Alternative circulations? Situating policymaking, decoloniality, and urban models within Latin American cities.

Dr Ryan Anders Whitney, Dr Isabel Duque Franco, and Dr Guillermo Jajamovich

Funding period: 1 April 2023 – 30 June 2024
Type of funding: Seminar Series

Host institutions: School of Architecture, Art and Design at Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico City Campus (Mexico), Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Department of Geography (Colombia), and Universidad de Buenos Aires, Instituto de Estudios de América Latina y el Caribe (IEALC) (Argentina)
Dates: October 2023 (Mexico City), March 2024 (Bogota), May 2024 (Buenos Aires), and June 2024 (virtual).
Lead organisers: Dr Ryan Anders Whitney (Tecnológico de Monterrey), Dr Isabel Duque Franco (Universidad Nacional de Colombia), and Dr Guillermo Jajamovich (Universidad de Buenos Aires)
Contact: Dr Ryan Whitney

Abstract: The mobility and circulation of knowledge, policies, and urban models has been an important agenda that has shaped urban studies over the last decade. Scholars have highlighted the territorial and relational dimensions that shape urban policies (McCann & Ward, 2011; Peck & Theodore, 2015), the role of multiple mobile actors in the circulation of urban policies and models (Duque Franco & Ortiz, 2020; Montero, 2020; Whitney et al., 2020), and the politics that influence the translation, adaptation, and contestation of ‘best practices’ (Delgadillo, 2014; Silvestre & Jajamovich, 2021). Recently, criticism has been directed at the predominant focus on urban policy models circulating in hegemonic networks (e.g., UN Habitat, World Bank, C40 Cities, etc.) with less attention paid to the politics of trial and error in mobilising knowledge, including the role of “alternative” actors (Baker et al., 2020), circuits, and geographies. Through expanding frontiers of knowledge, this USF Seminar Series will address the broader actors, circuits, and geographies involved in the circulation and mobility of alternative and progressive policies and urban models in and from Latin America. We will promote a theoretical dialogue between policy mobility literature (Montero, 2017), southern urbanism (Roy, 2011), assemblage theory (McCann & Ward, 2012), and Latin American decolonial thinking (Mignolo, 2011; Vainer, 2014; Ortiz, 2022) to debate the best way to territorialize these models. The goal is to theorise the adoption, resistance, and creation of urban models from and within the global South, understanding the role of various actors in the larger circulation of urbanism models.

There are four seminars scheduled as part of these activities: ‘Social urbanism, poverty, and informality: between alternative and mainstream circulations’ (Mexico City), ‘gender, care, and Latin American experiments in local governance’ (Bogota), ‘alternative circuits and stakeholders’ (Buenos Aires), and ‘theory and practice: moving the conversation forward’ (100% virtual).