Funding entity: Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness
Funding period: January 2016 – December 2018
The last local elections of May 2015 have created a rupture in the Spanish political system. Electoral turnovers were indicated in four out of five big cities, as well as in many medium-sized ones. Such political shifts have the potential to influence urban policies and the traditional neoliberal discourse. The most prominent characteristic of the new local governments consist in their connection social movements, many of which emerged in the aftermath of the 2008 financial, social and political crisis. Moreover, the pre-electoral programmes and the initial activities signify a willingness to create ruptures with the hegemonic policies applied by previous governments. This context informs a research project with three main objectives:
- – Examine the characteristics and the restrictions of the urban policies that are implemented in 2015-19 in order to investigate the current potential of change of local governments;
- – Analyse the continuities and the contradictions between the new political actors and the social actors;
- – Reflect over the conceptual notion of democracy which emerges from the application of different local policies.
These objectives will be developed through empirical studies in six cities of “change”: Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Valencia, Córdoba and Cádiz. Research will focus on five key dimensions:
- (1) Financialisation of housing and housing policies;
- (2) Social exclusion, spatial inequality and segregation;
- (3) City management through branding;
- (4) Design, appropriation and control of public space; and
- (5) Democratic regeneration and participation.