Carmen Mendoza participates as a speaker at the XXXIV International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA 2016)

29/06/16
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On 29 May, Dr Carmen Mendoza, Assistant Director of the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture, Director of the Area of Urbanism and Co-Director of the Master’s Degree in Cooperation, gave a talk called “Open space privatization: the threat of urban regeneration. Comparing open space regeneration of Medellín and Barcelona”. This conference was part of a panel entitled “Frontiers of research on reform of urban public service provision I”, within the framework of the XXXIV International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA 2016).

Dr Mendoza talked about the threat of gentrification in urban regeneration projects. Her analysis was based on a comparison between experiences of renovation in the neighbourhood of Ciutat Vella in Barcelona during the eighties and early nineties and the more recent “Comprehensive Urban Project” in Medellín. They both represent examples of urban renovation in strategic public areas or “urban acupuncture”. In her talk, she demonstrated that an improvement of the urban environment can guarantee and provide services to residents, without increasing the value of urban property, and thus avoid gentrification.

The aim of the panel entitled “Frontiers of research on reform of urban public service provision I” was to generate an exchange between experts from the academic world in relation to urban privatisation trends in different cities and its consequences. For that reason, they analysed a large variety of cities and urban service sectors from different disciplinary perspectives. The event was coordinated by Dr Clara Irazabal, Director of the Latin Lab in the University of Columbia (Columbia GSAPP) and a Professor on the Master’s degree in Cooperation in the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture.

The LASA 2016 conference was held in New York between 27 and 30 May 2016 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the foundation of LASA. The event analysed the evolution of Latin American studies, paying special attention to the way in which the approach has changed in terms of actors, transnational flux and the configuration of new identities. Likewise, the conference also explored the challenges involved in promoting a more participatory, diverse and socially just future.