The Strategic Plan of Cordoba (SPC) is one of the few strategic urban development plans in Latin America, which has actually been implemented in the majority of its components. The SPC was conceived as a collective and global project of the city as a whole without excessive conflicting interests or special ownership by a few. The SPC integrated a policy of public works – oriented at the “social debt” which existed in the city – with a work on urban norms and directions and economic development. The SPC as a space for articulation achieved to organise a great number of representatives from civil society organisations, achieving legitimacy and representation in the work of the SPC. The SPC has given a new orientation and increased the municipal capacity to manage the city. The SPC has developed innovative and participatory forms of management (e.g. the Follow-Up and Monitoring Groups, with their annual meetings for presenting audit reports known as “presenting the bills”). The population has perceived the incentive to participate in the planning process of the SPC since it was possible to propose concrete projects, as long as these were feasible. The SPC has pursued the detailed feasibility study of a number of these projects others have been delegated to sectoral agencies. The SPC has shown flexibility in the incorporation of new projects, and there existed two directions of work initiatives: “top-down” project planning for the big “strategic” projects of global importance, and it stimulated “bottom-up” planning of projects that reflected the social demand side. It needs to be noted that the SPC has known how to mobilise and diversify sources of finance of its projects and been able to obtain additional funding. Financing agencies like the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have appreciated the SPC as a reference of a consensus-based Programme. The formulation of the SPC has been executed, basically, with own resources of the municipality. Nevertheless, in certain moments it has been difficult for the Municipal Technical Team (MTT) to establish commitment and willingness to cooperate between civil society and the municipal government. For example, the MTT was seen as an “elite team” by other municipal units. The Municipal Council conceived the participation of citizens as a kind of competition. The members of the Municipal Council did not participate regularly in the workshops and meetings of the SPC.

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Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS)
SINPA Papers
Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS)

Vanella, R., Lucca, C., Pittari, J. R., Steinberg, F., & Zwanenburg, M. (2001). The Strategic Plan
Local Economic Development of Cordoba, Argentina (No. IHS SINPA 23). SINPA Papers. Retrieved from