Planning for Urban Life: Equality, order and exclusion in Bogota’s lively public spaces.

Abstract / Resumen / Resumo

Bogota has been presented as a successful example of the current, purportedly more socially sustainable urban policy trend. From “place-making” to “creativity-based” approaches, the planning mainstream appears to embrace a discourse of social tolerance and inclusion in public spaces. Insisting on a discourse of equality, Bogota mayors have sold the city as a model of inclusionary urbanism. A qualitative study of the city’s planning discourse around urban life shows the limits of Bogota’s inclusionary discourse. The article focuses on the use of the concept of urban life in public space planning discourse, noting how it allows for the exclusion of people perceived as sources of disorder. Exploring the different notions behind this concept, the article complicates the content of inclusion behind Bogota’s approach. In addition, it complicates the story of transfer and adaptation that has been told about the adoption of zero-tolerance tactics in Latin America. The article also argues for the careful examination of strategies ostensibly predicated on the promotion of urban life, taking into account the kind of inclusion they promote and its effects on the most vulnerable urban populations.