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Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 509205
Title Participatory slum upgrading as a disjunctive process in Recife, Brazil : Urban coproduction and the absent ground of the city
Author(s) Vries, Pieter de
Source Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 37 (2016)3. - ISSN 0129-7619 - p. 295 - 309.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/sjtg.12156
Department(s) Sociology of Development and Change
WASS
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Keyword(s) (in)formality - Badiou - community leaders - coproduction - Recife - urban planning
Abstract

This article engages with the coproduction of urban space by focusing on a slum upgrading project in Recife, Brazil. It argues that the urban situation is essentially inconsistent, unpredictable and unstable. It documents the history of urban planning in Recife, paying special attention to the coexistence of two different planning traditions, one aimed at what city planners call the informal city, which is participatory, bottom up and democratic, yet susceptible to be corrupted by political clientelism, and another aimed at the formal city, which is ‘strategic’, top down, technocratic and neoliberal. It argues that the informal/formal binary operates as a disjunctive synthesis that separates social actors rather than connecting them and provides the coordinates within which processes of coproduction take place. The disjunctive synthesis renders possible all sorts of fantastic imaginations that both disavow and reveal the missing ground of the city. Community leaders play a central role in the coproduction of urban space and function as the symptom of this absent ground. The article concludes that participatory urban development interventions aiming to curtail the role of community leaders end up as veritable tyrannies of participation, which should be seen as evidence of the disjointed character of planning rather than as forms of effective governmentality.

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