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Urban crises across the North-South divide: A comparative study of institutional transformations and urban policy responses in Valencia and Mar del Plata

Sanchez Jimenez, Alvaro A; (2017) Urban crises across the North-South divide: A comparative study of institutional transformations and urban policy responses in Valencia and Mar del Plata. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The thesis analyses how episodes of crisis have shaped local institutional transformations and urban policy innovations in Valencia and Mar del Plata over the last three decades. Spainʼs ongoing public debt issues and Argentinaʼs long history of financial instability place current debates concerning local government responses to economic crises into context. The thesis engages with urban research that cuts across cities from the global North and South in order to exploit the potential of comparative urbanism to stretch conventional approaches, methods and concepts from urban theory. Drawing inspiration from literature on institutionalism, it brings into analytical scrutiny and conversation a number of formal and informal features of the local institutional environment of each city to offer a nuanced understanding of how local governments deal with economic, social and political urban issues in times of crisis. Narratives of crisis advanced by local actors provide an alternative empirical source for the analysis of the urban dimension of major episodes of crisis and reveal their multiple temporalities. The detailed consideration of different urban actors exposes the complexity of the institutional environment in which organisational transformations and urban policymaking processes take place as well as the wide variety of interests at play, and how these were differently constituted in the two case study cities. The examination of the relationship between crises and local institutional transformations reveals that crises are not simply economic in origin but are both politically constituted and politically mediated. Finally, the thesis considers in detail how specifically urban interventions and strategies were articulated by the municipal governments in response to crises. The thesis ends with an invitation to the reader to grapple with the rich experience of these and other ordinary cities dealing with multiple kinds of crises, drawing out lessons for how these might be tackled creatively and even positively in the future.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Urban crises across the North-South divide: A comparative study of institutional transformations and urban policy responses in Valencia and Mar del Plata
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10024662
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