The construction of an urban government alternative to neoliberalism in Spain. An analysis of cases

Authors: Rubén C. Lois-González*, University of Santiago de Compostela, María José Piñeira Mantiñán, University of Santiago de Compostela
Topics: Urban Geography
Keywords: Postcrisis governance, multilevel governance, citizen movements, Spain
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Jackson, Marriott, 5th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The serious consequences that have arisen from the neoliberal model in force in Spain since the mid-1980s have meant a radical transformation in the way of governing the cities. It has moved from a management model characterized by treating territory as a business (Vives, 2013), deregulation in planning, and the leading role of real estate developers in the process of urban expansion (Rullan, 2012; Burriel, 2009; Lois and Piñeira, 2011); to other one based on the defence of democratic rights, the end of corruption and restoring the population’s state of well-being (McLeod, 2011; Ekers et alt, 2011; Romero & Farinós, 2011). The key points of this new model involve working in networks, integration between stakeholders and true democracy (Swyngedouw, 2005). Es lo que algunos autores han definido como “multilevel governance,” “network governance” or “collaborative governance” (Hatfield, Nelson & Cook, 2007; Howlett & Ramesh, 2014; Steurer, 2013).
In this article it will be analysed, firstly, how leaders of the citizens' movements have been elected mayors thanks to electoral programs that promised transparent management, cessation of evictions, universal and free basic services, support for alternative economies and fight against vulnerability. Second, it will be studied what initiatives are taking place in different Spanish cities - both large and medium-sized. Finally, we will reflect on whether a new urban model is being consolidated, which are being its biggest problems and whether it will be sustainable in the future based on the examples of Madrid and A Coruña.

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