La urbanización como campo de políticas de desarrollo
Uribe-Echevarría, Francisco; Instituto de Estudios Sociales, La Haya
The objective of this essay es mainly to define an analitic framework that permit us to identify the fields and the contents of urbanization policies when these are understood as an instrument of development. The urbanization policies mentioned are those whose goals aim at guidding the process of development of the urban system of a country or region in such a way as to maximize its contribution to the explicit objectives of society. Even if the uniqueness of these objectives, is recognized it will be stated that any policy, and certainly urbanization policies, must be evaluated by their contribution in two dimensions of any process of development, which have to be considered simultaneously. One refers to the global advances of society expressed, for example, in the per-capita averages other refers to the distribution of those advances among different social groups. The thesis that the article poses is that for the purpose of formulating urbanization policies, thus understood, its not enough to state generic relationships between urbanization and development. Furthermore, it can be dangerous to do so if such relationships are based in an abstract conceptualization of urbanization, asumedly of universal validity. The author's arguments are of two types: 1. The recognition that urbanization as an economical, social and political phenomenon has occured, or takes place, showing different profiles in depending on the time and the regions. 2. The assertion that the simple degree of urbanization is insufficient as a mesure of the transformation of the space of urban development of a society and consequently, also of its impact over the objectives of economical, social and political nature. The application of these statements will lead to the formulation of an urbanization policies framework that necessarily should consider and integrate three fields of performance. The first one refers to the aggregated analysis of the interelationships between urbanization and development. The other two refer to the patterns of urbanization at the levels of city systems, or supraurban space, and of the city or local urban space. The author affirms that the consistancy of a set of urbanization policies is based precisely in the coordination of the options taken in these three fields and in the relationships that can be demonstrated among them and with the specific social development objectives.