Urbanism as Warfare: Planning, Property, and Displacement in Bogotá

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Urbanism as Warfare: Planning, Property, and Displacement in Bogotá

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Title: Urbanism as Warfare: Planning, Property, and Displacement in Bogotá
Author: Perez, Federico
Citation: Perez, Federico. 2014. Urbanism as Warfare: Planning, Property, and Displacement in Bogotá. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
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Abstract: This dissertation is an ethnographic study of urban renewal policies in downtown Bogotá. For decades the city center has been the site of intense struggles over the use and control of urban space. In recent years, state projects of urban reconstruction and public-private redevelopment have made urban displacement and conflicts over property an ever more pressing reality. Through an exploration of renewal practices and discourses, I argue that planning, bureaucratic action, and expert knowledge have become instruments for the exercise of different forms of urbanistic violence. In this sense, urban renewal emerges as a battleground that refracts the country's enduring anxieties over sovereignty, land struggles, and class warfare. Far from prevalent scholarly understandings of global urbanism in which urban transformation is primarily driven by market forces and the retrenchment of state, I emphasize the persistent centrality of technologies of governance, bureaucratic instruments, and expertise in Bogotá's projects of spatial reconstruction. From this perspective, urban planning and redevelopment appear as a laboratory of statecraft, urban knowledge, socio-spatial relations, and citizenship. In looking at such processes I consider the shifts in the city's logics of spatial intervention: from overt warfare and bureaucratic engagement to speculative transactions and inclusionary partnerships. Ultimately, I reflect on the continuities and ruptures between earlier projects of urban securitization and real estate speculation and Bogotá's emergent paradigms of urban revitalization.
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:12274553
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