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Urban vulnerability and its challenges for public action

Grant number: 14/12363-3
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: September 20, 2014 - December 19, 2014
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Administration - Public Administration
Principal Investigator:Peter Kevin Spink
Grantee:Peter Kevin Spink
Visiting researcher: Lupicinio Iniguez Rueda
Visiting researcher institution: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Spain
Host Institution: Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo (EAESP). Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The "Urban vulnerabilities and the challenges for Public Action" program was set up during 2012 by researchers at the Center for Public Administration and Government, the Center for Health Planning and Management (both FGV-EAESP), and the Discursive Practices Nucleus of the Post-graduate Program in Social Psychology, PUC-SP. It received initial support from the FGV - EAESP internal research fund. Its are the new challenges of urban vulnerability in major cities and conurbations produced by the impacts on existing fragilities brought about by changes in the labor market and urban livelihoods, housing deficits, failures in making universal key social services, global and local climate change and in the consequences of existing institutional vulnerabilities. The first line of work focused vulnerabilities present in relation to the prevention of disasters associated with heavy rainfall (flooding and slippage) and the possibility of creating social technologies that could help the negotiation of action between the different levels of government and civil society. The territorial basis for the study was formed by the many areas previously identified as being at risk in the region served by the sub-prefecture of M'Boi Mirim in the municipality of São Paulo where the CEAPG had previously worked on a community linked project to monitor the application of Federal resources in the M'Boi water catchment area. The results showed not only the importance of the program's focus but also that the challenges and fragilities present, especially institutionally, where much more than expected. The absence of information shared between different municipal agencies, the different forms of territorial coordination and the almost total tendency - in certain public policy areas - on the actions being developed by existing community and faith based social organizations suggested the need to include two further lines of research. The first focuses the consequences of the many disconnections between the public actors present (with the title of invisible cities) and the second, the changes in the relationships between State and civil society in the organization of public services. Further support has been given from the FGV - EAESP research fund and links have been forged with other researchers Alagoas (UFAL); the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB) and the University of Texas - Austin. During his visit to São Paulo, Professor Lupicinio Iniguez Rueda will work with all three lines of investigation and participate in ongoing activities. He will join the field visits to areas classified as high and very high risk; discuss the results of interviews and workshops in which the different versions of risk that are circulating were identified; advise on different experiences of territorial based public information systems; give conceptual support to the discussion of the mechanisms present in processes of invizibilization and to the discussion of alternative approaches to collective governance in hybrid settings. He will also provide some tutorials for masters, doctoral and post-doctoral students involved in the program as well as two workshops on qualitative methods and analysis that will be open to other São Paulo based researchers. (AU)

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