Article

Elite Compacts in Africa: The Role of Area-based Management in the New Governmentality of the Durban City-region

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  • British Council and LSE
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Abstract

Through reflection on the practical post-apartheid (re)alignment of competing rationalities across the Greater Durban urban region, this essay teases out the interface between traditional and modern settlement management systems, and explores how governance cleavages are being renegotiated and mediated. It is suggested that, in building an integrated method of operating across the fragmented city-regional scale and navigating the competing interests involved, the practice of African urbanism is being defined. Without making any claims for what may or may not be uniquely African city-regional dynamics at the boundaries of tradition and modernity, what is clear from the Durban case is that both conventional city-regional literature and new city-regional ideas have glossed over the complexity of finding solutions to tensions between poor communities, urban managers, elected local authorities and the traditional rural elites of the functional city-regions of Africa.

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... Speaking to an emerging literature on the politics of metropolitan reforms in urban Africa (Beall et al., 2015;Goodfellow, 2010;Gore and Gopakumar, 2015), this empirical account of metropolitan reforms in Mangaung, a secondary city in South Africa, enriches narratives on African urbanism. Metropolitan reforms, which integrate cities with their regions through territorial reorganisation to create single-tier local governments, were central to the goal of redressing socio-spatial apartheid in postapartheid South Africa. ...
... However, in 2011, two secondary cities, Buffalo City and Mangaung, joined this group (see Figure 1), and since then, other secondary cities have vigorously pursued metropolitan reforms (Mkhize, 2021). Metropolitanisation creates substantial service delivery challenges, especially when relatively weak South African (Mangaung) local governments are tasked with coordinating administration across multiple nodes and competing needs in sprawling and rapidly growing city-regions (Beall et al., 2015). Despite these administrative challenges, well-functioning secondary city municipalities that are part of a two-tier governance system are pursuing metropolitanisation. ...
... The scholarship on metropolitan governance in South Africa has examined the tensions and planning challenges that integrating cities with their peri-urban regions pose (e.g. Beall et al., 2015). However, there has been little discussion of how the practices for integrated city-regional governance, including boundary reorganisation, differ (or not) in smaller, secondary cities, which house 27% of the South African population (SACN, 2021). ...
Article
Full-text available
Metropolitan reforms, which include the creation of unified metropolitan governments through municipal mergers and reclassification, are emerging as one strategy to address planning and service delivery challenges in the wake of increasing urbanisation across sub-Saharan Africa. Although metropolitanisation adds service area and mandates, well-functioning secondary cities that are part of a two-tier governance system in South Africa are pursuing metropolitanisation. The case of Mangaung, an early instance of secondary city metropolitanisation, is an opportunity to examine the motivations underlying these reforms, the politics involved and their impacts on urban governance. Mangaung’s political and administrative leadership pursued metropolitanisation to jump scale, attain greater political autonomy vis-a`-vis other tiers of government, and obtain fiscal and technical resources available only to metropolitan municipalities in South Africa’s urban municipal hierarchy. Metropolitanisation was no panacea for Mangaung’s governance challenges, however, since it did not resolve the underlying weaknesses in municipal capacity or the regional economy, nor did it address the spatial legacies of apartheid that produced a sprawling metropolitan service area. As other South African secondary cities contemplate metropolitanisation, we recommend revising municipal structures and mandates and strengthening administrative capacities and economies in secondary cities.
... But so do the insights developed from international urban development policy, which remind us that most people moving to cities arrive to live in self-constructed housing, often on the peripheries of cities and often facing a life-threatening lack of infrastructure (Mitlin and Satterthwaite 2013). In addition, if those contexts that have not historically informed urban studies serve as starting points for theorization (for shorthand, we might label these as "the Global South"-Parnell and Oldfeld 2014), diferent political issues and formations emerge: the politics of access to and titling of land (Gough and Yankson 2000); the diverse interests of state actors, or state efects, as opposed to "the state" (Eriksen 2017); varied forms of political authority (Beall, Parnell, and Albertyn 2015); violent and ongoing coloniality (Porter and Yiftachel 2018); emergent associational forms of regulation, coordination of everyday life, and mobilization (Diouf and Fredericks 2014). ...
... These accounts traveled poorly to Europe (Harding 1994;Ward 1996), and thus wider analyses, such as that of Kantor, Savitch, and Vicari (1997), expanded the range of concerns to consider municipalities in relation to their national political context and the place of cities in relation to a range of international economic relationships. However, even approaches such as these have little purchase in situations where local governance systems are more strongly centralized, local regimes might be more collective and redistributive (Le Galès 2002), or the institutional basis and scope for the operation of local government is weak, highly informalized, or interwoven with traditional/communal forms of land ownership and governance (Parnell and Pieterse 2014;Beall, Parnell, and Albertyn 2015). In addition, a proliferation of transnational actors, such as resource extraction companies (oil, minerals), sovereign investors and development agencies, international NGOs, and actors such as the World Bank, bring a very diferent confguration to urban politics in many poorer country contexts. ...
Chapter
In the wake of both post-colonial critiques of urban studies and the emerging realities of “planetary urbanization,” there is a need to revisit theories of urban politics. As urban forms across the globe are becoming fragmented and often extend across vast areas, earlier theoretical analyses of urban politics that focused closely on the municipal institutions and configurations of actors in a North American idiom have become increasingly redundant. Rapid urban growth and extending urban forms give rise to new territories of urban politics, including city-regions, operational landscapes, and large-scale developments. In reconfiguring the spaces of urban politics, attention needs to be directed to the wide range of transnational actors and practices, circulating policies as well as material and financial flows, which are key drivers of urban development and compose the field of urban politics. This chapter reviews accounts of the spatialities of urban politics. It then draws on empirical research on city strategies and on large-scale urban developments to propose ways in which the circuits, territories, and territorializations of the politics of urban development might be conceptualized. At the same time, emergent territories of urban politics provide the justification and grounds for wider comparative analyses and theory-building across diverse, specific urban contexts.
... But so do the insights developed from international urban development policy, which remind us that most people moving to cities arrive to live in self-constructed housing, often on the peripheries of cities and often facing a life-threatening lack of infrastructure (Mitlin and Satterthwaite 2013). In addition, if those contexts that have not historically informed urban studies serve as starting points for theorization (for shorthand, we might label these as "the Global South"-Parnell and Oldfield 2014), di erent political issues and formations emerge: the politics of access to and titling of land (Gough and Yankson 2000); the diverse interests of state actors, or state e ects, as opposed to "the state" (Eriksen 2017); varied forms of political authority (Beall, Parnell, and Albertyn 2015); violent and ongoing coloniality (Porter and Yiftachel 2018); emergent associational forms of regulation, coordination of everyday life, and mobilization (Diouf and Fredericks 2014). This sits against a backdrop of theories of urban politics based on an earlier era and on a limited range of contexts (Lauermann 2018). ...
... These accounts traveled poorly to Europe (Harding 1994;Ward 1996), and thus wider analyses, such as that of Kantor, Savitch, and Vicari (1997), expanded the range of concerns to consider municipalities in relation to their national political context and the place of cities in relation to a range of international economic relationships. However, even approaches such as these have little purchase in situations where local governance systems are more strongly centralized, local regimes might be more collective and redistributive (Le , or the institutional basis and scope for the operation of local government is weak, highly informalized, or interwoven with traditional/communal forms of land ownership and governance (Parnell and Pieterse 2014;Beall, Parnell, and Albertyn 2015). In addition, a proliferation of transnational actors, such as resource extraction companies (oil, minerals), sovereign investors and development agencies, international NGOs, and actors such as the World Bank, bring a very di erent configuration to urban politics in many poorer country contexts. ...
... But so do the insights developed from international urban development policy, which remind us that most people moving to cities arrive to live in self-constructed housing, often on the peripheries of cities and often facing a life-threatening lack of infrastructure (Mitlin and Satterthwaite 2013). In addition, if those contexts that have not historically informed urban studies serve as starting points for theorization (for shorthand, we might label these as "the Global South"-Parnell and Oldfeld 2014), diferent political issues and formations emerge: the politics of access to and titling of land (Gough and Yankson 2000); the diverse interests of state actors, or state efects, as opposed to "the state" (Eriksen 2017); varied forms of political authority (Beall, Parnell, and Albertyn 2015); violent and ongoing coloniality (Porter and Yiftachel 2018); emergent associational forms of regulation, coordination of everyday life, and mobilization (Diouf and Fredericks 2014). This sits against a backdrop of theories of urban politics based on an earlier era and on a limited range of contexts (Lauermann 2018). ...
... These accounts traveled poorly to Europe (Harding 1994;Ward 1996), and thus wider analyses, such as that of Kantor, Savitch, and Vicari (1997), expanded the range of concerns to consider municipalities in relation to their national political context and the place of cities in relation to a range of international economic relationships. However, even approaches such as these have little purchase in situations where local governance systems are more strongly centralized, local regimes might be more collective and redistributive (Le , or the institutional basis and scope for the operation of local government is weak, highly informalized, or interwoven with traditional/communal forms of land ownership and governance (Parnell and Pieterse 2014;Beall, Parnell, and Albertyn 2015). In addition, a proliferation of transnational actors, such as resource extraction companies (oil, minerals), sovereign investors and development agencies, international NGOs, and actors such as the World Bank, bring a very diferent confguration to urban politics in many poorer country contexts. ...
Book
This book examines a variety of subjective spatial experiences and knowledge production practices in order to shed new light on the specifics of contemporary socio-spatial change, driven as it is by inter alia, digitalization, transnationalization, and migration. Considering the ways in which emerging spatial phenomena are conditioned by an increasing interconnectedness, this book asks how spaces are changing as a result of mediatization, increased mobility, globalization, and social dislocation. With attention to questions surrounding the negotiation and (visual) communication of space, it explores the arrangements, spatialities, and materialities that underpin the processes of spatial refiguration by which these changes come about. Bringing together the work of leading scholars from across diverse range disciplines to address questions of socio-spatial transformation, this volume will appeal to sociologists and geographers, as well as scholars and practitioners of urban planning and architecture.
... But so do the insights developed from international urban development policy, which remind us that most people moving to cities arrive to live in self-constructed housing, often on the peripheries of cities and often facing a life-threatening lack of infrastructure (Mitlin and Satterthwaite 2013). In addition, if those contexts that have not historically informed urban studies serve as starting points for theorization (for shorthand, we might label these as "the Global South"-Parnell and Oldfeld 2014), diferent political issues and formations emerge: the politics of access to and titling of land (Gough and Yankson 2000); the diverse interests of state actors, or state efects, as opposed to "the state" (Eriksen 2017); varied forms of political authority (Beall, Parnell, and Albertyn 2015); violent and ongoing coloniality (Porter and Yiftachel 2018); emergent associational forms of regulation, coordination of everyday life, and mobilization (Diouf and Fredericks 2014). This sits against a backdrop of theories of urban politics based on an earlier era and on a limited range of contexts (Lauermann 2018). ...
... These accounts traveled poorly to Europe (Harding 1994;Ward 1996), and thus wider analyses, such as that of Kantor, Savitch, and Vicari (1997), expanded the range of concerns to consider municipalities in relation to their national political context and the place of cities in relation to a range of international economic relationships. However, even approaches such as these have little purchase in situations where local governance systems are more strongly centralized, local regimes might be more collective and redistributive (Le , or the institutional basis and scope for the operation of local government is weak, highly informalized, or interwoven with traditional/communal forms of land ownership and governance (Parnell and Pieterse 2014;Beall, Parnell, and Albertyn 2015). In addition, a proliferation of transnational actors, such as resource extraction companies (oil, minerals), sovereign investors and development agencies, international NGOs, and actors such as the World Bank, bring a very diferent confguration to urban politics in many poorer country contexts. ...
Chapter
The economy transforms much more slowly and much more path-dependently than suggested by economic theories and Löw and Knoblauch’s concept of the refiguration of spaces. This chapter provides an alternative to other prevailing explanations for this sluggishness of spatial transformations: the spatial and temporal coupling of institutions. Using the example of consumer–retailer interactions in West German cities, we show (a) how consumers (demand side) couple shopping with other everyday activities and (b) how retailers (supply side) couple their outlets with other retailers and social institutions, but also (c) how demand and supply side are coupled and (d) how this coupling is embedded in the material urban structure, (e) which in turn is at the root of the slowness in spatial transformations.
... But so do the insights developed from international urban development policy, which remind us that most people moving to cities arrive to live in self-constructed housing, often on the peripheries of cities and often facing a life-threatening lack of infrastructure (Mitlin and Satterthwaite 2013). In addition, if those contexts that have not historically informed urban studies serve as starting points for theorization (for shorthand, we might label these as "the Global South"-Parnell and Oldfeld 2014), diferent political issues and formations emerge: the politics of access to and titling of land (Gough and Yankson 2000); the diverse interests of state actors, or state efects, as opposed to "the state" (Eriksen 2017); varied forms of political authority (Beall, Parnell, and Albertyn 2015); violent and ongoing coloniality (Porter and Yiftachel 2018); emergent associational forms of regulation, coordination of everyday life, and mobilization (Diouf and Fredericks 2014). ...
... These accounts traveled poorly to Europe (Harding 1994;Ward 1996), and thus wider analyses, such as that of Kantor, Savitch, and Vicari (1997), expanded the range of concerns to consider municipalities in relation to their national political context and the place of cities in relation to a range of international economic relationships. However, even approaches such as these have little purchase in situations where local governance systems are more strongly centralized, local regimes might be more collective and redistributive (Le Galès 2002), or the institutional basis and scope for the operation of local government is weak, highly informalized, or interwoven with traditional/communal forms of land ownership and governance (Parnell and Pieterse 2014;Beall, Parnell, and Albertyn 2015). In addition, a proliferation of transnational actors, such as resource extraction companies (oil, minerals), sovereign investors and development agencies, international NGOs, and actors such as the World Bank, bring a very diferent confguration to urban politics in many poorer country contexts. ...
... But so do the insights developed from international urban development policy, which remind us that most people moving to cities arrive to live in self-constructed housing, often on the peripheries of cities and often facing a life-threatening lack of infrastructure (Mitlin and Satterthwaite 2013). In addition, if those contexts that have not historically informed urban studies serve as starting points for theorization (for shorthand, we might label these as "the Global South" -Parnell and Oldfield 2014), different political issues and formations emerge: the politics of access to and titling of land (Gough and Yankson 2000); the diverse interests of state actors, or state effects, as opposed to "the state" (Eriksen 2017); varied forms of political authority (Beall, Parnell, and Albertyn 2015); violent and ongoing coloniality (Porter and Yiftachel 2018); emergent associational forms of regulation, coordination of everyday life, and mobilization (Diouf and Fredericks 2014). ...
... These accounts travelled poorly to Europe (Harding 1994;Ward 1996), and thus wider analyses, such as that of Kantor, Savitch, and Vicari (1997), expanded the range of concerns to consider municipalities in relation to their national political context and the place of cities in relation to a range of international economic relationships. However, even approaches such as these have little purchase in situations where local governance systems are more strongly centralized, local regimes might be more collective and redistributive (Le , or the institutional basis and scope for the operation of local government is weak, highly informalized or interwoven with traditional/communal forms of land ownership and governance (Parnell and Pieterse 2014;Beall, Parnell, and Albertyn 2015). In addition, a proliferation of transnational actors, such as resource extraction companies (oil, minerals), sovereign development organizations, international NGOs, and actors such as the World Bank bring a very different configuration to urban politics in many poorer country contexts. ...
Book
Driven by digitalization, transnationalization and migration, contemporary spatial arrangements seem to be currently re-figured. In order to grasp the specifics of this current socio-spatial change, the book examines a variety of subjective spatial experiences and knowledge production practices: How are emerging spatial structures conditioned by an increased interconnectedness of places and the circulation it implicates? How are spaces changing as a result of mediatization, increased mobility, globalization and social dislocation? Which forms of arrangements, spatialities and materialities underwrite these processes? How are spaces negotiated and (visually) communicated? These questions are addressed by internationally renowned scholars, all focusing on the topic of spatiality, from various disciplines, such as sociology, geography urban planning and architecture.
... In an attempt to meet these obligations, municipalities have resorted to various approaches, some of which have been characterised as at variance with the reality of daily urban life (Simone 2012). For instance, in the case of eThekwini, the introduction of area-based management (ABM) approach reflects an attempt by the municipality to come to terms with the complex nature of urban governance in a context of fragmentation that is increasingly marked by rural-urban, rich-poor and more recently, peri-urban settlements (Beall et al. 2015). By design, ABM approaches are based on universalist principles of urban management systems, which often struggle to respond to socioeconomic complexities of cities as culturally and racially diverse as eThekwini. ...
Article
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Conceptualization of peri-urban has always been argued from the dichotomy between the ‘poor’ and ‘rich’ paradigms. Peri-urban literature is underpinned by the periphery vs. the urban core stratification. Prevailing consensus is that peri-urban represents deprivation, poverty, lack of access to services and infrastructure. This preoccupation with the negative conceptualisation of the peri-urban misses the opportunities brought by these peri-urban areas to city growth. The paper uses eThekwini as a case study by tracking peri-urban growth in Adams Mission between 2003 and 2013. Research findings reaffirm the peri-urban as an area of opportunity and dispel the widely accepted negative sentiments about peri-urban development.
... In earlier discussions, as Hoffman and Metzroth (2010) noted, integration of chieftaincy into planning processes in Ghana is difficult. In some African contexts, there are tensions between the different urban dweller groups and governmental organizations in term of land-use planning (Beall, Parnell, and Albertyn 2015). ...
Article
There is a growing concern about integrating biodiversity into urban planning, yet, discussions are concentrated on science-informed planning in general. Few have explored the integration of biodiversity in specific planning instruments, especially in African cities. This paper examines how and what components of biodiversity are integrated into master plans, medium-term plans, building codes, zoning codes and permits in Kumasi City, Ghana. There is limited integration of biodiversity in most planning instruments as they were mostly designed on the basis of health, safety and economy. Allied to lack of funding and public participation, biodiversity in Kumasi is under significant threat from rapid urban development. Creating an opportunity for popular participation and decentralizing the planning system could set the preconditions for local integration and revision of instruments. Simplifying the definition of biodiversity could increase local planners’ appreciation, understanding and their ability to make use of biodiversity data.
... In earlier discussions, as Hoffman and Metzroth (2010) noted, integration of chieftaincy into planning processes in Ghana is difficult. In some African contexts, there are tensions between the different urban dweller groups and governmental organizations in term of land-use planning (Beall, Parnell, and Albertyn 2015). ...
Data
There is a growing concern about integrating biodiversity into urban planning, yet, discussions are concentrated on science-informed planning in general. Few have explored the integration of biodiversity in specific planning instruments, especially in African cities. This paper examines how and what components of biodiversity are integrated into master plans, medium-term plans, building codes, zoning codes and permits in Kumasi City, Ghana. There is limited integration of biodiversity in most planning instruments as they were mostly designed on the basis of health, safety and economy. Allied to lack of funding and public participation, biodiversity in Kumasi is under significant threat from rapid urban development. Creating an opportunity for popular participation and decentralizing the planning system could set the preconditions for local integration and revision of instruments. Simplifying the definition of biodiversity could increase local planners’ appreciation, understanding and their ability to make use of biodiversity data.
... It is important to understand what evolutionary pressures generate siloed behaviour and, in contrast, how restructuring governance can enable behavioural and institutional change towards systemic thinking. In the meantime, the potential roles of non-governmental actors, e.g., representing the corporate sector, communities and civil society, are insufficiently understood, are poorly recognized and may be under or, as in the case of incapacitated states, over utilized [45,46]. b. ...
... On the other hand, however, the cities' complexity seems to be a nice target for modeling schemes that treat cities as non-linear, high order and complex systems. Modeling techniques such as system dynamics (Forrester, 2007), cellular automata/agent based modeling (Batty & Xie, 1999;Beall, Parnell, & Albertyn, 2015;Yin, 2013) are well developed to model the dynamics of cities from a variety of perspectives (Haghshenas, Vaziri, & Gholamialam, 2015;Xue & Luo, 2015). For instance, scholars have applied such modeling techniques to understand the process and dynamics of urban water management (Che et al., 2009;Chu, Chang, Lin, Wang, & Chen, 2010;Qi & Chang, 2011;Tidwell, Passell, Conrad, & Thomas, 2004;Winz, Brierley, & Trowsdale, 2009), urban sustainability (Duran-Encalada & Paucar-Caceres, 2009;Jin, Xu, & Yang, 2009;Kopfmuller, Lehn, Nuissl, Krellenberg, & Heinrichs, 2009;Levine, Hughes, Mather, & Yanarella, 2008;Wigle, 2014;Xue & Luo, 2015), urban land use/land cover changes (Haghani, Lee, & Byun, 2003a;Haghani, Lee, & Byun, 2003b;He et al., 2005;Li & He, 2008), urban sprawl (Han, Hayashi, Cao, & Imura, 2009;Liu et al., 2010a), and urban solid waste management (Dyson & Chang, 2005;Kollikkathara, Feng, & Yu, 2010) and urban traffic safety (Goh & Love, 2012;Haghshenas et al., 2015). ...
Article
Cities in China are facing increasing challenges. Urban public safety concerns including urban crime, urban livability and urban disasters start to attract governmental, academic as well as public attention. Applying a system dynamics modeling scheme, this research investigates and attempts to simulate the public safety dynamics of Shanghai with a set of collected indicators that describes Shanghai's infrastructure and development, population, crime, livability and disaster during the past decade (2000 e2009). The feedback loops are constructed based on exploratory data mining through regular statistical analyses and grey system simulation. The analytical results suggest Shanghai's public safety is increasing due to a high level of urban socioeconomic development, which provides a foundation for urban public safety. In the meantime, factors that 'expend' such foundation (crimes and disasters) increased at a relatively lower level. Dynamic simulation on Shanghai's public safety suggests that the city could still enjoy its continuous improvement of public safety providing the city continues to develop like in the past decade, which might not be the case in the long run. A few scenarios are presented by altering a few critical variables to demonstrate potential public safety dynamics of Shanghai in the next 15 years.
... This shift embodies an increased focus on the material rather than the affective, the macro rather than the micro, and the state rather than civil society. Specifically, African urban infrastructural research has moved away from the individual or community experience of poverty to highlight the pervasive and negative impacts of neoliberalism and tribalism (Beall, Parnell, & Albertyn, 2015;Goodfellow & Lindemann, 2013), the global interconnectivity of regimes of infrastructure service delivery (Turok & McGranahan, 2013), and the importance of technology innovation (Etzo & Collender, 2010;Silver, 2014). Crucially, the new post-structural urban research on planning, building and managing African cities ruptures the notion of informality by demonstrating the fiscal, physical and institutional linkages across infrastructural and service value chain (Jaglin, 2014;Silver, 2014;Turok, 2016) and opportunities for the decarbonization of new provision (Hodson, Marvin, Robinson, & Swilling, 2012;Silver, 2015;Swilling, Robinson, Marvin, & Hodson, 2013). ...
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This paper examines African urban infrastructure and service delivery as an entry point for connecting African aspirations with the harsh developmental imperatives of urban management, creating a dialogue between scholarly knowledge and sustainable development policy aspirations. We note a shift to multi-nodal urban governance and highlight the significance of the synthesis of social, economic and ecological values in a normative vision of what an African metropolis might aspire to by 2030. The sustainable development vision provides a useful stimulus for Africa’s urban poly-crisis, demanding fresh interdisciplinary and normatively explicit thinking, grounded in a practical and realistic understanding of Africa’s infrastructure and governance challenges.
... Wu's (2016) critical portrayal of the state-steered city-regional development in China emphasizes that in question is, importantly, a process of scalar restructuration where the globalizing large cities act as drivers for national development, at the same time deepening regional and local inequalities within China. Beall et al. (2015) draw attention to the development of mid-sized city regions in Africa, pointing to their super-diversity that involves certain specificities in comparison to Western urban development (e.g. inconsistency in urban planning and regulations, combination of different traditions of leadership), largely unknown to the international scholarship that, thus far, has taken little interest in African urbanization beyond the major cities. ...
Article
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City regions are significant sites of economic development, policymaking, and everyday living. Yet in many countries they are weakly institutionalized and therefore lack established democratic practices. This article is based on a study exploring citizen participation in city‐regional planning in Finland, where traditional participatory means have largely failed to invite and involve citizens. The analysis approaches city regions relationally, as evolving processes with a changing spatial shape and scope. Through the notion of lived citizenship, including the dimensions of status, practices and acts, the article reveals how the dominant ideas of citizenship in city‐regional planning hide from view elements that are significant for citizen participation. Whereas people's rights to participation can largely be fulfilled on a territorial basis in municipalities and states through legal membership in political communities, in the context of weakly institutionalized city‐regional planning such status‐based forms of participation are typically not available. This vagueness has created an image of a missing city‐regional citizenry, which the article sets out to challenge and rework through the notion of issue‐based participation as lived citizenship.
... In Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), a 2006 Decentralization Policy established a Tinkhundla of chiefs who have responsibilities to plan, monitor, and deliver services to their constituencies in a system almost parallel to that the local governments (UCLG 2019). In Durban, expansion of service delivery and infrastructure to the peripheral regions of the municipality has involved intensive engagement and accommodation with Zulu tribal authorities who own the land on which these more poorly serviced settlements are located (Beall, Parnell, and Albertyn 2015). In other cases, less accommodative approaches were used; the creation of the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Authority generated opposition by the Buganda chiefly kingdom, which owns part of the land upon which the GKMA would sit (Gore and Muwanga 2014). ...
Article
A number of international development initiatives increasingly give recognition and authority to city governments in sub-Saharan Africa. However, key features of urban governance in Africa vary substantively, which can affect the viability of achieving such development goals. This paper focuses on how these features vary vertically (i.e. across levels of government), horizontally (i.e. across local governments), and between local governments and societal actors. In doing so, it highlights many of the political issues that come to the fore across countries with different types of decentralization structures and party systems. While urban governance scholarship traditionally has been the domain of those focused on developed countries, the paper encourages more analysis in the African context given the range of service delivery issues likely to confront the region as it transitions to become a majority urban in the coming decades.
... This highly influential form of knowledge has essentialised city-regions as 'engines of economic growth'a metaphor first popularized by the World Bank in 2009 (Wojan, 2017) as the only credible players in the global competition race; and, as 'the leading-edges of the contemporary post-Fordist economy' (Scott, 2001, p. 818). Legitimated by the new regionalist economic logic, 'a distinct imaginary of cityregion as an economic and city-centric space' (Davoudi & Brooks, 2021, p. 52) emerged across Europe and beyond (Beall et al., 2015;Moisio, 2018;Scott, 2019;Wu, 2016). Although its promoters were not the sole originators of the 'city first' and 'economy first' imaginary of city-regions (Coombes, 2014;Harrison & Heley, 2015), their discursive practices and perceived scientific authority played a major role in the circulation and legitimation of states' city-regional rescaling strategies. ...
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Sub-national statecraft and scalecraft is touted as consequential antidote to the crisis of uneven development and democratic deficit. Interrogating this supposition with reference to city-regionalization in Finland, this paper explores how a neoliberal imaginary of city-regions has been institutionalized through entanglement of discursive practices of contractual planning and materiality of tramway construction in Tampere. We argue that Finland's 'city regionalism' is best understood in terms of rescaling of power from local municipalities to upper tiers of governance, lubricating of entrepreneurial development projects, and shrinking of democratic spaces of political contestations. We conclude by calling for geographically sensitive theorisations of city-regionalization.
... Indeed, they often get subsumed under discussions of informality when, at the very least, informal and customary practices need careful differentiation. Traditional authorities have long been features of African cities (Beall, Parnell & Albertyn 2015), despite efforts to reduce, remove and curtail their power (Baldwin 2016). However, as Franklin Obeng-Odoom (2015 and other scholars have explained, the influence and status of traditional authorities has endured and does not end where cities begin (Oldfield & Parnell 2014). ...
Article
Full-text available
This special issue on the role of traditional authorities in African cities highlights critical debates about governance and urban development on a fast-urbanising continent. The six articles in this issue focus on the following: (1) the roles of traditional authorities as custodians of the values of society; (2) the roles of traditional leaders as moral authorities; (3) the modern chieftaincy as an invention of the colonial state; (4) the ‘unrelenting co-optation and appropriation’ of traditional governance structures by the state; and (5) the stretching of pre-colonial narratives to justify the legitimacy of traditional leadership and its control of community resources. The special issue features contributions from Burkina Faso, Senegal, Ghana, South Africa, Botswana and Eswatini, providing a rare comparison between cases from Southern and West Africa.
... By now, there exists a rich literature on what could be done in terms of technical governance and planning solutions, including calls to establish urban regions (Simon, 2008), metropolitan governance regimes (Heinrichs et al., 2009) or area-based management (Beall et al., 2015). Others call for efforts to redefine city boundaries to incorporate peri-urban spaces within conventional city limits (Angel et al., 2011;Razin and Greg, 2017). ...
Article
Full-text available
In Bolivia, urbanisation increasingly takes place in peri-urban settings situated outside the boundaries of cities. Unlike previous research that considers peri-urban developments such as rural-to-urban land use transitions to be characterised by state absence and little regulation and planning, this article demonstrates that such developments occur precisely because of the presence of particular multi-scalar governance configurations. Drawing on case study material from peri-urban La Paz, the article demonstrates how legislative reforms by Bolivia's national government on decen-tralisation and municipal delineation, which failed to establish clear jurisdictional boundaries, create a situation of hyperregulation whereby multiple local authorities claim political control over the same territory by deploying distinct and at times conflicting, legal and planning frameworks. While hyperregulation enables a loose coalition of elite actors, including government authorities, resident leaders of peri-urban settlements and private sector representatives, to advance specific political and socioeconomic interests, it puts ordinary residents in a situation of permanent uncertainty. The article contributes to and further nuances conceptual debates on calculated informality which uncover how states deliberately create legally ambiguous systems to facilitate speculative urban developments. Unlike previous studies which highlight that this is mainly achieved through state engineering, and particularly by suspending or violating the law, this article demonstrates that legal ambiguity and irregularity can also be generated through multi-scalar gov-ernance configurations that (1) involve a number of elite actors, including state authorities but also private sector and civil society representatives and (2) create a situation in which different regulatory systems co-exist without coordination.
... Proponents of this approach called for more comprehensive consultations and inclusivity of diverse actors in the land use planning process (Obeng-Odoom 2016; Wang and Chan 2019). In addition, proponents believe that maintaining customary tenure arrangements in cities is a characteristic and identity of African urbanism and a source for urban sustainability (Beall et al. 2015;Schindler 2017). Several attempts at implementing these perspectives have drawn criticism in terms of their situatedness and fit-for-purpose (Biitir et al. 2017), leading to calls for alternative approaches to land administration consistent with urban sustainability principles for achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 (Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable). ...
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A dual land administration system in Ghana necessitates the adoption of hybrid and locally adaptive planning practices. However, whilst the scholarly discourse on hybrid planning is burgeoning, its implications for sustainable urban development are limited. Using qualitative case studies of data collected from interviews and focus group discussions with key stakeholders in Tamale and Techiman, this paper highlights the implications of hybrid planning for sustainable urban development. Although in tune with current proposals for collaborative land use planning, hybrid planning practices in peri-urban areas are dominated by land-owning chiefs who finance land use planning activities, leading to a negotiated planning and land delivery system. This engenders urban sustainability challenges, including tenure insecurities, land speculation and urban sprawl and hinders the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goal 11. Thus, urban planners must re-examine current planning practices and leverage the New Urban Agenda to explore innovative ways of ensuring sustainable urban expansion.
... Further unresolved developmental and health issues in developed countries, such as waste management and clean household energy, indeed compound challenges in the Global South (71). The influence of traditional, indigenous structures and knowledge, reinforced as cities and towns grow rapidly into more traditional rural lands, also makes collaborative approaches and systems frameworks increasingly important in such settings (6). ...
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Urban climate policy offers a significant opportunity to promote improved public health. The evidence around climate and health cobenefits is growing but has yet to translate into widespread integrated policies. This article presents two systematic reviews: first, looking at quantified cobenefits of urban climate policies, where transportation, land use, and buildings emerge as the most studied sectors; and second, looking at review papers exploring the barriers and enablers to integrating these health cobenefits into urban policies. The latter reveals wide agreement concerning the need to improve the evidence base for cobenefits and consensus about the need for greater political will and leadership on this issue. Systems thinking may offer a way forward to help embrace complexity and integrate health cobenefits into decision making. Knowledge coproduction to bring stakeholders together and advance policy-relevant research for urban health will also be required. Action is needed to bring these two important policy agendas together. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Public Health, Volume 43 is April 2022. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.
... Although a substantial literature attests to the competitiveness and resilience of urban regions (see Jonas, 2012), the regionalist debate and pragmatic discussions of metropolitics continue to hover between the old dichotomies of the Chicago and Los Angeles (and, to some degree, New York) 'schools' of urban and regional thought, most prominently regarding the spatial organization of regional sociology and land use (Conzen and Greene, 2008; Judd and Simpson, 2011). Such debates not only reinforce binary thinking between the respective roles of the central city and suburbs, but further overlook emerging empirical and conceptual development occurring beyond estab lished narratives abstracted from the American urban experience (for an emerging alternative project see Global Suburbanisms, n.d.; Ekers et al., 2013; Beall et al., 2015, this issue). As Soja (2015, this issue) outlines, contemporary metropolitan growth dynamics have blurred the traditional boundaries––material and imagined––between the city and the suburbs, destabilizing conventional territorial definitions of urban regions which do not adequately account for the fluid multiscalar nature of the urban process. ...
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In this paper, we propose the notion of real existing “lived” regionalism as a rejoinder to the normative and ideological debates around new regionalism. Regional forms have shown little convergence in this age of globalized regionalization. Instead of an ideational construct or set of predictable practices, we argue regionalism is a contested product of discourses (talk), territorial relationships (territory) and technologies (material and of power). The concept of real existing regionalism confronts the tensions between the discursive constructions and normative interventions that characterize much current regionalist debate and the territorial politics and technologies which reflect, generate and direct new state spatial strategic choices. The paper demonstrates the utility of the real existing regionalism framework through an analysis of the greenbelt, transportation planning and post-suburbanization in Southern Ontario. We argue regulatory institutions capture the Toronto region in a mix of rhetorical and technological change that complies to neither pre-conceived notions of regionalization nor with the pessimism of total regional dysfunctionality. Rather, the lived experience of regionalization illuminates the emergent assemblages, multiplicity of everyday flows, and on-going, multiscalar negotiations of diverse communities that produce the real existing region.
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Urban development is a complex, multidimensional process that no single discipline can understand, explain and address adequately. In the case of infrastructure, different disciplines address specific issues – technical problems, social dynamics, political power, - yet in reality these often intersect. This article documents the experience of analysing the governance of infrastructure interfaces through a multidisciplinary case study of transport and sanitation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The analysis relied on combining established frameworks applied to social and technical analysis, alongside that of the analysis of institutions and integrated planning. Scholars from development studies, planning and transport studies, architecture and engineering, anthropology, geography, political science and public administration were involved. Each provided conceptual and methodological approaches of value but with some proving more synergetic than others. Overall the process itself yielded considerable benefits for the joint research endeavour and confirmed the validity and additionality of interdisciplinarity in infrastructure research.
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This paper focuses on the planning implications of a dual governance system in Durban, where just over a third of municipal land is under the governance of both the traditional authority and the eThekwini Municipality. These challenges are common in many African cities where western administrative governance and planning systems overlay traditional systems. Under traditional governance, access to land, economic opportunities and “rural lifestyles” have resulted in the rapid densification of large areas of the periphery of Durban. Here, local traditional leaders allocate land based on the traditional land tenure system. eThekwini Municipality is mandated to provide services and facilities to all its residents, to develop spatial development plans and land use schemes, and to protect its ecological infrastructure. However, in traditional authority areas, the municipality struggles to fulfil these mandates, as it does not have control over land allocation and management. This paper reflects on the learning process that is taking place as the municipality begins to shift its approach to planning to address the complexities of planning in dual governance areas. The paper argues that new hybrid forms of governance and planning can help to address these challenges and ensure sustainable development in areas under dual governance.
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Landmark constitutional and local government reforms have reshaped local governance in the Kingdom of Eswatini, formerly the Kingdom of Swaziland, since the promulgation of the first post-independence constitution in 2005. After more than 30 years of suspended constitutional rule under the leadership of the Ngwenyama (the Lion) and King governed by the Swazi system of traditional authority, a critical step has been taken to define and regulate the dual system of authority, constituted of administrative local government and traditional leaders. However, the legacy of the long-established bifurcated system of local governance has proven challenging to overcome. This article presents a view of the Kingdom of Eswatini from the perspective of local administration, which at present maintains two systems of governance – urban local government and the tinkhundla (traditional authority systems that operate the length and breadth of the country, including in urban areas). In the face of urbanisation, the administrative state has developed and modified its approach to urban management and engagement with traditional authorities over time. Drawing on a case study of the Mbabane upgrading and finance project, launched in 2005 and aimed at creating a ‘city without slums’, this paper analyses how local authorities in Eswatini responded to the imperative to engage with traditional authorities in the wake of unsuccessful and sustained efforts to bypass their influence. Three different strategies were adopted by the urban local authorities to effectively govern urban areas and manage the influence of traditional authorities. These shifting strategies reflect the evolving policy agenda at the urban scale in Eswatini and the limitations of a rigid bifurcated system in contemporary Swazi cities.
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How might local political elites in new democracies meet the needs of the people they rule? Building on extant scholarship, this paper develops hypotheses on party competition, popular participation, and traditional authority as sources of local variation in public goods provision. Empirical analyses use an augmented version of a comprehensive South African census mortality sample. The evidence disconfirms the hypothesis that incumbents respond to competitive incentives to supply public goods. Partial, nuanced support appears for the hypothesis that citizen participation enhances public goods provision. Where chiefs are strong, restricted party competition under the ANC lowers the probability of infant and under-five death in majority Black African households, the largest set of households by far; where chiefs are strong, as voter turnout rises, the probability of infant and under-five death in majority Black African households diminishes. The paper makes integrated theoretical and empirical contributions to scholarship on public goods, chieftaincy, and the workings of democracy.
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In our introduction to this Debates & Developments forum, ‘What place for the Region?’, we discuss why the founders of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (IJURR) regarded the regional question as having the same importance as the urban question, and how the region has remained a significant focus during the journal's subsequent development. We then explore some of the conceptual challenges in defining and investigating regions before considering some of the key developments in contemporary regional theory. Our introduction proceeds by highlighting the key insights of the contributions to the forum––essays by Edward Soja, Mariona Tomàs, Joe Beall, Susan Parnell and Chris Albertyn, and Jean-Paul Addie and Roger Keil––before concluding with a reaffirmation of the importance of the region in IJURR's mission as a journal of critical urban and regional studies.
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This article explores chieftaincy in democratic South Africa and particularly in KwaZulu-Natal, where traditional leadership is vocal and politically embedded. Informed by institutional theories, we argue that tradition is more persistent than ‘resurgent’ and that the relationship between ubukhosi (chieftaincy) and wider governance structures in the province and South Africa must be seen as part of a much longer history that exhibits both continuities and discontinuities. Indeed, the article draws parallels between ‘indirect rule’ under colonialism and beyond, and current plans for involving traditional leaders in local governance but concludes that the analogy has limitations given the broader institutional context of post-apartheid South Africa. Drawing on historical analysis of KwaZulu-Natal and contemporary research among traditional leaders, municipal officials and councillors, as well as residents of traditional authority areas, we consider whether the current recognition of traditional authorities and the powers and functions accorded them, constitute a threat to South Africa's emergent democracy or serve as a site of stability in a politically volatile province.
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The Province of Ontario has been successful in passing legislation for a regional growth management plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe in southern Ontario by bundling together two seemingly contradictory notions: growth management and environmental conservation. Over a period of about thirty years, the environment has moved from background to foreground in regional planning. Yet the green and region-wide growth planning legislation contains provisions for infrastructure expansion and resource extraction that fuel growth, compromise the protection of ecosystems and agricultural lands, and institutionalize a competitive regional economic agenda. This illustrates the ways in which different, and often contradictory, traditions and value positions can be harnessed in legislation and policy implementation. In this case study, we show how nature can provide a cornerstone, lubricant or new state space for centralized integrative regional planning, and how this complex may operate in contradictory and self-defeating ways to cause continued harm to the non-human environment. Copyright © 2007 by the Institute of Urban Studies. All rights of reproduction in any form reserved.
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This book is the Flagship Report of the Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic (AICD), a project designed to expand the world’s knowledge of physical infrastructure in Africa. The AICD provides a baseline against which future improvements in infrastructure services can be measured, making it possible to monitor the results achieved from donor support. It also provides a more solid empirical foundation for prioritizing investments and designing policy reforms in the infrastructure sectors in Africa. The AICD is based on an unprecedented effort to collect detailed economic and technical data on the infrastructure sectors in Africa. The project has produced a series of original reports on public expenditure, spending needs, and sector performance in each of the main infrastructure sectors, including energy, information and communication technologies, irrigation, transport, and water and sanitation. This volume synthesizes the most significant findings of those reports.
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Most Southern African political ethnographies have relied heavily upon the analytical assumption that careers of indigenous politicians are largely determined by ascriptive factors. It is shown here that, among the Barolong boo Ratshidi (Tswana), ascriptive rules rarely determine the devolution of authority; rather, they represent a code through which the complexities of political competition are ordered and comprehended. Indeed, ascription and achievement, far from being opposed principles of political determination, constitute co-existent levels of a single reality. Competition for the chiefship, moreover, is not limited to interregna; it is a continuous process, of which succession to office is one potential outcome. Under these conditions, the meaning of political rules, and their systematic relationship to the political process, require re-assessment. In providing such a re-assessment, an attempt is made to explore its implications for a comprehension of genealogical manipulation and political history among the Barolong.
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Introduction and conceptual overview frameworks of analysis - colonialism, postcolonial urban development and the world economy national modes of production - the wider context modes of production in African cities - the materialist base a roof over one's head - access to the means of social reproduction the social production of urban form - town planning as an instrument of continuity the social production of urban form and fabric - postcolonial cities re-examined.
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Planning laws, planning governance systems, and even planning curricula in Anglophone Sub-Saharan Africa were strongly shaped by the colonial history of the subcontinent, and much of this imprint remains today. Yet demands on planners and planning systems have changed dramatically as African cities battle to cope with rapid growth, inequality, informality and environmental degradation. This article considers the issue of changing planning education in this region. It documents the efforts of the Association of African Planning Schools to forge a program of action on necessary new directions and themes for planning education in a context where adherence to older approaches remains strong.
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Paasi A. Regional planning and the mobilization of ‘regional identity’: from bounded spaces to relational complexity, Regional Studies. Regional identity refers to the uniqueness of regions and/or to the identification of people with them. Having gained currency in planning and policy circles, the concept is increasingly related to regional competitiveness. Yet, it is unclear how regional identity is understood in planning terms. This paper suggests that this discursive ambiguousness derives from the fuzzy boundary between analysis and practice as well as from the context-bound character of identity discourse. A contextual geo-historical analysis is offered of the emergence of regional identity discourse in Finnish provinces. This provides a background for a study of how regional identity discourse is mobilized in strategic regional/provincial plans and how planners understand this term. These analyses show that the historical discourse on regional identity is at variance with the instrumental, visionary discourse of plans. Planners have diverging views on the roles of regional identity which also differ from the visionary views present in the plans. Paasi A. 区域规划和 “区域认同” 的运用:从有限空间到复杂关系,区域研究。区域认同指区域的独特属性以及/或区域内居民的可辨识特征。此概念在规划和政策界得到广泛使用后,现多与区域竞争力相关。目前,如何从规划角度认识区域认同还没有明确的答案。本文认为,之所以存在这种含混不清的理解,一方面由于分析和实践之间界限模糊,另一方面是区域认同这一概念本身具有因地而异的特征。本文首先从历史地理的视角,针对芬兰各省关于区域认同讨论的出现进行了情景分析。并以此为背景,进一步分析了与区域认同相关的讨论如何被运用到区域/省份的战略规划中,以及规划师们如何理解区域认同的概念。上分析表明,历史视角下的区域认同与现实规划的手段和愿景之间具有一定的分歧。而规划师们对于区域认同在这一分歧中所起到的作用也有不同的看法。 区域认同 规划 论述 芬兰 竞争力 Paasi A. La planification régionale et la mobilisation de ‘l'identité régionale’: de l'espace bien délimité à la complexité relationnelle, Regional Studies. L'identité régionale fait allusion aux caractéristiques particulières des régions et/ou de leur identification avec certaines populations. La notion s'est répandue dans les milieux de la planification et de la politique et, par la suite, se rapporte de plus en plus à la compétitivité régionale. Cependant, on peut se demander comment on comprend l'identité régionale au niveau de la planification. Cet article laisse supposer que cette ambiguité discursive remonte à la frontière très floue entre l'analyse et la pratique aussi bien qu'au caractère relativisé du discours identitaire. On avance une analyse géographico-historique contextuelle de l’émergence du discours identitaire régionale dans les provinces en Finlande. Cela fournit un contexte qui permet d’étudier comment le discours identitaire régionale s'exprime dans les plans régionaux/provinciaux stratégiques et comment les planificateurs comprennent cette notion. Ces analyses laissent voir que le discours historique sur l'identité régionale est en désaccord avec le discours visionnaire primordial des plans. Les points de vue des planificateurs divergent quant aux rôles de l'identité régionale, qui se distinguent aussi des points de vue visionnaires exprimés dans les plans. Identité régionale Planification Discours Finlande Compétitivité Paasi A. Regionalplanung und die Mobilisierung der ‘regionalen Identität’: von abgegrenzten Räumen zur relationalen Komplexität, Regional Studies. Der Begriff der regionalen Identität bezieht sich auf die Unterscheidungsmerkmale von Regionen und/oder die Identifizierung der Bewohner mit ihnen. Dieses Konzept hat sich in Planungs- und Politikkreisen verbreitet und bezieht sich zunehmend auf die regionale Konkurrenzfähigkeit. Allerdings ist unklar, wie regionale Identität im Bereich der Planung aufzufassen ist. In diesem Beitrag wird die These aufgestellt, dass diese diskursive Mehrdeutigkeit auf die unklare Abgrenzung zwischen Analyse und Praxis sowie auf die kontextabhängige Beschaffenheit des Identitätsdiskurses zurückzuführen ist. Hinsichtlich des Entstehens eines Diskurses der regionalen Identität von finnischen Provinzen wird eine kontextuelle geohistorische Analyse vorgenommen. Diese Analyse bildet den Hintergrund zur Untersuchung der Frage, wie der Diskurs der regionalen Identität in strategischen Regional- bzw. Provinzialplänen mobilisiert wird und was Planer unter diesem Begriff verstehen. Aus den Analysen geht hervor, dass der historische Diskurs der regionalen Identität vom instrumentellen, visionären Diskurs der Pläne abweicht. Planer haben unterschiedliche Sichtweisen von den Rollen der regionalen Identität, die sich auch von den visionären Sichtweisen der Pläne unterscheiden. Regionale Identität Planung Diskurs Finnland Konkurrenzfähigkeit Paasi A. Planificación regional y la movilización de la ‘identidad regional’: de espacios delimitados a complejidad relacional, Regional Studies. El término de la identidad regional remite al carácter único de cada región y/o cómo se identifican las personas con ella. Este concepto que se ha extendido en los círculos de la planificación y la política, está cada vez más relacionado con la competitividad regional. Sin embargo, no queda claro cómo se entiende la identidad regional en términos de planificación. En este artículo sugerimos que esta ambigüedad discursiva procede de la difusa frontera entre el análisis y la práctica así como del carácter del discurso identitario definido por el contexto. Ofrecemos un análisis geohistórico contextual de la aparición del discurso de identidad regional en las provincias de Finlandia. Este análisis crea un contexto para estudiar cómo se moviliza el discurso de identidad regional en planes estratégicos regionales/provinciales y de qué modo entienden los planificadores este término. Estos análisis demuestran que el discurso histórico sobre la identidad regional se aparta del discurso instrumental y visionario de los planes. Los planificadores tienen opiniones divergentes sobre las funciones de la identidad regional que también difieren de las opiniones visionarias presentes en los planes. Identidad regional Planificación Discurso Finlandia Competitividad
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The paper discusses certain issues of regional development theory in combination with long-forgotten conditions of uneven geographical development in the context of the current financial and debt crisis in the eurozone. The dominant explanations of the crisis are mainly macroeconomic and financial but this paper argues for its geographical components/foundations. After a short descriptive comment about the current debt crisis in the eurozone and particularly in Southern Europe as part of the wider global crisis of over-accumulation, an alternative interpretation is provided based on uneven geographical/regional development among Euro-regions, especially since the introduction of the euro. The paper also discusses the shift towards what we may call the neoliberal urban and regional development discourse, which is responsible for a de-politicized shift in regional theory and hence downplaying or simply overlooking questions of socio-spatial justice. The discussion about justice and solidarity goes beyond the controversial rescue plan introduced by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, which was supposedly designed to help one of the so-called – in a typical colonial way – PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain), namely Greece.
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This article offers a critique of the common practice of labeling an institution or group of people as a distinct school of thought, ideology, or methodology, and calls for more open, inclusive, and comparative research in urban geography. The former argument highlights the negative effects of within-group dialogue and its inherent exclusionary tendencies, whereas the latter stresses the role of context and contingency in understanding our cities. Examples are drawn from the experience and characteristics of North American cities to illustrate the crucial importance of national institutions, politics, culture, and geography in shaping those cities, and the challenges involved in writing theory and defining an inclusive research agenda.
Book
Published in the year 1986, Uneven Development and Regionalism is a valuable contribution to the field of Geography.
Book
This is the concluding volume of a series on the reform of service delivery in developing countries. Each of the four previous volumes has examined a particular area of government activity: health care, urban water supply, business development, and services to support agricultural trade. A broad pattern of reform has affected these different sectors: liberalization, the introduction of private sector management approaches, charging for services, and new forms of working with the private sector. The leading question running across this and the previous volumes is whether these approaches are appropriate to the context and capacities of developing countries. This final volume draws together the strands, comparing experience between these sectors in selected developing countries of Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and Latin America
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This book examines the ongoing resurgence of traditional power structures in South Africa. Oomen assesses the relation between the changing legal and socio-political position of traditional authority and customary law and what these changes can teach us about the interrelation between law, politics, and culture in the post-modern world.
Chapter
The suburbs seem to occupy a contradictory position in the wider politics of space in the United States (US). One dominant view in the literature is that suburbs are local spaces of exclusion (Danielson, 1976). Suburban voters — often categorized mainly but not exclusively as white and middle or upper income — elect leaders who, in their turn, use local land use authority to keep out locally unwanted land uses and incomers, thereby enhancing the local tax base and protecting local services and property values. This local exclusionary politics produces an intense fragmentation of metropolitan political space which, in turn, contributes to a variety of metropolitan governance challenges. For the most part, solutions to these challenges have involved developing closer inter-jurisdictional relationships between neighbourhoods, suburbs and central cities (Downs, 1981). Nevertheless, despite years of attempts to ‘open up the suburbs’ to non-whites and lower income households (Downs, 1973), local jurisdictional fragmentation remains a deeply entrenched feature of the metropolitan political landscape in the US (Teaford, 1979).
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There is a close connection between regionalism, federalism, and the movement to create a united federal Europe. The recent movement to create a “Europe of the Regions” is one expression of these connections. However, there are many kinds of regions, and certain forms of regional policy that may not necessarily be an expression of either regionalism or European federalism. It might be said, nevertheless, that a “Europe of the Regions” is emerging in the weaker sense that, in today s Europe, significant changes are taking place in the nature and functions of the nation-state. These changes are providing new opportunities for regions to become more important policy actors in a wider European context. The nation-state, however, is unlikely to disappear.
Book
It is now impossible to understand major North American cities without considering the seemingly never-ending and ever-growing sprawl of their surrounding suburbs. InThe Shape of the Suburbs, activist, urban affairs columnist, and former Toronto mayor John Sewell examines the relationship between the development of suburbs, water and sewage systems, highways, and the decision-making of Toronto-area governments to show how the suburbs spread, and how they have in turn shaped the city. Using his wealth of knowledge of the city of Toronto and new information gathered from municipal archives, Sewell describes the major movements and forces that allowed for rapid development of the suburbs, while considering the options that were available to planners at the time. Discussing proposals to curb suburban sprawl from the 1960s to the recently adopted plan for the Greater Toronto area, Sewell combines insightful and accessible commentary with rigorous research on the debate between urban and suburban. Concerned not only with sprawl, The Shape of the Suburbsalso demonstrates the ways in which suburban political, economic, and cultural influences have impacted the older, central city, culminating in the forced Megacity amalgamation of 1998. Rich in detail and full of useful visual illustrations, The Shape of the Suburbsis a lively look at the construction of the suburban era.
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Planning is here shown to be integral to colonial projects, used to appropriate territory for management by the state and then to produce an ordered, coherent system of land regulation and control. This is both a demonstration of how planning was central to the colonial invasion of settler states, and an analysis of how it endures as a colonial practice in complex post-colonial settings.
Book
Providing an original perspective on world cities and the impact of globalization upon them, leading authorities contribute to this dedicated study of major cities in countries outside the industrialized West: Bangkok, Mumbai, Cairo, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Mexico City, Moscow, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai and Singapore. All play important global and regional roles, and the contributors compare their historical paths to their present world positions and problems. Reviews: 'The book represents quite a unique endeavour. Overall the book is well researched and provides interesting reading. Given its multidisciplinary approach, it is of interest to a large, not necessarily specialized, audience. By looking at how these developing country cities take part in and are affected by globalization processes, the authors contribute not only to the debate on the local and the global ('globalization'), but they also tell the reader a sometimes fascinating story about these cities.' International Affairs '… Gugler has masterminded a welcome break out of the mould of city analysis …' Urban Studies 'There is rich material here for scholars striving to understand the specific local implications of global forces.' Population and Development Review. © Cambridge University Press 2004 and Cambridge University Press, 2009.
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People often bemoan the spread of malls, suburban strips, subdivisions, and other sprawling places in contemporary America. But are these places as bad as critics claim? In Sprawling Places, David Kolb questions widely held assumptions about our built environments. Kolb agrees there is a lot not to like about many contemporary places, but to write them off simply as commodified "nonplaces" does not treat them critically. Too often, Kolb says, aesthetic character and urban authenticity are the focus of critics, when it is more important to understand a place's complexity and connectedness. Kolb acknowledges that the places around us increasingly have banal exteriors, yet they can be complex and can encourage their inhabitants to use them in multiple, nonlinear ways. Ultimately, Kolb believes human activity within a place is what defines it. Even our most idealized, classical places, he shows, change over the course of history when subjected to new linkages and different flows of activity. Engaging with the work of such writers and critics as Henri Lefebvre, Manuel Castells, Karsten Harries, and Christian Norberg-Schulz, Kolb seeks to move discussions about sprawl away from the idea that we must "choose between being rooted in the local Black Forest soil or wandering in directionless space." By increasing our awareness of complexity and other issues, Kolb hopes to broaden and deepen people's thinking about the contemporary built environment and to encourage better designs in the future.
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Perhaps one of the most hopeful occurrences has been the proliferation of new spaces of negotiation among various urban actors. These spaces have been generated on the basis on a widening recognition that addressing urban crisis necessitates a more systematic appropriation of the skills usually deployed only for survival into practices of planning administration and development. Not only are such spaces compelling a more appropriate engagement of local dynamics on the part of urban administrators but are providing opportunities for neighborhoods often only focused on their own self-interest to engage city-wide processes and concerns. While many positive changes have occurred many challenges remain and it is the objective of this paper to outline some of those challenge particularly related to the social and cultural implications of globalization for African cities. Additionally rather than pinpointing specific policy frameworks and programmes to be adopted by urban managers the paper suggests particular mind-sets and ways of thinking about the city that are important precursors to the generation of specific governance practices. (excerpt)
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Much of the research on immigrants has centered on their economic assimilation or integration. Few scholarly articles have examined the impact that immigrants have on the transportation system, especially those immigrants who have bypassed central city locations and settled in suburban areas where transit infrastructure is more limited. This paper addresses this issue by focusing on two interrelated issues: (1) the effect immigration has on metropolitan public transportation infrastructure in terms of high usage rates, and (2) the effect the governing structure in metropolitan areas has on immigrant settlement and integration in terms of the need for government investments in public transportation in the suburbs. The greater Toronto area is used as a case study to examine these issues. The implications for transit and immigration policies across different urban scales and levels of government are also discussed. The study concludes that transit needs to be recognized as a key ingredient for the success of the immigrant settlement process, which requires the involvement of all levels of government in the provision of modern and effective public transit services.
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The book provides an overview of recent shifts which have occurred in national and regional development theory and the broader social, economic, and political factors which have influenced these shifts. Secondly, it identifies the major policy implications of the various development approaches, with particular emphasis being placed on the role of settlement policy. Thirdly, the central differences between policy approaches and the debates surrounding them are identified and discussed. An important theme which emerges in each of these areas is the influence of conditions and ideas in more developed countries on less developed ones. -from Authors
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World Cities Beyond the West: Globalization, Development and Inequality, Josef Gugler, ed., Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2004, pp. xv, 396. This book seeks to redress what its editor regards as an imbalance in the social science discourse on globalization and cities by providing a collection of research on cities in the global South, in the lower income countries of the world. In his introduction to the book, much of which could stand on its own as a valuable contribution, Gugler demonstrates that many cities “beyond the core” are involved in articulations that span broad regions of the world, if not always the whole world. Gugler also warns of the tendency to over-generalize across these “second tier” cities, insisting that scholarship needs to attend to the unique history, context and culture (especially political culture) of each city.
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Two dimensions of economic specificity are at the centre of this book's inquiry: knowledge as the basis of technology, and the human relations that are essential to many types of economic coordination. Both are simutaneously necessary to the operation of a normal, competitive adjustment process and yet they incessantly create and recreate imperfect competition and economic differentiation. Through the course of this book, the author proposes a compelling new theory of how regions have sustained their economic viability in the era of multinational corporations. Unlike traditional approaches, which analyse economic systems in terms of their mechanics (inputs, outputs, technology etc), this work views them as systems for coordinating human actions and relationships. Reconceptualising the role of learning, technology, and local institutions in development, the author illuminatesthe key role of regional ecoinomics as building blocks of the increasingly connected world. The book is divided into 5 parts. The first focuses on regional development and regions as relational assets. The chapters in the second section discusses the evolution of economic regions and territorial development. Part Three looks at innovation, technology, product development and territories. The fourth part is concerned with economic development globalisation, and territorial specificity, ad deals with the dynamics of globalisation, investment flows, international trade and the concept of 'technology districts'. In this section Chapter Nine discussesthe nature and role of the city in a globalising capitalist economy. The final section considers regional institutions and economic policy, with the conclusion summarising issues of technology, firm strategies and territorial order.
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