Arts-Led Urban Regeneration in the Iberoamerican Space

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 18:30
Oral Presentation
Arturo RODRIGUEZ MORATO, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
Matias ZARLENGA, Universidad Tres de Febrero, Argentina
Processes of urban regeneration through culture and the arts have become a key strategy for the economic and social revitalization of many cities around the world. Driven by the public sector or public-private partnerships, these processes have pursued the economic, social and urban viability of obsolete industrial cities. In this kind of interventions, it is understood that culture and the arts can be used as a catalyst for economic development, urban improvement and social inclusion.

There is a standard narrative in academic literature that depicts these processes as inevitably producing negative effects like gentrification and displacement of lower income households or alienation of residents. On the contrary, an alternative literature conceives them in a very positive way as promoting economic development or urban renovation. Both interpretations use to be exclusively based on Anglo-Saxon cases and both tend to be rather simplistic.

Here we will try to offer a more nuanced perspective on the base of considering a different kind of evidence: the one accumulated in the Iberoamerican world. Actually, the Iberoamerican experience suggests the importance of a plurality of contexts and the processes dynamics in determining the influence that the arts can exert on the urban space. In this presentation, we will examine a series of cases of urban regeneration based on the arts in the Iberoamerican space that will allow us to show this new theoretical perspective.