Suburbs and boundaries: the continued push for peripheral expansion in the Latin American context

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Latin Americas spatial policies have neither regulated nor planned the urban growth. Not only growth can be desirable, it is also a recurrent situation. Therefore, it should be planned when it is necessary to avoid urban, environmental and social problems. These issues can be averted by distributing both the costs and the benefits of the urbanization process in a equalitarian way and preventing speculative processes that usually underlie rural-urban transformations. Urban growth isn’t always undesirable and also its a recurrent situation that, when necessary avoid urban-environmental and social problems, by fairly distributing urbanization costs and benefits and preventing speculative processes that are usual in rural-urban changes. In Brazil, urban sprawl has been strategic for the country’s industrial development and economic growth since 1930s. In the late 1960s, the federal government enacted regulations for land parcelling, however, as consequence, these rules left the control of urban expansion under municipal government, not requiring urban planning for doing so. At the same time, a huge program of housing financing transformed this expansion in an incomplete urbanization, known as periphery. The democratization period in the late 1980s was accompanied by emerging new forms of urbanization gatted communities, theme parks etc. that can be explained by (i) little resistance to transformations from rural to urban uses, which were influenced by rural production and price variations; (ii) market-driven urban innovations, like new kinds of developments gatted communities, ranches etc.; and (iii) high investments in road systems and private transport. Nowadays, the federal Program My House, My Life (from 2009 and onwards) repeats history, reproducing the peripheral pattern on a large scale. Will we ever admit urban growth is a recurrent process that requires planning? An analysis of land legislation from 100 municipalities points at two conditions: first, that these new types of urban development require more flexible urbanization permits in order to be implemented, and, second, that there is a need to plan the countryside as well.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Definite Space – Fuzzy Responsibility, Prague, 13-16th July, 2015
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