CUENYA Beatriz Elena
congresos y reuniones científicas
Megaprojects, changes in the urban core and conflicts of interest. Notes on the Argentina experience
Sao Paulo Brasil
Conferencia; 2009 ISA-RC21 Sao Paulo Conference. Inequality, Inclusion and the Sense of Belonging; 2009
Institución organizadora:
International Sociological Association Research Comittee 21
This paper seeks to analyze the mega-operations of urban renovation enacted by public initiative, by means of which marginalized areas are reconfigured into new centralities: built environments, designed to accommodate infrastructures and high-level services directed to a high demand of purchasing power; which, in turn, usually exceeds the local sphere in order to include both national and international businesses, users, and investors. The large projects of this kind express a new physical and social landscape of the urban centrality, and express them in the context of globalization. They synthesize the important changes undergone by modern metropolises: in the spatial organization of activities, in the design of the built environment itself, in the styles of consumption and the life of the population – particularly the elites – as well as in the modes of public management of this environment during the last 30 years. The literature on globalization and economic restructuring provides a powerful conceptual framework for analyzing and interpreting the principal causes that have driven these new urban artifacts in the majority of large metropolises to multiply. Less is known about how this “new urban geography” is constructed locally. This entails a thorough investigation of the interests that shape the agents’ practices and explain the urban behaviors that have emerged as a result of the Post-Fordist economic restructuring. The purpose of this analysis is to examine the key modifications that the large projects produce in the structure of the urban centrality; to identify the dominant interests that, operating on distinct scales and according to distinct logics, help to stimulate those changes; and, finally, to delineate some of the conflicts that arise from them. The analysis draws from the literature on the new urban forms that arise from globalization, and also from the author’s own studies of projects carried out in Argentina during the last two decades: Puerto Madero and Project Retiro in Buenos Aires and Puerto Norte in Rosario.