21st Century socialism : a point of view from Latin America

26 janvier 2011

Tomás de la Barra (Universidad Central de Venezuela)*  

Tuesday 1st of February, from 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm


In all countries in Latin America where socialist projects are put forward, there is a debate on the notion of socialism in the 21st Century. Despite heavy debate on the notion, leaders in Venezuela question its meaning. Even though they do agree on the necessity to break away with “real socialism” ideas as well as with totalitarian ideas, there is no consensus on the various new conceptions of socialism.

The concept of 21st Century socialism lacks a clear definition. Therefore the evolutions and structures which might come along this concept remain unclear as well. A new conception of an urban sustainable development is emerging, based upon the main objective of making up for the deficiencies and inequalities generated by decades of capitalism: increase of poverty, damages in the environment. Achieving this objective requires the implementation of new structures in the hands of civil society so as to go past the laws of financial markets. With the creation of a ministry of cities, Brazil has undertaken to follow this urban development path. Venezuela too has been implementing various projects within this new framework of public policies.

What are the relationships between this concept of an “urban socialism” and the integrated land use and transports modelling system? Tomás de la Barra will show the extent to which such an analytical tool can help assessing new conceptions of urban policies and more globally help addressing a crucial issue for the 21st century: how can new technologies translate socialist ideas and utopias into reality?

Presentation and debates will be in English

* Tomás de la Barra is an architect and an urbanist. He was awarded a Ph.D by the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) in 1980. He is professor at the Central University of Venezuela (Universidad Central de Venezuela) and is the main author of the TRANUS system (integrated land use and transports modeling system). He has written numerous books, among which Integrated Land Use and Transport Modelling (1989). He is also a consultant in urbanism in various countries across the world and he has published many papers in international journals on urbanism.

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