In recent years, Buenos Aires City Government has set out to become a more inclusive and sustainable city, with a priority of serving the city's most vulnerable populations. The Housing Authority of the City of Buenos Aires has designed an innovative Socio-Urban Integration Plan which makes focus in the process by seeking to involve the relevant actors in the decision making of the slum upgrading intervention.
There are many examples in the global experience in slum upgrading. Unlike these experiences, the particularity of the Buenos Aires City program is that it starts from the premise that the community will design and implement the plan. In practical terms, this means that instead of a top-down approach to design and implementation of the public policy, the government's action concentrates on building local capacity so that neighbors are able to engage actively in a dialogue with the government and other stakeholders to further common goals, and ultimately, have the opportunity to influence the actions that shape their lives.
This process started three years ago, and today more than 120,000 households are benefiting from this program. Important results not only include the improved access to essential infrastructure, housing, social services and loans for repayments of the housing, it also shows that when mechanisms of participation are well designed, deliberative democracy can be massive, profound and effective.
On Thursday, November 7th, the Ash Center hosted a discussion with Juan Ignacio Maquieyra MPP 2014, President of the Housing Authority of the City of Buenos Aires. Candelaria Garay, Ford Foundation Associate Professor of Democracy, HKS, moderated.
A transcription of this podcast can be found online here.
About the Ash Center
The Ash Center is a research center and think tank at Harvard Kennedy School focused on democracy, government innovation, and Asia public policy. AshCast, the Center's podcast series, is a collection of conversations, including events and experts Q&As, from around the Center on pressing issues, forward-looking solutions, and more.