Beyond the Planning Void - The renaissance of spatial planning in Argentina in the 21st Century

By Rodrigo Alves Rolo -
The publication of the strategic spatial plan ‘Argentina 2016’, at the beginning of the 21st century, represented the reappearance of spatial planning as a state ideology to govern spatial practices in Argentina, after many years of such practices being more market-driven decisions in terms of how public investments are allocated. This opened the possibility for the re-emergence of public debates around spatial planning policies more generally within the country.

The aim of the project is to shed light on some of this debates and competing planning discourses, specifically those surrounding the plan ‘Argentina 2016’. The theoretical approach follows and develops Foucauldian perspectives in planning policy analysis as originally elaborated by Flyvbjerg and Richardson. From this perspective, I first argue that the shaping of ‘Argentina 2016’ represents the amalgamation of multiple configurations of previous competing spatial planning discourses. Second, I discuss not only how such configurations are the result of power relations but have also become an element of power formation with respect to  constituting, delineating and enabling legitimate ways of understanding and acting within spatial planning domains in Argentina. The methodological design adopted includes the discourse analysis of the plan ‘Argentina 2016’ and related documents, semi-structured, in-depth interviews and the reconstruction of a critical narrative of the process of elaboration of the plan. Within an argentine context, the research offers a possible way to gain insights into a hitherto unexplored direction for a critical approach to spatial planning and will hopefully contribute to an increased reflexivity among planners and politicians.

Supervisors:prof. Claudio Martijn Duineveld