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Title: Global architecture and the politics of competitiveness
Author: Tarazona Vento, A. A.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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This research examines the new urban policy that, in the last decades, has put emphasis on urban regeneration based on urban renewal and city marketing, particularly through the use of events and mega projects by global star architects. Through the case study of Valencia (Spain), which, in the last years, has become a good example of an entrepreneurial city, the study sets out to, first, discover the implications of the new urban policy for the built environment, planning practices and democratic governance, second, analyse the economic, political, social and cultural factors that have led to the use of such urban policy and, third, understand the actual processes and actors involved in it. Although emblematic projects are expected to generate economic activity and employment, this research has shown that – given their very limited effectiveness for economic and social regeneration and their inequality in the distribution of benefits – the main reasons for the implementation of these projects are related to the economic, political and professional interests of different groups and, to ideational reasons, such as the ‘politics of self-esteem’. The case of Valencia has particularly shown the significance of a hegemonic project such as the creation of a new regional state from a political, economic and identity viewpoints. It has also highlighted the crucial role in the implementation of the urban policy played by a boosterist urban regime, brought together and kept in place by the local and regional governments. Also, the involvement of and, relationship between local and global actors, particularly in processes of mediation and translation of interests. Finally, it has provided evidence of how mega projects and events have become a conduit of state restructuring and neoliberal globalisation by fostering a mode of governance characterized by the privatisation of decision making and the lack of transparency and democratic control.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available