From Strategic Planning to Development Initiatives: a first reflection on the situation of Lisbon and Barcelona

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ABSTRACT. Our object of study is a comparative analysis of local development processes on a metropolitan scale and our research focus are “city‐regions” (cf. Scott, 1998; cf. Scott et al., 2002), understood as those metropolitan areas whose administrative and institutional boundaries do not always match with their political and economic identity and which are inserted in global processes of social and economic transformation. The main objectives of this work are the following:‐ Analyze and understand the competitive advantages that local and metropolitan political powers have in relation to Central State in creating favorable conditions for improving enterprises’ productivity and competitiveness;‐ Analyze new forms of democratic political participation, especially concerning territorial governance, in a global perspective of convergence between State and citizens interests;‐Compare two different models of metropolitan organization and discuss its application to the Portuguese reality and, specifically, in Lisbon;‐ Reflect on the role of public policies and territorial strategic planning as support instruments for regional or local political powers, capable of promoting development in different metropolitan contexts; ‐Summarize the previously mentioned objectives throughout a comparative analysis between Lisbon and Barcelona metropolitan areas. Traditional planning processes, based on a normative spatial planning, continue to dominate the theories and practices of planning and promoting cities. Furthermore, even in territorial strategic planning, the emphasis is often placed in the realization of major cultural and sports events and the urban renewal of certain parts of cities. In this sense, the perspective that we want to carry out in this work will be more based on the promotion of local economic growth and will focus more on the analysis of strategic planning processes leading to local development initiatives in the fields of education, vocational training and entrepreneurship support, as opposed to a more “traditionalist” analysis of urban renewal and rehabilitation processes, in the perspective of what Peter Karl Kresel called “economic strategic planning” (cf. Kresel, 2007). Indeed, some theoretical approaches to regional and local development favor actions where municipalities interact and form alliances with other territorial actors (cf. Borja and Castells, 1997). Therefore, local political powers have gained considerable “leadership” in terms of economic growth and some authors talk about a “new type” of territorial management, designated by Ascher as “urban entrepreneurship”, by Harvey as “public urban management”, by Le Galès as “urban governing” or “local mercantilism” by Fainstein (cf. Salvador, 2006).
Original languageUnknown
Title of host publication20th APDR Congress on “Renaissance of the Regions of Southern Europe”.
Place of PublicationÉvora
PublisherUniversidade de Évora
ISBN (Print)978­989­8780­01­0
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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