The presentation will rely on a research investigation on a specific urban development policy, known as project ‘Nova Luz,’ for the city center of Sao Paulo from 2001 to 2012. By investigating this public policy, the research intended to contribute with an analysis on the inclusion of urban planning tools in the public government’s agenda, considering the strategies chosen by civil society organizations to influence the actions upon the municipal government. The goal was to achieve a better understanding of the restricted production of urban public policies in the democratic contexts of the post-Constitution of 1988 and the post-City Statute Law of 2001. The main result of the research was a clear understanding of the influence of certain actors in that public policy, specifically real estate companies. During the presentation, we intend to bring evidence supporting the correlation between city councilors’ decisions and electoral campaigns’ financing; decisions taken against the low-income population and their households directly affected by the given government policy. This research had a strong response from local communities because it contained a detailed overview of the entire process of the ‘Nova Luz’ project, including the perspectives of officials from the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judiciary branches of the government. Affected residents battled against this public policy and the research was used as a reference for public prosecutors; finally, they succeeded in interrupting the project until necessary measures were taken to protect the local community from it.
Felipe Francisco De Souza (Ph.D. in urban engineering from the University of Tokyo and Project Research Fellow at Lincoln Institute of Land Policy)
Former senior consultant for the UN-Habitat and the World Bank, responsible for policy reports on metropolitan governance, comprehensive development plans and planning instruments. Having just accomplished his Ph.D. degree in urban engineering at the University of Tokyo, he is the author of articles and books on the previously mentioned themes, including the latest book “Land Readjustment: Solving Urban Problems Through Innovative Approach” (ed. 2018 with Takeo Ochi and Akio Hosono) published by the JICA Research Institute.