IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The square as the epicenter of local development

Listed author(s):
  • Felipe Lucca


Registered author(s):

    There is no denying that the capital has penetrated too deep and far away in body and soul of the people, in their intelligence, psyche and imagination, in their core of 'vitality'; and while such 'vitality' has become the primary source of value in capitalism. In addition to this, the dramatic centralization of political and economic power that characterizes our way of organizing society leads, ultimately, a deep divorce between the citizen's requirements and the content of economic and social development. The local empowerment emerges as a new way to aggregate, create meaning, invent devices for appreciation and self-respect; and also an important tool that can facilitate the organized expression of community needs and assist in setting democratic priorities of local development. There is no doubt that something new is emerging in various parts of the territory in Sao Paulo – the biggest city of Brazil, with over eleven billion people. It is remarkable that there is a growing desire and political will of the inhabitants to relinquish their passive attitudes and assume, collectively, the changes in favor of the creation of improved living conditions of the neighborhood. In an area comprising four neighborhoods of the west Sao Paulo it was identified three social experiences that follows singular paths, but have the same goal: promoting the improvement of the square nearby their homes and, thereby, encourage the use of public space. The aim of this report is to analyze these three social experiences and compare them with the concept of local development. To support this essay, it was made a literature review on the concept of Development and Local Development based, fundamentally, on the ideas of Amartya Sen, Ladislau Dowbor, Ignacy Sachs, Celso Furtado and Alain Lipietz. The author of this essay participated actively in the three social experiments from February to December 2010 producing 'thick descriptions' (GEERTZ, 1989) about the meetings, the dynamics of neighborhoods and squares and informal conversations with participants. This essay concludes that the square in the urban territory can symbolize the epicenter of local development. Key words: social experiences; square; local empowerment; local development.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa11p1630.

    in new window

    Date of creation: Sep 2011
    Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa11p1630
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria

    Web page:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa11p1630. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gunther Maier)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.