Outcomes of Urban Requalification Under Neoliberalism: A Critical Appraisal of the SRU Model

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Abstract

The context of crisis and austerity has provided a legitimate alibi for the inscription of neoliberal narratives grounded in the virtues of the market in Portugal. In 2004 the state enacted a new model of ‘urban requalification’, enabling the creation of Urban Requalification Societies (SRU in the Portuguese acronym) that initiated entrepreneurial and discretionary models of decision and delivery beyond existing state bureaucracies. Based on both quantitative and qualitative evidence from the cases of Lisbon and Porto, this paper offers a critical appraisal of the efficacy of these organizations to secure the provision of affordable rental housing in situ and to maintain less resourceful families in the city centres. Results show that the SRU model, combined with restrictive funding schemes and neoliberal politics, which have promoted the gradual liberalization of rent controls and real estate speculation, have reinforced processes of social and spatial inequality.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInequality and Uncertainty : Current Challenges for Cities
EditorsMarta Smagacz-Poziemska, M. Victoria Gómez, Patrícia Pereira, Laura Guarino, Sebastian Kurtenbach, Juan José Villalón
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication date2020
Pages139-158
ISBN (Print)978-981-32-9161-4
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-32-9162-1
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

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