ST 3 Circulação de conhecimento e políticas de planejamento: Ideias, interesses e instituições no programa de requalificação urbana ‘Porto Maravilha’

  • Gabriel Silvestre de Campos Salles University College London


After more than three decades of studies, committees and proposals, the ongoing regeneration of the port area of Rio de Janeiro could well be framed as ‘an idea whose time has come’. Since the second half of the 20th century the area experienced a slow process of decline facilitated by changes in shipping technology, decreasing public investments and planning decisions that further isolated it from the surrounding region. The large-scale urban programme encompasses an area of five million square meters aimed to provide features familiar to waterfront projects found elsewhere: office towers, residential condos, modern transport networks and tourist attractions. However, framing the operation as a stance of ‘serial reproduction’ of iconic landscapes obscures more than reveals how circulating policy ideas are ‘grounded’ and institutionalized. To this effect, this paper suggests a complementary approach to the literatures of policy mobilities and the new institutionalism strand focusing on the role of ideas in the public policy process. An analytical framework is then applied to the case study in order to examine the ideas, interests and institutions shaping the emergence of the regenerated port area of Rio de Janeiro. The paper concludes with an assessment of the experience as a potential urban model to be rolled out in other localities and the recent implications from corruption scandals.
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