When Visions for City Planning and Development are Translated into Practice

Maria José Zapata Campos, Patrik Zapata

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The ‘knowing-doing’ gaps between policy goals and their outcome when implemented is of increasing concern both in practice and in research. This paper explores how the visions of a sustainable development and the corresponding planning are translated into practice; what aspects of visions and plans are translated, what is lost in and what is added in the translation. The paper is based on the case-study of La Chureca, the rubbish dump and slum of Managua, Nicaragua, and its regeneration program that ran from 2009 to 2013 and included the construction of a new landfill, a recycling station where part of the waste-pickers now are formally employed, and new housing for the informal settlement’s residents. The analysis is based on interviews, observations, workshop participations and document analysis; gathered from 2009 until 2012. It combines action net theory with the sociology of translation as theoretical framework. Despite the initial compliance to the program (funded and initially led by international aid organizations), local actors enacted a myriad of small acts of defiance and resistance that, without abruptly contesting the project, shaped it to better fit local needs; a) first by municipal politicians and officers, and b) later by beneficiaries that felt that they were not fairly benefited by the program (women, eldery). We conclude that the implementation of visions cannot be seen as scripted translations of plans into reality, but as uncontrollable and uncertain processes in which myriads of translations twist policies and plans from below. The question is therefore not whether plans work (or succeed) but how they work.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2014
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventThe 30th EGOS Colloquium 2014: Reimagining, Rethinking, Reshaping: Organizational Scholarship in Unsettled Times - Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 3 Jul 20145 Jul 2014
Conference number: 30
http://www.egosnet.org/home

Conference

ConferenceThe 30th EGOS Colloquium 2014
Number30
LocationRotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University
CountryNetherlands
CityRotterdam
Period03/07/201405/07/2014
Internet address

Bibliographical note

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Cite this

Zapata Campos, M. J., & Zapata, P. (2014). When Visions for City Planning and Development are Translated into Practice. Paper presented at The 30th EGOS Colloquium 2014, Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Zapata Campos, Maria José ; Zapata, Patrik. / When Visions for City Planning and Development are Translated into Practice. Paper presented at The 30th EGOS Colloquium 2014, Rotterdam, Netherlands.20 p.
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Zapata Campos, MJ & Zapata, P 2014, 'When Visions for City Planning and Development are Translated into Practice' Paper presented at, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 03/07/2014 - 05/07/2014, .

When Visions for City Planning and Development are Translated into Practice. / Zapata Campos, Maria José; Zapata, Patrik.

2014. Paper presented at The 30th EGOS Colloquium 2014, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

TY - CONF

T1 - When Visions for City Planning and Development are Translated into Practice

AU - Zapata Campos, Maria José

AU - Zapata, Patrik

N1 - CBS Library does not have access to the material

PY - 2014

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N2 - The ‘knowing-doing’ gaps between policy goals and their outcome when implemented is of increasing concern both in practice and in research. This paper explores how the visions of a sustainable development and the corresponding planning are translated into practice; what aspects of visions and plans are translated, what is lost in and what is added in the translation. The paper is based on the case-study of La Chureca, the rubbish dump and slum of Managua, Nicaragua, and its regeneration program that ran from 2009 to 2013 and included the construction of a new landfill, a recycling station where part of the waste-pickers now are formally employed, and new housing for the informal settlement’s residents. The analysis is based on interviews, observations, workshop participations and document analysis; gathered from 2009 until 2012. It combines action net theory with the sociology of translation as theoretical framework. Despite the initial compliance to the program (funded and initially led by international aid organizations), local actors enacted a myriad of small acts of defiance and resistance that, without abruptly contesting the project, shaped it to better fit local needs; a) first by municipal politicians and officers, and b) later by beneficiaries that felt that they were not fairly benefited by the program (women, eldery). We conclude that the implementation of visions cannot be seen as scripted translations of plans into reality, but as uncontrollable and uncertain processes in which myriads of translations twist policies and plans from below. The question is therefore not whether plans work (or succeed) but how they work.

AB - The ‘knowing-doing’ gaps between policy goals and their outcome when implemented is of increasing concern both in practice and in research. This paper explores how the visions of a sustainable development and the corresponding planning are translated into practice; what aspects of visions and plans are translated, what is lost in and what is added in the translation. The paper is based on the case-study of La Chureca, the rubbish dump and slum of Managua, Nicaragua, and its regeneration program that ran from 2009 to 2013 and included the construction of a new landfill, a recycling station where part of the waste-pickers now are formally employed, and new housing for the informal settlement’s residents. The analysis is based on interviews, observations, workshop participations and document analysis; gathered from 2009 until 2012. It combines action net theory with the sociology of translation as theoretical framework. Despite the initial compliance to the program (funded and initially led by international aid organizations), local actors enacted a myriad of small acts of defiance and resistance that, without abruptly contesting the project, shaped it to better fit local needs; a) first by municipal politicians and officers, and b) later by beneficiaries that felt that they were not fairly benefited by the program (women, eldery). We conclude that the implementation of visions cannot be seen as scripted translations of plans into reality, but as uncontrollable and uncertain processes in which myriads of translations twist policies and plans from below. The question is therefore not whether plans work (or succeed) but how they work.

KW - Urban social movements

KW - Organization theory

KW - Evictions

KW - Economic crisis

KW - Citizen resilience

M3 - Paper

ER -

Zapata Campos MJ, Zapata P. When Visions for City Planning and Development are Translated into Practice. 2014. Paper presented at The 30th EGOS Colloquium 2014, Rotterdam, Netherlands.