Models of Urban Governance and Planning in Latin America and the United States: Associationism, Regime Theory, and Communicative Action

Irazabal Zurita, Clara E.

In many American and Latin American cities alike, urban governance and planning are either in urgent need of reform or are currently undergoing haphazard reform. In many cases, innovative attempts to implement reforms have failed because the inability of cities to develop their 'civic capacity' -- the capacity to build and maintain broad social and political multi-sectoral coalitions in pursuit of common goals. This article argues that these significant points of convergence are productive building blocks for the construction of more generalizable models of urban governance and planning in democratic cities in the Americas and beyond. It situates coalition and network politics at the center of urban planning and governance reform, suggesting that associationism and regime theory can be instrumental at analyzing the status of civic capacity of urban communities. Furthermore, this article claims that the points of convergence between these models of governance may achieve a more powerful synergy and productive status as tools for both analysis and action through their synthesis in, and reinforcement of, the notion of communicative action in urban planning theory and practice.



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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Published Here
November 23, 2011


Presented at the International Planning History Society Conference, "Planning Models and the Culture of Cities," Barcelona, Spain, July 14-18, 2004.