Selling Places: The Right to the City in an Age of Market Oriented Urban Management and Planning

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 11:00 AM
Room: 315
Oral Presentation
Glauco BIENENSTEIN , Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil
Regina BIENENSTEIN , Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niteroi, Brazil
Since the beginning of the so-called cities financial crisis, market oriented policies have been adopted by local administrations in order to deal with the constraints of such crisis. Moreover, this strategy has been taken in different places as the only way to face the complexity and also the increasing problems linked to the ongoing process of world urbanization. This paper discusses such process in Brazil, taking as case study Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area, specifically the case of the “Operação Urbana Consorciada” (which can be freely translated as “Urban Consortium Operation”) of Niterói city – former capital of Rio de Janeiro state – a huge urban project that intends to privatize the managementof its central business district. The paper gives anoverview of how such project has been presented and discussed with local dwellers, highlighting the strategies and struggles that have emerged from the process. It showsthat the adoption of strong market oriented strategies to face financial crisis has brought huge constraints to those groups who have been struggling to the right of city, spoiling of democratic decision-making processes. The paper has three parts.The first one gives a broadview about the present Brazilian urban process, focusing the discussion on Rio de Janeiro city, mainly in its docklands area seen as a model to the cities located in its metropolitan region.The second part presents the case of the “Operação Urbana Consorciada” of Niterói city. Finally, as preliminary conclusions, it shows how urban democracy has been considerably spoiled, considering the market oriented urban policies.