GPIA student Lena Simet presented the findings of her Thesis, which addressed the following research questions:
- Are rising inequalities a necessary evil in the process of urban development, or are they the byproduct of neoliberal policy choices, even being applied intentionally?
- Are current housing policies in New York and Buenos Aires contributing to increasing, decreasing, and/or reinforcing spatial inequalities within these cities?
Here some of her findings:
Economic prosperity is often the primary goal of policy makers. Achieving it, however, fails to benefit every citizen equally. The cities of Buenos Aires and New York City, which rank today among the wealthiest and most attractive cities worldwide, also rank among the most unequal. This study investigates how state intervention projects reinforce existing socio-spatial inequalities within cities. Special attention is given to affordable housing policies, as both Buenos Aires and New York spend substantial sums of money on affordable housing, with inadequate and even insignificant results. Drastic increases in homelessness and informal settlements burden both cities, illustrating the consequences of insufficient access to affordable housing, one of the greatest failures of urban policy makers. As recent developments in Buenos Aires and New York City demonstrate, growth-focused state intervention projects thrust neighborhoods into spheres of economic competition, shaping the urban spatial structure in ways that reinforce existing patterns of socio-spatial inequality.