Growth and poverty in the urban fringe : decentralization, dispersion, and inequality in greater Buenos Aires
Author(s)Libertun de Duren, Nora R
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Diane E. Davis.
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This research presents the case of growth in Buenos Aires since the late 1970s, when the decentralization of urban planning powers in the Province of Buenos Aires began, until 2001, when an economic crisis submerged -even if transitorily- more than half of all metropolitan households below the poverty line. This thesis explores why social inequality within municipal boundaries increased after the municipalities acquired autonomous planning powers. It counts with three sections: Section I investigates how the decentralized planning practices of the municipalities of Greater Buenos Aires have impacted the growth of Buenos Aires. It explains the cluster of affluent gated communities in the poorest municipalities of the urban periphery as the outcome of the special permits that these municipalities gave to real estate developers. Section II explains how national development policies have contributed to the impoverishment of these municipalities. It depicts how these policies have generated a persistent flow of poor residents to Greater Buenos Aires at the same time that they have diminished the economic sufficiency of local governments. Section III explains why these municipalities did not resist these transformations. This research has found that national industrialization policies determined much of the fate of Greater Buenos Aires. Because of the limitations that the preexisting geography of development imposes on local participants, decentralization cannot prevent social polarization when only the highest income sectors have the resources that can activate local economies. Nevertheless within these circumstances, municipal planning practices and local polities have determined the specific geography of social inequality. Thus, participatory institutions are necessary, but not sufficient to transcend social inequality. Social inequality in the metropolis will diminish only after a development project on the national scale is developed.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2007.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Vita.Includes bibliographical references (p. 267-280).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.