Post-Urbanism in San José: Social Exclusion through Transitions in Public Space
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Like many other aspiring world-class cities, San José is engaged in an elite-oriented urban transformation in which hybrid (public/private) forms of planning characterize the norm. These new regulatory regimes are enabled through the adoption of neoliberal laissez-faire policies. According to the findings of this research, privatization, securitization and disneyfication are main drivers that facilitate and produce mechanisms that restrict certain user groups from (post) public spaces. This study demonstrates that this transition from public to post public space goes hand in hand with less apparent forms of socio-spatial exclusion, on the basis of the comprehensive study of two cases; Parque Central and Plaza de la Cultura. It furthermore underscores how these processes are linked to a wide range of entrepreneurial urban governance strategies and to social and cultural perceptions of others that are embedded and reproduced in legal discourses. “Inappropriate” space users, such as street vendors, gender-based minorities and groups of youth are hereby disadvantageously affected, which indicates that the ongoing transition in public space in San José is partly raced and classed. The binary conception of citizenship that these developments bring forward is entangled with questions of social justice and belonging while creating issues of democracy and equity in the city.