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Being a mayor: the view from four Colombian cities

Dávila, JD; (2009) Being a mayor: the view from four Colombian cities. Environment and Urbanization , 21 (1) pp. 37-57. 10.1177/0956247809103003. Green open access

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Abstract

Local governments are particularly relevant to people's daily lives as they manage the infrastructure and services that directly influence quality of life. Elected mayors tend to be more responsive to the needs of the poor majority than centrally appointed mayors or mayors who are elected by fellow councillors. Colombia's municipal mayors have been elected since 1988 and local governments have been given increased responsibilities and powers to raise local revenues. In this paper, four municipal mayors at the end of their four-year term reflect, in their own words, on the role they have played in shaping their municipalities. They recount their personal engagement with local politics, share their views about their society and problems such as poverty, inequality and violence, describe the business of managing a local government and exercising leadership sometimes in difficult circumstances, reflect on the qualities of a mayor, and explain how they sought continuity for their government programmes. They see themselves as outsiders struggling against local political machineries. With one exception, they do not seem to see the poor as their natural interlocutors on whom they can rely for unswerving political support and to whom most of their energy should be directed.

Type: Article
Title: Being a mayor: the view from four Colombian cities
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0956247809103003
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956247809103003
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2009 International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).
Keywords: Colombia, governance, local government, local politics, mayors, urban inequality, urban poverty
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Development Planning Unit
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/50891
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