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Nova scientia

versión On-line ISSN 2007-0705


TORRE, Marina Inés de la. The neoliberal city: concepts and realities of Dubai. Nova scientia [online]. 2020, vol.12, n.24.  Epub 02-Jul-2020. ISSN 2007-0705.

The so-called "neoliberalism" has its antecedent in the doctrine of classical liberalism, whose economic postulates of origin have been oriented towards an idealized vision of the supremacy of the market, based on depersonalized competition and lack of solidarity. This sort of desideologized liberalism imposes the competitive logic of the market as the only alternative for human development, reproducing asymmetries and polarizations in the configuration of urban territories. Although neoliberalism, because of its multi-scalar nature, is associated with the practices of the global economy, its determination is contextual, and obeys the distinctive features of each site. In this sense, the nature of the relationship between neoliberalism and urban transformations deserves an analysis located within the socio-territorial structure of each city and its particular trajectory. Despite the evident homologous effect that these economic practices print on urban geography, regardless of considerations of latitude or displacement, the neoliberal city expresses its particular attributes inherited from its condition of origin, vocation and choice of its destiny. In this sense, the city of Dubai is an interesting case study, as it’s characterized by urban growth arranged in singular units too dispersed to articulate a recognizable territorial model. As Italo Calvino will metaphorically recount in The Invisible Cities: "[...] each city receives its desert form to which it opposes [...]", in the case of Dubai its application is literal (Calvino, 1972, p. 13). Through the documentary exploration and critical field observation, this paradigmatic case of neoliberalized urbanism is analyzed.

Palabras llave : neoliberalism; urbanism; United Arab Emirates; Dubai.

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