Chance2Sustain Policy Brief

Categories: Category “EADI Major News (Category “News from EADI)

09 Dec 2014

In this policy brief Isa Baud and fellow Chance2Sustain researchers explore "city visions on urban development portraying idealized situations as goals for the future" and the maps that are used to promote them.

This Chance2Sustain policy brief explores the mapping of city visions in fast-growing cities in several emerging economies (Brazil, South Africa, India, Peru). As cities have to deal increasingly with both complexity and uncertainty in their development, they are concerned with the future pathways their cities can take. City visions on urban development portray idealized situations as goals for the future, and the maps portraying them are strongly idealized. To get behind these idealized versions of reality, policy makers need to understand how such visions are developed, by whom, and whose realities they reflect.

Many cities promote pro-growth visions utilizing mega-projects for kick-starting economic growth, pushed by discourse coalitions visioning the “world-classing” of their city. Implicit in such visions are improvements in quality of life to draw in more middleclass and elite residents, better opportunities for economic investment, and the idea of a slum-free city. These visions are sometimes complemented by pro-poor coalitions visioning their city to be inclusive of the low-income households who make important contributions to the local labour market, but whose lived experience is not recognized or valued.

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