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Yachay, City of Knowledge: An Analysis of Planning, Politics and Citizen Involvement

Maquilon, Juan Carlos

Knowledge-based (Urban) Development (KBUD) is considered a favored urban trend at the dawn of the new millennium. Francisco Javier Carrillo (2006) noted that “few aspects of today’s world may characterize better the dawn of the new millennium than the transformation of regions and cities into knowledge societies. The 21st century society is post-industrial; the knowledge society is its horizon”. This horizon involves two emerging conditions: cities/urban growth and the raise of the knowledge economy.
The 21st century is being identified as the century of cities. Nowadays, the world’s urban population is overcoming the 50% mark and is expected to become 75% by 2025 (a percentage already reached by most industrialized countries). Then, this rapid urban growth indicates that this is indeed the century of cities.
The 21st century is also identified as the century of knowledge, where an increasing number of countries have been moving from material-based to knowledge-based economies as the ground for the foundation of the knowledge society, its socio-cultural transformation, socio-spatial configuration, territorial development and economic growth. Therefore, we have already entered the century of knowledge.
Consequently, it is of relevant importance to analyze the convergence of these two emerging conditions of human civilization at the dawn of the millennium: The Century of Knowledge Cities as a result of Knowledge-based (Urban) Development. This analysis will focus on the development of the knowledge city: Yachay, the first post-colonial planned city in Ecuador, conceived under the government’s Good Living agenda as a new growth pole ñ starting from scratch in an Andean agricultural valley ñ which seeks to reduce territorial disparities and socio-spatial segregation among the country’s cities, promote equal access to goods and services and turn around the country’s productive matrix, becoming the first Knowledge hub of Latin America. The research aims to analyze the relationship between the planning instruments and public officials’ discourses involved in Yachay’s project as well as the citizens’ perspectives. Additionally, it aims to identify the urban risks that this project faces and recommend alternative methods to cope with them.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Irazabal Zurita, Clara E.
Degree
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
June 24, 2016
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