Abstract: With globalization and the decline of nation states, cities have become more important economically and po- litically around the world. As this trend has established itself, city leaders – and particularly their elected mayors– have assumed greater importance as political actors. In important respects they are avatars of local politics. This significance is visible in the local context, but more city mayors are operating at the local, national and international levels. The paper looks at the local political motivations for this trend, focusing on two factors: local constituency influences, and attempts to strengthen important local policy directions. Given the wider scope of elected mayors in a more globalized world, what are the implications for our understanding of local politics?
Friendly, A. & Stiphany, K. (2019). "Paradigm or Paradox? The 'Cumbersome Impasse of the Participatory Turn in Brazilian Urban Planning." Urban Studies 56(2): 271-287.
Abstract: The Brazilian urban reform movement expanded citizen participation in decision-making pro- cesses through a policy environment motivated by a right to the city (RTC), a collective development strategy for political transformation. Yet recent events evidence that social exclusion and spatial segregation remain dominant features of the Brazilian city. These contradictions have led planning scholars and practitioners to grapple with misalignment between the reform movement’s paradigmatic goals and its paradoxical failures. We build upon this genre of thinking to assess criti- cal areas of paradigm and paradox in Brazilian planning – insurgent urbanism, informality and knowledge – each of which is rooted in the lesser-understood concept of autogestão for improving the equity of land division through urban planning. Although not all inclusive of the issues faced by Brazilian cities, these three categories were selected for best representing how Brazil’s participatory turn established a range of paradigmatic and paradoxical conditions that can help us to understand cities in Brazil and beyond and might better leverage autogestão in the future.
Levkoe, C. Z., Friendly, A. & Daniere, A. (2018). "Community Service-Learning in Graduate Planning Education." Journal of Planning Education and Research. DOI: 10.1177/0739456X18754318.
Abstract: Community service-learning (CSL) has gained popularity over the past decades in universities across North America. Although planning programs tend to involve more graduate-level community-engaged learning than other professional disciplines, learning outcomes have not been sufficiently examined. Based on a review of existing literature and analysis from four years of a CSL course at the University of Toronto’s Department of Geography and Planning, this article describes the implications of CSL for graduate planning education. We argue that CSL in graduate planning programs has a series of unique characteristics and thus requires distinctive pedagogical approaches.
Stren, R. & Friendly, A. (2017). "Toronto and São Paulo: Cities and International Diplomacy." Urban Affairs Review. DOI: 10.1177/1078087417722862.
To read this article, click here. Abstract: With globalization, the largest cities in the world have been growing in economic importance. And their local powers have often been enhanced as a result of decentralization reforms over the past two decades. In this context, cities – and particularly their mayors – have been reaching out to other cities and jurisdictions to pursue a variety of goals. One term for this process is “paradiplomacy” but most of the literature on the subject gives little attention to the local political dynamics behind these initiatives. In this paper we explore these local dynamics through a comparison of two major cities, Toronto, Canada, and São Paulo, Brazil. The cases show that external initiatives, both in scope and direction, vary according to the political strategies of the elected mayors. These strategies are strongly affected by the local context and by the political logic of mayoral leadership.
Friendly, A. (2017). “Urban Policy, Social Movements and the Right to the City in Brazil.” Latin American Perspectives 44(2): 132-148.
To read this article, click here. Abstract:Brazilian urban social movements have played a key role in bringing about change in urban policy since the 1980s and in light of the widespread protests across the country in June 2013. This insurgency and the urban reform movement of the 1980s and 1990s exemplify waves of mobilization and demobilization, signaling positive change at the level of praxis. More recent events have highlighted challenges for Brazil’s political left.
Friendly, A. (2016). “The Changing Landscape of Civil Society in Niterói, Brazil.” Latin American Research Review 51(1): 218-241.
To read this article, click hereor read my blog post on the article here.
Abstract: In the context of urban poverty in Brazil, this paper considers the national context of civil society starting in the 1950s through to the approval of the Statute of the City in 2001. Focusing on a case study of Niterói, Rio de Janeiro State, I unpack the perception of a declining civil society in that city. Yet rather than taking a retraction of civil society at face value, I make the case for alterations within civil society and the role of the political context.
Friendly, A. (2013). “The Right to the City: Theory and Practice in Brazil.” Planning Theory & Practice 14(2): 158-179.
Abstract: In Brazil, a country notorious for its spatially segregated, unequal cities, a 2001 federal law recognizes the “right to the city” and mandates participation in planning processes, aiming to achieve social justice. Planning theory has dealt extensively with the “right to the city”, but critical examination of the implementation of this law – the Statute of the City – is lacking. Drawing on the ideals of Lefebvre and the global “right to the city” movement, I contribute to the theoretical debate on the right to the city, connecting this discussion to an analysis of the practice of applying this ideal in Brazil. I examine the challenges of implementing this innovative policy in Niterói (Rio de Janeiro State), showing that a more nuanced approach is needed to understand Brazil's unique right to the city experience.
(You can also read a short press release about the article here.)