Escudo de la República de Colombia Escudo de la República de Colombia

Conflictos internacionales contemporáneos: guerras, Estados y transformación del orden internacional. Parte 1: invasión de Ucrania.

Línea de investigación: Ciudades, Territorio y Estado Tipo: Investigación Entidad contratante o cooperante: Carlos Alberto Patiño Villa Fecha de inicio: Sábado, 05 Noviembre 2022 Fecha de finalización: Martes, 22 Noviembre 2022


The general aim of this project is to develop a philosophical approach for the evaluation of public policies in the built environment. This entails a normative and practical research on the principles involved in what we could broadly term an “urban theory of justice”. The idea of “urban justice” (Fainstein 2010) has been often considered from the perspective of “local justice” (Elster 1991), namely as democratic participation and decentralized allocation of scarce goods in urban contexts. The distributive aspect of urban planning and participatory budgeting refers, however, to a broader dimension: spatial justice. All the normative approaches mentioned in Section 1.1 (State of the art) are not mutually exclusive in this research field. Their differences often lie in the scale of the theoretical frame or in the sociological and political presumptions of their analysis (Castro Coma & Martí Costa 2016). Any theory of urban justice should be able to discern the different dimensions of the urban process and to apply a coherent set of principles to each case. For instance, the transit from the “informal” to the “formal” city, namely the policies for the regeneration of marginalised areas (like slums, ghettos or itinerant campsites), should manage qualitative indexes and criteria in order to assess what is an accomplished urban intervention. What is a “successful” urban environment? Does it mean to push the value of real state, to increase the global competitiveness of the city, or to promote a more functional type of social interactions? Are the location and the type of urban design involved relevant for the success of these sorts of policy interventions? These are the issues that Jane Jacobs (1961) brought to the fore in her famous critique of American urban planning in the 1950s and the social decline that it provoked in many of its neighborhoods. They are also behind the original idea of Henri Lefebvre’s “right to the city”. Since then, such topics have often been dealt with by urban theorists and political philosophers (Marcuse et al. 2009), but unfortunately, they have been addressed to different publics and academic disciplines. This project tries to overcome such a handicap by integrating a series of scholars from different fields and countries who share, however, the capacity to recognize the normative underpinnings involved in urban material dynamics.


This project launches out with the hypothesis that, in order to tackle the normative problems involved in the redress of urban inequality and exclusion, we need to gain a spatial perspective on the idea of justice. Such approach cannot limit itself to distributive or recognitional aspects, but it should include the praxiological issues that empower the individuals as functional social agents in an urban context. Rather than conceiving of collective action merely as a strategic game for the rival consumption of limited goods (like urban space or services), we should broaden the theoretical scope to consider the nature of common pool resources in the city, the dynamics behind their material and symbolic production, and the forms of social exclusion based on spatial factors.

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