Theory and policy on informal settlements in Buenos Aires (Ronaldo Ramirez)

Ronaldo Ramirez was a keynote speaker at a regional conference on theory and policy on informal settlements in Latin America in Buenos Aires in November.

In November (He also participated in a workshop on urban health, environment and poverty in the Region.

In November (8-10) Ronaldo Ramirez was invited as keynote speaker of the Latin American Seminar on “Theory and Policies of Informal Settlements” that took place in Buenos Aires and to co-ordinate its Academic Committee. The Seminar was organised by the Instituto del Conurbano of the National University General Sarmiento and attracted more than 200 participants from eight Latin American countries. It was motivated by the growing realisation amongst scholars, practitioners, politicians, field workers and residents that the development of informal settlements, manifested in a large number of state interventions and projects, is advancing without the support of an equivalent theoretical inquiry. As expressed in the Seminar Introduction, “today it is possible to perceive a narrative of cases and practices, caused by policies that either ignore or purposely evade the theory”. In this context, the seminar debated the relationships between theory, policy and practices through some 100 papers presented in ten thematic workshops. These included subjects such as Policies to Regularise Property Titles; Collective Actions; Agents and Actors in the Informal Settlements; Informal Real Estate Market; Legal Order and Urban Planning; Public Policies Regarding Informal Settlements; Rights to the City and to Housing; Social Representation; Information Systems; and Urban Managements and Formalisation Programmes.

An important component of the Seminar was a one day programme devoted to the discussion of municipal policies and experiences in the fields of urban planning and informality. This discussion was based on presentations by urban planners, officers and local politicians from 15 municipalities in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area and provided a rare opportunity to exchange views and information between those participants involved in the production of theoretical propositions and clarifications in the field of urban informality and those directly responsible for the design and execution of policies to intervene in the same field.

(For additional information, please contact Raul Fernandez Wagner:

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