- The regional Rootedness of places: You can plan with that    click here to open paper content873 kb
by    CASTELLO, LINEU & CASTELLO, IARA REGINA | lincastello@terra.com.br   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Inspired by findings on Southern Brazilian urban places, the paper raises theoretical and methodological arguments to discuss the management of regions from a local perspective. It hypothesizes on the role that strategic roots, shared in common by a region’s network of places, play as important indicators of the planning tools that can adequately enhance the management of the region.
The emergence of intensive clustering of urban centres, and their growing mutual interdependence, pose difficult challenges to Brazilian planning. The paper approaches the topic both on theoretical and pragmatical lines and intends to advance the discussion by examining two urban regions in the southern State of Rio Grande do Sul. One case focuses on the management initiatives employed in the planning of an urban region known as the “Grapevine Region”, in which all endeavours are taken under the supervision of formal (private) agents. The other, focuses on the informal activities employed in the management of the “Hortensias Region”, also stimulated by private agents. They both examine the efforts undertaken by agents in terms of learning how to become regionally articulated so as to profit from the businesses opportunities that can be excelled through regional partnerships. Either formal or informal, both cases deal with planning procedures that rely on strategic factors anchored to the region’s cultural rootedness, responsible for configuring the regions’ places. The paper hypothesizes on the role that common roots may play in the definition of a region’s places and, most importantly, on design alternatives that planning can extract from the internal texture of an urban region - that is to say, from the rootedness that configure that region’s places - for enhancing the regional development. Hence, the regional rootedness of places is seen as a possible catalyst, facilitating the management of the region. Furthermore, it brings forward the idea that an expanded scope of the theory of places may be of help in understanding regional relationships. It may no longer be restricted to studying places as localized spots on a grid but, rather, to approach the factors behind their genesis, i.e., the “rootedness” of places.
Synthetically, from the cases studied it seems that the most interesting lessons to extract are: the offer of education; the construction of a regional “brand”; and the presence of consultive associations. Ultimately, these are the main strategic factors bringing favourable results in terms of tourist development; preservation of cultural heritage; and upgrading living standards. All results have close links to the collective rootedness that defines the region’s places and is used in the planning actions, either for fixing people to the internal privatopias of their cultural niches; or to introduce them into the heterotopias of a changing postmodern way of living.
place theory; rootedness; urban regions; cultural identity
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