. In the 1980s and 1990s, there was a small wave of immigration from Romania and Ukraine. There is a minority of old criollo stock, dating back to the Spanish colonial days. The Criollo and Spanish-aboriginal (mestizo) population in the city has increased mostly as a result of immigration from the inner provinces and from other countries such as neighboring Bolivia, Paraguay, Chile and Perú, since the second half of the 20th century.
The Jewish community in Greater Buenos Aires numbers around 250,000, and is the largest in Latin America. Most are of Northern, Western, Central, and Eastern European Ashkenazi origin, primarily Swedish, Dutch, Polish, German, and Russian Jews, with a significant Sephardic minority, mostly made up of Syrian Jews and Lebanese Jews. Important Lebanese, Georgians, Syrian and Armenian communities have had a significant presence in commerce and civic life since the beginning of the 20th century.
Most East Asian immigration in Buenos Aires comes from China. Chinese immigration is currently the fourth largest in Argentina, with the vast majority of them living in Buenos Aires and its metropolitan area. In the 1980s, most of them were from Taiwan, but since the 1990s the majority of Chinese immigrants come from the continental province of Fujian.The mainland Chinese who came from Fujian mainly installed supermarkets throughout the city and the suburbs; these supermarkets are so common that, in average, there is one every two and a half blocks and are simply referred to as el chino ("the Chinese"). Japanese immigrants are mostly from the Okinawa Prefecture. They started the dry cleaning business in Argentina, an activity that is considered idiosyncratic to the Japanese immigrants in Buenos Aires. Korean Immigration occurred after the division of Korea; they mainly settled in Flores and Once.
The limits of Buenos Aires proper are determined in the eastern part and north-east by the Rio de la Plata, in the southern part and southeast by the Riachuelo and to the northwest, west and Southwest by Avenida General Paz, a 24 km (15 mi) long highway that separates the province of Buenos Aires from the 203 km2 (78 sq mi) that form the city.
The city of Buenos Aires lies in the pampa region, except for some zones like theBuenos Aires Ecological Reserve, the Boca Juniors (football) Club "sports city",Jorge Newbery Airport, the Puerto Madero neighborhood and the main port itself; these were all built on reclaimed land along the coasts of the Rio de la Plata (the world's widest river).
The region was formerly crossed by different creeks and lagoons, some of which were refilled and others tubed. Among the most important creeks are Maldonado, Vega, Medrano, Cildañez and White. In 1908 many creeks were channelled and rectified, as floods were damaging the city's infrastructure. Starting in 1919, most creeks were enclosed. Notably, the Maldonado was tubed in 1954, and runs below Juan B. Justo Avenue.
Strongly influenced by European culture, Buenos Aires is sometimes referred to as the "Paris of South America". The city has the busiest live theatre industry in Latin America, with scores of theaters and productions. In fact, every weekend, there are about 300 active theatres with plays, a number that places the city as 1st worldwide, more than either London, New York or Paris, cultural Meccas in themselves. The number of cultural festivals with more than 10 sites and 5 years of existence also places the city as 2nd worldwide, after Edinburgh.
Buenos Aires is the site of the Teatro Colón, an internationally rated opera house. There are several symphony orchestras and choral societies. The city has numerous museums related to history, fine arts, modern arts, decorative arts, popular arts, sacred art, arts and crafts, theatre and popular music, as well as the preserved homes of noted art collectors, writers, composers and artists. The city is home to hundreds of bookstores, public libraries and cultural associations (it is sometimes called "the city of books"), as well as the largest concentration of active theatres in Latin America. It has a world-famous zoo and botanical garden, a large number of landscaped parks and squares, as well as churches and places of worship of many denominations, many of which are architecturally noteworthy.
Every April in the city, the Buenos Aires International Book Fair is celebrated; it is one of the top five book fairs in the world, oriented to the general public as well as to the literary community . With one bookstore per 4,000 residents, the city of Buenos Aires has the highest concentration of bookstores per capita than any other city in the world and more bookstores than the entire country of Mexico, which has over 100 million inhabitants.
"La Noche de los Museos" (Night of Museums) also takes place every November. On this day, most of the museums of the city are open all night long. In 2014, the event attracted over 850,000 visitors to the city's more than 200 museums, a record figure.
Buenos Aires is also very active in street art, with major murals everywhere in the city.
Known as Rioplatense Spanish, Buenos Aires' Spanish (as that of other cities likeRosario and Montevideo, Uruguay) is characterised by voseo, yeísmo and aspiration of s in various contexts. It is heavily influenced by the dialects of Spanish spoken in Andalusia and Murcia. A phonetic study conducted by the Laboratory for Sensory Investigations of CONICET and the University of Toronto showed that theprosody of porteño is closer to the Neapolitan language of Italy than to any other spoken language.
In the early 20th century, Argentina absorbed millions of immigrants, many of them Italians, who spoke mostly in their local dialects (mainly Neapolitan, Sicilian and Genoan). Their adoption of Spanish was gradual, creating a pidgin of Italian dialects and Spanish that was called cocoliche. Its usage declined around the 1950s.
Many Spanish immigrants were from Galicia, and Spaniards are still generically referred to in Argentina as gallegos(Galicians). Galician language, cuisine and culture had a major presence in the city for most of the 20th century. In recent years, descendants of Galician immigrants have led a mini-boom in Celtic music (which also highlighted the Welsh traditions of Patagonia).
Yiddish was commonly heard in Buenos Aires, especially in the Balvanera garment district and in Villa Crespo until the 1960s. Most of the newer immigrants learn Spanish quickly and assimilate into city life.
The Lunfardo argot originated within the prison population, and in time spread to all porteños. Lunfardo uses words from Italian dialects, from Brazilian Portuguese, from African and Caribbean languages and even from English. Lunfardo employs humorous tricks such as inverting the syllables within a word (vesre). Today, Lunfardo is mostly heard in tango lyrics; the slang of the younger generations has been evolving away from it.
Museums in Buenos Aires are:
Primary education comprise grades 1–7. Most primary schools in the city still adhere to the traditional seven-year primary school, but kids can do grades 1-6 if their high schools lasts 6 years, such as ORT Argentina.
Secondary education in Argentina is called Polimodal ("polymodal", that is, having multiple modes), since it allows the student to choose his/her orientation. Polimodal is usually 3 years of schooling, although some schools have a fourth year. Before entering the first year of polimodal, students choose an orientation, among these five: Humanities and Social Sciences, Economics and Management of Organizations, Art and Design, Health and Sport and Biology and Natural Sciences.
Nevertheless, in Buenos Aires, secondary education consists of 5 years, called from 1st year to 5th year, as opposed to primary education's 1st to 7th grade. Most schools don't require students to choose their orientation, as they study the basic such as maths, biology, art, history and technology, but there are schools that do, whether they are orientated to a certain profession or they have orientations to choose from when they reach a specific year.
Some high schools depend on the University of Buenos Aires, and these require an admission course when students are taking the last year of high school. These high schools are ILSE, CNBA, Escuela Superior de Comercio Carlos Pellegrini and Escuela de Educación Técnica Profesional en Producción Agropecuaria y Agroalimentaria (School of Professional Technique Education in Agricultural and Agri-food Production). The last two do have a specific orientation.
In December 2006 the Chamber of Deputies of the Argentine Congress passed a new National Education Law restoring the old system of primary followed by secondary education, making secondary education obligatory and a right, and increasing the length of compulsory education to 13 years. The government vowed to put the law in effect gradually, starting in 2007.