Journal of Urban and Regional Analysis

Volume 8, Number 1, 2016

 

Xosé SOMOZA MEDINA

 

GOVERNANCE, URBAN COMPETITIVENESS AND CRISIS IN SPAIN

 

Abstract

This article describes the rise of the term governance from its beginnings in the business world and the neoliberal economic thought through its application in urban renewal actions in the world’s major cities. Over the analysis, we argue that it was the theoretical discourse of urban governance and competitiveness that for decades enabled the private property sector to direct the urban regeneration processes of greatest added value. Changes in transport infrastructures and the abandonment of old industrial facilities left large central segments of the city available for redevelopment in line with the theories of post-Fordist capitalism. The global economic crisis has paralysed many of these projects, which had entailed the investment of large sums of public money and yielded low social returns. At the same time, criticism has been levelled against governance and strategic planning. Here, I examine the processes of governance and competitiveness as an urban objective and recent examples of urban renewal in Spanish cities.

 

Key Words: governance, strategic planning, competitiveness, urban renewal.

 

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