Mega-project meltdown: post-politics, neoliberal urban regeneration and Valencia's fiscal crisis

Tarazona Vento, A. (2017) Mega-project meltdown: post-politics, neoliberal urban regeneration and Valencia's fiscal crisis. Urban Studies, 54(1), pp. 68-84. (doi:10.1177/0042098015625025)

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Drawing on the literature of post-politics and post-democracy, the literature of neoliberalism as mode of governance and the study of the city of Valencia’s long-standing emphasis on the development of prestige mega-projects of iconic architecture as a means to achieve economic regeneration and urban revitalisation, this paper evaluates the social and economic effects of urban mega-projects and analyses them as conduits of neoliberal globalisation and de-politicisation of the public sphere. On the one hand, an urban policy based on the use of mega-projects represents a turn from welfarism to entrepreneurialism which, beyond the evident urban transformation and re-imaging, results in an increase in social inequality, the creation of precarious jobs, and an underinvestment in social services. On the other hand, the mechanisms used to implement mega-projects – including both exceptionality measures and privatisation of management through the creation of semi-public delivery bodies – result in a lack of transparency and democratic control, which in turn lead to more authoritative and privatised forms of decision-making. Moreover, mega-projects – through their focus on expertise and technocracy and a populist politics and discourse constructed around them – play a crucial role in the erosion of democracy and the establishment of a consensual politics where ideological struggle does not exist.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Tarazona Vento, Dr Amparo
Authors: Tarazona Vento, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Urban Studies
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1360-063X
Published Online:15 January 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Urban Studies Journal Ltd
First Published:First published in Urban Studies 54(1): 68-84
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher policy

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