congresos y reuniones científicas
Towards an understanding of spatial planning systems in Latin America. The cases of Mexico and Argentina
DANIEL GALLAND; PABLO ELINBAUM
Congreso; AESOP Annual Congress. Lisbon 2017. Spaces of dialog for places of dignity: Fostering the European dimension of planning. 11-14 July 2017; 2017
Universidade de Lisboa
There is widespread recognition about the evolution and diversity of spatial planning systems and policies across Europe. However, less attention has been devoted to the character of spatial planning and their implications for spatial development elsewhere. In contributing to establish a renovated discussion on the matter, the paper focuses on Latin America as regards the interrelationship between social aspects and their influence on the reproduction of spatial planning systems. This interrelationship has been a topic of significant scrutiny in Europe and has been developed from at least three standpoints. Firstly, the classification of planning traditions and the comparison between planning systems and policies (CEC, 1997; ESPON, 2006). Secondly, the means through which social contexts shape spatial planning systems (Vigar et al., 2000) as evidenced by: (i) discourses and ideologies (e.g. Servillo, 2010; Hajer, 2003); (ii) legal frameworks (e.g. van Dijk & Beunen, 2009); (iii) political power (e.g. Yiftachel et al., 2001); and (iv) regulations and governance (e.g. Peters & van Nispen, 1998). Finally, the role of institutions in and for planning, namely (i) the role of formal institutions (organisations, laws and procedures); (ii) informal institutions (values, conventions and codes of conduct); (iii) the actions that structure social contexts (e.g. Healey, 1997) and (iv) the role of planning as a potential stimulus (or obstacle) to foster economic development, to protect private and public property, and to improve democratic decision making processes (Healey, 2007). The complexity of Latin American spatial planning systems, the specificity of planning instruments, the idiosyncrasy of actor configurations, the distinctiveness of evolutionary stages and the peculiarity of social models and planning cultures are all indicative of a multifaceted region whereby individual planning contexts tend to emerge from a plurality of planning modes, tools and political directions of spatial change. Moreover, the oftentimes uncritical implementation of imported planning models and methodologies (normally decoupled or detached from institutional reforms capable of providing suitable legislative frameworks) from more developed countries and the usage of the individual countries within this macro-region as testing grounds for planning policies and practices at different levels of planning administration further underscores the distinctive and also pioneering nature of Latin American planning. The above situation evidently calls for advancing ad hoc analytical frameworks and methodologies aimed at developing a comprehensive understanding of the evolution and performance of planning systems, policies and tools in this region. The paper thereby explores the character of spatial planning systems and policy-making from theoretical, methodological and empirical approaches. Theoretically, the paper pays attention to the ad hoc interrelationships between spatial planning systems and social contexts, and between the former and the role of institutions in and for planning as adapted to Latin American settings. Methodologically, the paper attempts to combine institutionalist and strategic-relational approaches (Servillo & Lingua, 2014) to identify interpretive categories that shed light on the evolutionary processes of planning systems within the region.