The urban planning in a neoliberal point of view: lessons from Portugal

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The State contraction is a process that was felt in the 90s of the last century through the modalities of concession and public-private partnerships in response to the deep financial constraints of public institutions either for investments either for the maintenance and operation of their services and equipment. However, the context of serious financial crisis we are experiencing since 2008, particularly in southern European countries, allowed to accelerate the reduction of the State's role without resistance than in previous years had yet been offered. At the local level, this narrative has more precise and deeper aspects, and even areas considered untouchable as urban planning, because it considered that the conditioning of rights and the imposition of responsibilities on owners could only arrive from an entity with democratic legitimacy to eliminate or, at least, make arbitrary decisions an exception, maintaining all the time the public interest over private interest. This communication aims to illustrate, in Portugal, the extent, forms and consequences of outsourcing multifaceted process of urban planning, which now escapes from the democratic legitimacy, which before was considered essential, making it more difficult to discern the separation between private interest and the public interest. The Communication also contributes to the discussion of this process effects on the reduction of costs and public employment, the civic participation, the decision’s legitimacy in urban management and the term effects of this change in the future of the territories.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Definite Space – Fuzzy Responsibility, Prague, 13-16th July, 2015
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