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The Making of Global Suburbs: Globalization, Neoliberalism, and Planning Practices

  • Zanotto, Juliana Miranda
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2016
eScholarship - University of California
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In this research, I critically examine the making of global suburbs—affluent communities on the peripheries of cities across the world that house transnational elites and actualize in space great socio-economic inequality and wealth concentration. From a practice theory approach, I utilize the case of the Metropolitan Region of Curitiba, in Brazil, to analyze the local practices that justify, legitimize, and enable the creation of these spaces in connection with larger social structures, particularly globalization and neoliberalism.I look at global suburbs in relation to the flows of people, goods, and ideas under globalization; the principles and assumptions of neoliberalism; the role of regulatory agencies; the discursive practices that legitimate actions; the way in which planners make sense of their work; and the relationships between the elite and the poor in an unequal post-colonial society. The analyses reveal the making of global suburbs as framed within specific ways of seeing reality that makes these spaces feasible, desirable, and legitimate, despite potential negative social and environmental outcomes such as segregation and environmental destruction.Widespread and uncritically accepted neoliberal principles, such as privatization, individualism, competitiveness, decentralization, and efficiency provide the basis for discourses, policies, and values that enable the making of global suburbs. At the same time, both the enactment of practices and the spaces they create and legitimate reproduce the social, political, economic, and institutional structures that enabled their existence in the first place. Ultimately, the research unveils how spaces with potential regressive outcomes are created.

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