Local development was seen as an opportunity to give more room to popular movements around a democratic socialism. The struggle for hegemony was seen as possible once based on community participation, cultural shifts in politics – starting from municipalities – and on the fostering of a new model for the State.
This path was seen as an opportunity for conceiving new ways of carrying out public management, opposing the prevailing neoliberalism across national governments in Latin America at the time.
The twenty-first century was inaugurated with the election of left-wing national governments proposing a reframing of the agenda.
Today, taking a closer look at the countries in the region, one could ask what happened that those local sparks faded away and the national level doesn’t arrive to give resonance to those pioneering experiments.
To foster this reflection, this paper discusses what happened in the sphere of urban planning as well as in the sphere of the city itself as a socially produced space. It addresses a framework of aspects concerning ways of thinking the city, the region and the territory in urbanistic terms and in terms of the culture of planning. The aspects addressed are:
- The scope of the question: city, region and territory;
- The foundation paradigm of planning: the notion of Public Interest and it’s nowadays crisis;
- The culture of planning, which attaches economic planning to the regional, national and macro spheres, whereas physical and territorial planning is mostly attached to the local level;
- The formalization of a new generation of rights: Economic, Social, Cultural, and Environmental Rights.