Professors and Research

Investigating a city's “extreme makeover”

Investigating a city's “extreme makeover” IESA's professor and academic director Rosa Amelia González presented the case of the transformation of Bogotá city as a successful experience in the local sphere in Latin America, within the framework of the VIII National Research Congress and II International Research Congress of Universidad de Carabobo, the past October 31st.

“How is the transformation of a city financed?”

Rosa Amelia González, professor and academic director at IESA, gave a conference based on an investigation she conducted within the framework of the IESA – AVE project (Venezuelan Association of Executives) on successful public policy cases in Latin America. The study analyzed the transformation process of Bogotá city, principally by means of a series of reforms to the local public finances. “This city, in the early nineties, presented very serious problems similar to those affecting the cities in Venezuela nowadays (insecurity, unsanitary conditions due to the accumulation of garbage, among other plights) and is now among the most attractive cities in Latin America”, the investigator affirmed.

González, who has a PhD in Political Sciences from Universidad Simón Bolívar, has investigated and participated in different events and congresses on the transformation of cities, with the conviction that the process of designing policies that contribute to local sustainable development can be backed from the scope of academic research. “The idea of this paper is to show how a city in Latin America, which was confronting problems as serious as those affecting Caracas and other cities in this nation, in a relatively short term and thanks to the right combination of public policies, was able to turn around and revert this situation”, she explained.

Besides Bogotá, Lima, Medellín, Río de Janeiro, Quito and Guayaquil also represent other examples of successful cases of local public policies implemented in the region. “The sad thing for us as Venezuelans is that almost all the cities in Latin America are undergoing positive transformations. Our cities, on the other hand, are in frank deterioration”, González said. The professor underscored two key elements that have come from the positive experience of these Latin American cities: the collaboration of multiple players and a very strong leadership by mayors whose actions are backed by the central government. "Under the current circumstances in our nation, where local government entities have been stripped of power and resources, unfortunately this type of collaboration does not seem very feasible", she muses.

In the congress also other speakers participated such as Benjamin Scharifker, the Rector of Universidad Metropolitana, Jany Leseur Escala of the L'Institut Henri Poincare - Lyon, France, and Luis Roberto Rodríguez, doctor in political economics.

Luis Roberto Rodríguez gave a keynote conference entitled “El petróleo como Instrumento de Progreso” (in English, ¨Petroleum as an Instrument for Progress¨) which is part of an ongoing investigation which has been documented in a book published by Ediciones IESA, with the same name. This paper presents a diagnostic of the oil-related challenges faced by Venezuela and offers a series of integral proposals for the development of the nation´s oil potential and the management of this natural bounty for the benefit of all Venezuelans.

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