CUENYA Beatriz Elena
congresos y reuniones científicas
Global and local forces in urban redevelopment policy
Seminario; Second International Conference. Alfa-Ibis Proceedings; 2000
Institución organizadora:
Delft University of Technology
Urban redevelopment is one of the most remarkable examples of urban policy that get spread out with globalisation. Its brief history in an age of global change seems to indicate that, in practically every city in the world it has been put into practice, it shows a set of common features regarding its objectives, tools, actors and effects on the intemal structure of the city. The central objective of urban redevelopment is the adaptation of areas that had been previously considered marginal to the new uses and ways imposed and required by globalisation. By means of big urban operations tending to revitalise dilapidated areas of the city, a new centrality is sought after: The key instrument of this policy is the parinership between the local government and the private capital. Public-private partnership may have different forms. But it is usually carried out as follows: the sectors linked to the big real estate businesses associated to these urban redevelopment proposals are made up of organisations or consortiums which provide the local govemment with planning and technical support. Through partnerships, alliances with local authorities are made. In its tum, public agencies provide private firms with severa1 kinds of financia1 assistance by means of subsidies or tax exemptions and regulatory support by modifying the current norms on the use of land and building control. Particularly in the initial stages, the State takes an active participatory role by removing the extra-economic and legal barriers and by enabling big projects to be carried out. From this demand, urban renewal proposals are originated, in whose making architectural bureaux both of local and intemational reputation takes part. The proposals strive to transform the degraded areas in "brand new districts", backed by new concepts or ideas, such as "the recuperation of a monumental dimension for the city", "the monumental urban fragments" and "new urban networks", "new centralities", amongst others. They offer modem building techniques and diversified building typologies. In al1 cases, instead of comprehensive planning, the project-by-project type basis has been the main vehicle for determining the use of space.) In this form of intervention, that has been called "fragmentary planning " or "post-modem planning", arnongst other denominations, the ski11 to design with full detail the morphology and aesthetics of a site or a part of the city is extremely important. The proposals are then tumed into big building projects that usually include big office buildings and luxury residences, high-leve1 commercial centres, cultural features and public spaces carefully designed. They involve massive investments and multiple financial, engineering and architectural investments, as well as other professional firms. The urban redevelopment policies have in most cases brought along deep physical, social, economical and institutional transfomzations in the cities. Social scientists generally agree that the effects of urban development that has restructured the morphology of cities have also excluded a sector of the population and increased social and spatial segregation. Unequal development is, however, often resisted by urban movements and also challenged by diverse State initiatives, more worried about equity. In several cities, community groups have pressed the authorities to reach more balanced redevelopment policies. The central ingredient to these initiatives was the joining of the groups that had been affected by the policy in the proceses of planning and discussion of altematives for relocation and economic and social compensation. The still fragmentary available knowledge about this subject arises from studies made principally in US and European cities, in which urban redevelopment policies have started with an anticipation of one decade in comparison to Latin America. In such sense, it is extremely important to fill in the great void in the existing understanding about this matter in our continent and especially in Argentina.