3. Changing perceptions and approaches to the “Right to the City”
The last decade has been rich in movements that challenge and create alternatives to the order that regulates the access of different social groups to regional spaces and the ability to modify habitat's form and nature. Within and outside Latin America, the access to urban and rural land and the social function of the city are claimed today as essential conditions for developing the potential for survival and reproduction of life of large
social groups. Tensions and conflicts between different groups competing and disputing for space also multiply. The rights to environment, to land, to the city and to the territory are expressed in discourses that while distinct, combine strategies of inhabiting and occupying. Regarding territorial conflicts, what social and environmental demands are being expressed today? How and by what institutional mechanisms are they supported? Within and outside Latin America, what is the role of Rights approach in the context of conflicts over the city, land, territory and environment?
Papers and analyses of local and regional experiences that address these processes might ask questions such as:
- Formalities, informalities, "other" legalities: the distinct languages of urbanization. How do ‘territories of resistance' emerge and what do they express? How are ‘urban rights' shaped and mediated by laws, informal rules and customs? How are they changing and what are the pressures that are generating the changes?
- Social function of the city, spatial and environmental conditions of urban citizenship. How are the social functions of the city, spatial settlement and land use patterns affected by hinterlands and regional economic, social and political structures? Which citizens' rights are built by and for whom, under what modes, in what types of regional structures?
- Paradigms in transition: what has driven the urban citizenship paradigm from social housing to popular habitat policies; from the "right to the city" to the Urban Reform? How has increased environmental awareness reshaped arguments over the right to the city and over the paths that cities follow over time?
- What are emerging issues in current debates over land use planning and urban land value, property rights, capture of urban surplus and the conservation of environmental services for urban life, within the framework of current conceptual, legislative and policy changes?