Qualitative Analysis of Learning Territorial Planning: The Case of Management of a Local Plan of Territorial Laws in Chile

Qualitative Analysis of Learning Territorial Planning: The Case of Management of a Local Plan of Territorial Laws in Chile

Christian A. Quinteros Flores (Universidad de Chile, Chile)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2097-0.ch012

Abstract

This chapter addresses the management process of the Regulator Program of Melipilla district in Chile in 1988–2016. Evidence indicates that territorial planning processes are rare in decision-makers, as they are in favor of a technocratic logic focused on quantitative metrics, rather than in qualitative or processional analyses, such as organizational learning. To this end, the qualitative analysis in this study sought to capture the perceptions of some of its actors regarding issues such as citizen participation, technical management, and political management of this instrument. The fieldwork consisted of the application of in-depth interviews of actors involved at different stages of their implementation from a multi-level approach. It is concluded that the process of updates to this planning instrument was strongly associated with political issues with little strategic vision for the future, precarious levels of citizen participation, and an absolute shortage of organizational learnings into the process.
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Theoretical Framework

In this sense, the ordering of the territory has taken an unusual force. According to Gaspar, it has been carried out as a result of the adequacy of the communities to the available terrestrial space (Gaspar, 2000 cited in Ferrao, 2011). However, for authors such as Ferrao, one of the fragilities of territorial systems lives in the fragmentation and lack of dialogue between scientific and professional communities. This demands to offer solutions or alternatives, which do not disappoint the legitimate public, collective, and private interests where participation, dialogue, and communication are fundamental values of the praxis of the territorial order. Idea shared by Senge, as it will see later, which, by the way, comes from another disciplinary area, not precisely concerned about territory issues.

Based on the objective of this study, it is pertinent to ask: What do we know about these planning instrument management processes? Are the different municipal actors responsible for their implementation? Are there explicit negotiations between actors with different interests? Does the local community have any practical impact on them? How much and How do municipal organizations learn from these processes? If so, how and whom do they manage these learnings?

This research arises given the limited information on how public organizations in Chile, in general, and municipalities in particular, learn from the territorial planning processes that they carry out. So, they can hardly recognize efforts and parameters of efficiency or knowledge of good institutional practices, make invisible spaces of creativity and public management innovation that can increase efficiency and quality to these planning processes, whose activation can even take years and enter into true latency processes.

Today, for any public policy in governance contexts, dialogue, and social consensus-building among the various social groups involved in decisions are required. This is accentuated when generating public policies on territorial and regulatory systems in the use of communal land since there is a higher possibility of increased environmental or ecological conflicts. As Martínez-Alier points out, as the economy and population increase, more natural resources are used, and more waste is produced, affecting the sustainability of the territory, emerging concepts such as possible environmental conflicts (Martínez-Alier, 2007).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Negotiation Processes: Formal or informal mechanisms established by municipalities to reach agreements between citizen actors

Organizational learning: Qualitative analysis of the successes and errors involved in the municipal decisions taken in the management of the territory

Territorial Planning: Planning system that seeks to optimize land use

Governance: Community government system where strategic decisions prevail agreements and consensus between groups with different interests.

Social construction of the Territory: Community, political and symbolic processes, where beliefs, values and dynamics are considered in the planning instruments

Decentralization: Political-administrative process that confers greater decision-making and financial autonomy to the municipalities or communal administrations

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