Cultural Heritage and Urban Regeneration. The Conflict Between Identity and Development Strategies in the City of Valparaiso, Chile.
Master's Thesis 2013 48 Pages
Chapter 1: Introduction
1.2. Research Question
1.4. Aim & Objectives
Chapter 2: Literature Review
2.1. Introduction to Culture Heritage and Identity
2.1.1. Culture Heritage
2.1.3. Problematic of Value Interpretation
2.1.4. Identity and Territorial Scale
2.2. Identity and Culture Heritage in Urban Regeneration
2.2.1. Role of Identity in Regeneration Strategies
2.2.2. Governance and Civic Society Participation
2.3. Heritage and Urban Development in Chile
2.3.1. Problematic of the Institutional Framework
2.3.2. Heritage in National Urban Policy
Chapter 3: Methodology
3.1. Research Design - Justification
3.2. Data Collection- Methods
Chapter 4: Results and Analysis
4.2. Analysis of Information
4.2.1. Regarding Heritage and Identity of Valparaiso
4.2.2. Problematic of Development Strategies
4.2.3. Governance and Community Involvement
Chapter 5: Conclusions
Figure 1: Types of values diagram
Figure 2: The triangle of stakeholders
Figure 3: Administrative Structure Diagram
Figure 4: Heritage Institutions Diagram
Figure 5: Totality of transformation area
Figure 6 & 7: Model of the future intervention of “Terminal II”
Figure 8 & 9: Model “Baron Quay” project
Table 1: Selection of Informants and Sources
This research explores the role of the local identity and cultural heritage in urban regeneration strategies and the conflicts caused by significant urban renewal and development projects that represent a negative impact on the local identity that is being promoted. This study analyses from the domain of heritage and identity, the conflict of two interventions in the city of Valparaiso, Chile, and establishes the importance of governance and civic society participation for the construction of heritage. It also considers the problematic caused by the institutional and policy framework of the case study whose centralism and lack of integral approach of current development policies, impact negatively in the development of cities and local aspects.
Chapter I: Introduction
This research explores the role of cultural heritage in urban regeneration strategies, which, in some circumstances, involved the transformation of the city image as a solution to reverse economic decline. In other cases it is assumed by community that this renewal might contribute to strength the identity of the city enhancing social cohesion. The role of cultural heritage to reinforce local identity has been analysed extensively (ACEI Conference 2006; EURA Conference 2002), and part of the conclusions is that involvement of community into reconstruction of their cities seems essential to reach sustainable outcomes, in harmony with their cultural context.
This research analyses the case study of the city of Valparaiso, a city facing a long- term economic decline that was declared World Heritage Site in 2003 as part of the strategies to revitalize the city and improve its economy. The development strategies that were established to improve the economic potential of Valparaiso, have found themselves in conflict with what is argued to be the identity of the city. This identity is tightly connected to the origins of the city, but it seems difficult to engrain within development strategies.
The identity of Valparaiso as a city port is connected to its origin; Valparaiso first was a port and then was a city. It had its period of growth when it was the major stopover for ships travelling between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans during the 19th century. Then, when Panama Canal opened, ship traffic decreased causing a decline in its economy that so far has not recovery from. With the aim to counteract this chronic decline, the government initiated an arrangement to initiate a renewal plan for the city.
Part of Valparaiso Plan’s strategies (2002) aimed to promote the culture heritage and identity of the city as a tool to boost the emerging tourist industry and support traditional economic activities such as port and university. In this direction, the nomination of Valparaiso as a World Heritage Site (UNESCO n.d.) allowed the city to receive support from an international financial organization (Inter-American Development Bank 2011). This contributed to finance the Urban Renewal and Development Plan of Valparaiso PRDUV, with the idea to reclaim areas with historical value and economic potential. Under this focus, improvements made in the city aimed to promote commercial sector related to tourism. As a consequence, this sector increased, the prices increased, and residents of the city gradually were left behind. The consequences experienced by the habitants, added to a series of projects that transformed city’s features, started to alert the population. Even though the renewal plan did not signify a social change for the community (Andueza 2013), at least arouse warning about heritage of the city, then, the protection of the identity of Valparaiso reached relevance from different perspectives.
However, the conflict commenced with the announcement of projects planned by Valparaiso Port Authority, a government-owned corporation, whose aim is to increase the productivity of the port. The projects woke a strong opposition of the civic society, who indicated those interventions would cause negative consequences for the city and its identity; the closure of the historical quay and the end of traditional activities related to the sea, for instances, are some of their arguments. Consequences which would be added to current local problematic of unemployment, deficient public spaces and poor public service infrastructure.
In addition, it was also argued the absent of a shared vision of the city; development strategies are designed by government, while local authorities and local communities have little participation in the design and decision-making process. The last results in a lack of consensus about Valparaiso’s destiny, which fails to solve local problematic, and reveals a system of power and decision-making highly centralized.
The uncertainty about the real benefits for the city, the impact that those project would cause to the city, the loss of traditional activities and the changes on the city image are seen by community, academics, local business and civic associations as a threat for the identity the city, raising a great concern and a strong opposition. This situation has widened the discussion about a heritage that for years was in lamentable condition, deepened the understanding of the identity of the city and a concern over its future.
1.2. Research Question
What are the reasons behind the conflict between state and the civic society in the case study of Valparaiso in the context of urban development strategies aimed to reinforce the identity of Valparaiso to promote economic activity?
The implementation of development strategies to promote economic activity in Valparaiso has caused conflict between state and the civic society because those interventions are not in accordance with local values; they undermine the identity of the city by; altering significant elements of the city and threatening traditional economic activities that are part of the essence of the city as a city-port.
At the same time, the centralism does not facilitate the participation of local authorities in development strategies neither provide effective community participation channels to incorporate local perspectives of heritage into development plans.
The understanding of identity of the city is open to a variety of interpretations. The centralism does not allow a mediation of those different perspectives, incrementing the discrepancy between the state and the civic society, which materializes in the resistance of the community against these interventions.
1.4. Aim and Objectives
The aim of this research is to analyse the elements that causes the conflict between state and civic society of Valparaiso from the perspective of Identity and Cultural Heritage domain; governance, community participation and institutional and policy framework for development strategies of the case study
To achieve this, this research will:
- Define the conceptual relationship between Identity and Cultural Heritage and its role in urban development strategies.
- Established the role of community participation in the definition of Identity and Cultural Heritage in development strategies.
- Identify problems caused by current institutional and policy framework, in the construction of development of strategies at national and local scales.
- Analyse the understanding of identity of the city Valparaiso from the different perspectives of sectors involved in the conflict
Chapter II: Literature Review
2.1. Culture Heritage and Identity
This section provides conceptual definitions of Heritage and Identity and shows how they interconnect. Even though those concepts are quite evasive, they have evolved and been defined and redefined numerous times. Heritage and Identity are not the same, but their definitions are rather tight and the dynamic between them are quite interdependent. This section selects the most relevant definitions for this study.
2.1.1. Cultural Heritage
The understanding of what heritage means has mutated over time, and it essentially refers to the selection of elements of the past to become sources of the present, in other words, what is understood by heritage is strongly connected to what society considers has value, therefore those elements that possess a meaning for them will be preserve and shaped by contemporary concerns (Sutherland et al. 2002; Tweed & Sutherland 2007; Graham & Howard 2008). The meaning placed on those elements is determined by the identity, which is “produced and exchanged through social interaction” (Graham & Howard 2008:2). That meaning depends on factors such as the observer, time and place, therefore, value changes and evolves with them, and for that reason the presupposed significance of heritage components should be regularly revised (Sutherland et al. 2002)
In the same logic, while definition of heritage has been divided by tangible and intangible heritage in international conventions (World Heritage Convention 1972; Word Heritage Convention 2003), Graham & Howard state that “the core content of heritage is defined by meaning” (2008:4) therefore those distinction between tangible and intangible might not be appropriated because the importance of tangible heritage derives from the intangible value that are placed on them. That is why the importance of perception and connection that people have with those elements and that represent a value for them, which places the discussion on those who perceive their surrounding and traduce part of them into heritage.
The concept of identity is even more ambiguous to defined that the concept of heritage, although, there are tightly related. Identity relates with the construction of a shared narrative that defines a community and differentiates them from others. That differentiation is essential for the representation of identity (Graham & Howard, 2008). Prats (2009) indicates that identity needs to be expressed in materiality, and heritage provides that “effective material and symbolic support for these narratives, both serving as a resource for the representation of identities and a place for its performance” (2009:1). Following that idea, that materiality becomes a tool that has the faculty to connect present and past and provides a sequence to our lives (Graham & Howard 2008), as it is indicated;
That materiality “ once translated into heritage, in terms of identity, provides familiarity and guidance, enrichment and escape. Also, and perhaps more potently, it provides a point of validation or legitimation for the present in which actions and policies are justified by continuing references to representations and narratives of the past that are, at least in part, encapsulated through manifestation of tangible and intangible heritage ” (Graham & Howard 2008:6).
The material representative of identity is also complex to determinate. Identity is attached to places (Sutherland et al. 2002; Graham & Howard 2008); there is a social meaning given by individuals that perceive a place as something unique (Uzzell1998:8), but this perception might be more connected to events, people or activities of that place, rather than to specific buildings or areas (Uzzell1998). Following that idea, the perception of a place is determined by its totality, which gives identity and creates a sense of belonging with that place (Hassler et al. 2002:1).
2.1.3. Problematic of Value Interpretation
Due to the variety of interpretation; discrepancy or/and lack of consensus about the meaning of heritage, is intrinsic to its nature (Graham & Howard 2008). Sutherland et al. (2002) analysed the interpretation of value of historical areas within a diverse group, and pointed at the discrepancy of how value is perceived by experts, and how it is perceived by local population. Hewinson & Holden (2006) assigned to those values equal importance (see figure 1), and categorized them into three types; intrinsic value which is related to the intellectual and emotional experience and connection of individuals; instrumental value related to social and economic benefits that can be generated and institutional value related to process and techniques to generate value which results might depend on how community has been involved in the process
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Figure 1: Types of values diagram (Hewinson & Holden 2006).
Nevertheless, Tweed & Sutherland (2007) affirms that the elements designated by legislation are not the problem, but the “areas within towns and cities that are not considered worthy as conservation areas and yet form an essential part of the urban character”. For Hassler et al. (2002), problems are related to the use of heritage as a “background” by speculative interests that “menace the substance and identity” of cities (2002:1) when is precisely “the ensemble of objects and their context that create value” (Tweed & Sutherland 2007:63). Culagovski et al. (2009) use the concept of “weak heritage” to refer to those aspect of a city, while not related to monumental buildings or spaces, are nevertheless responsible for a large part of its quality and identity
2.1.4. Identity and Territorial Scale
From the perspective of the territory, Guerrero (2001) says that heritage can be also seen from different scales, which are related to different users and different categorization of value. For instances, a heritage official status might be subject to national demands, while local -vivid and shared- heritage is subject to demands of identity and socio-cultural continuity of community. At local level, urban regenerations just exalts this contradiction, and while regeneration strategies are subject to external needs, heritage becomes a source of dispute, conflict or even social exclusion.
In that sense, the categorization of value is associated to different scales of action, where the intrinsic value has major significance at local levels, and instrumental value more relevance at national and global spheres, reducing the conflict to a competition between different needs and demands at different scales.
2.2. Identity and Culture Heritage in Urban Regeneration.
This section extends the domain of Identity and Heritage into urban regeneration strategies. A world heritage nomination has become a tool for regeneration strategies to obtain economic outcomes, but at a local scale, it could represent an obstacle to attend socio-cultural demands. This section establishes the role of governance and community participation in the construction of Heritage for contemporary purposes.
2.2.1. Role of Identity in Regeneration Strategies
According to Scheffler et al. (2009), the role of identity might follow two different streams; it can be seen as an “ anchor ” that provides continuity to development so identity is reinforced, or it is can be something that want to be changed because the “old identity is no longer productive”, so identity is projected in an image that “serves as a marketing tool”. The former might be associated to socio-cultural demands of local identity, and the latter could be associated to external economic demands.
Despite the economic role frequently assigned to identity, the analysis of successful urban regeneration cases are not solely associated to economic outcomes but also to level of commitment with local identity in terms of socio-cultural benefits for the community (Bailey 2007). Therefore, identity should not be seen just as an economic driver but as a “source of local pride that generate a local source of identity as much as they did the local economy” (Bailey 2007:61), which refers to a balance between intrinsic and instrumental values of heritage.
From another perspective, Colombo (2011) says to achieve socio-cultural benefits at local scale, is necessary to count on a strong political will of state and local authorities, who should commit to achieve wider benefits for existing population. However, the determination of local authorities in the case study of Valparaiso to generate benefits for the community, is constrained by the institutional framework where regeneration takes place which unable a fair representativeness of local perspectives.
2.2.2. Governance and Citizen Participation
As a social construction, heritage requires the creation of networks among stakeholders. The construction of spaces for socio-cultural interaction is relevant to enhance capabilities of organization of the communities (Rotondo & Loconte 2013:147; Russell 2007). This involves a process of “negotiation and mediation” (Russell 2007) among different forces (Prats 2009) who represent different motivations, interests and have different roles and participation as well (Howard 2003). These forces can be assigned to the categorizations of value mentioned before (see figure 1) where, intrinsic values are represented by civic society; instrumental values by public sector; and institutional values are elaborated by professionals and specialized associations. Here, professional sector works in association with civic society. As Hewinson & Holden (2006:16) says, “their sense of vocation is driven by intrinsic values, while their professionalism is a vital part of institutional value”
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Figure 2: The triangle of stakeholders (Hewinson & Holden 2006).
Prats (2009) also mentions that often professional associations, even not being directly involved in a project, can react for and against it, acting through different networks, but “indifference is certainly not common in these situation” (Prats2009:84). However, Massó (2006) states that are social actors the ones that have the right to influence the construction of heritage, in the selection of what deserves to be maintained. Nevertheless, whatever the reasons of the dispute, “stable consensuses are not achievable” (Healey cited in Foley 1997:5), but a transitory agreement of different perceptions.
Coincident with this, the conflict presented in the case study is a dispute between different perceptions about the uses given to elements that define the Identity of the city-port. Under those perceptions, there are different concerns and interests about the city. Nevertheless, the hierarchy of value that is present, prioritises instrumental values, and identity satisfies demands at a national scale.
2.3. Cultural Heritage and Urban Development in Chile
This section introduces the institutional and national policy framework of the case study. The commitment of public authorities and involvement of community for construction of heritage and creation of benefits at local scale, might not depend only on the political will of public actors but on the institutional and policy context where events take place. This section identifies the problematic of centralism in Chile for the construction of development strategies at national and local scale.
2.3.1. Problematic of the Institutional Framework
The territory of the country is compound by regions and municipalities. It is a political-administrative structure highly centralized (Boisier 2002). Despite institutional reforms, decentralization is hard to achieve because the constitution (Law N° 19.175) does not recognized regions and municipalities as “politic actors” but as administrative apparatus to implement central decision (Montecinos 2013).
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Figure 3: Administrative Structure Diagram. Adapted from Rodriguez (2012).
Due to the lack of tools of regions and municipalities, development strategies are elaborated form the central level (see Figure 3). This might cause competitive contraposition, lack of coordination and fragmented interventions, making difficult to create coherent initiatives according to local problematic (Rodriguez 2012:100).
In addition, it is argued that the prioritisation of initiatives financed by the state does not consider whether a project has been defined as a priority by local development plans or by community, which disincentive the promotion of community participation in local planning, (Montecinos 2013:22).
2.3.2. Heritage in National Urban Policy
In Chile there is not a national urban development policy as such that provides an integral approach to cities regarding issues such as such as governance, heritage, identity, social integration and economic development. Neither there is a unique heritage institution. Instead, heritage management is distributed among different entities (see figure 4)
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Figure 4: Heritage Institutions Diagram. Adapted from Hargafar (2001)
For instances, MINVU (see figure 4) which establishes basic principles for cities, also provides categorization and protection to local heritage (Urban Heritage Program) focused on housing rehabilitation and recovery of public spaces. At a national scale, CMN provides categorization and protection of national heritage, while MOP, which is responsible for national infrastructure, also aimed at strengthening national heritage for socio-economic benefits (Heritage Value Program). At a local level, municipalities have administrative responsibilities over cities, in the case of Valparaiso, it created the OGP for the coordination of PRDUV’s interventions among the entities mentioned above. Due to this dispersion of functions among institutions is that Hargafar (2001) accuses a disarticulation to each other and to municipalities as well.
Regarding regeneration strategies, Hargafar (2011) critiques the conceptual deficit behind initiatives to activate heritage; “there would not be a problem with the logical to prioritize heritage for touristic purposes, economic benefits and/or for its contribution to government discourse, if at the same time there would be a strategy regarding that wider heritage that often remain outside state funding” (2011:98). Furthermore, Hargafar (2011) states that the argument behind the understanding of heritage in Chile is based on theoretical concepts from the nineteenth-centuries being that now its theoretical understanding evolved, incorporating other variables such as meaning, social construction, community involvement and so for.
Coincident with this, the strong critiques rose in the case study appointed to this disarticulation among institutions, the lack of approach and determination of authorities to the problematic of Valparaiso and the existing limitations of the apparatus to coordinate initiatives and create consensus among the different sectors involved in the conflict.
The evolution of conceptual definitions of Heritage and Identity points to the incorporation of social practices in decision-making processes. Governance and community participation are the key to reach consensus among different sector’s perceptions. Those perceptions differ in the type of values given to heritage which is associated to different demands of Identity. The role assigned to Identity will depend on the hierarchy of value given to each case; it will be an “anchor” when intrinsic value is given importance to generate socio-cultural benefits at local scale, while, it will be a “marketing tool” when instrumental values are prioritized to meet external demands at national scale, understanding the conflict as a competition between different demands of identity at different scales. This can be aggravated by an institutional and policy framework that obstructs the possibilities of a balanced consensus about the prioritization of heritage values.
Chapter 3: Methodology
3.1. Research Design - Justification.
The case study method is necessary when the research question seeks to explain complexities of contemporary events (Yin 2009). The research involved the analysis of two case studies that are representative of the problematic analysed in the previous chapter, and so far, are still in process of development.
3.2. Data Collection - Methods
Secondary Research: involved a desk research based on literature review to provide theoretical support for this research. Elements analysed from the domain of Cultural Heritage and Identity were urban regeneration strategies, governance and community participation. It also included literature review regarding institutional and policy framework of the case studies.
Interviews: involved interviews made by telephone. The interviews had standardized questions to establish the area to explore in accordance to the objectives of this research. The interviews lasted about 40 to 80 minutes. They were recorded and some extracts were translated and added throughout this research. Records are included in the compact disk.
Sources of Evidence: In addition to the literature review and interviews, the research involved the use of qualitative data displayed in journal and magazines articles of local universities, reports of external organizations and local experts, official web pages of government as well as documental and interviews displayed in online informative channels. Those resources contributed to contextualize stands, expressions and interests of the different sectors involved in the analysis.
In order to process the information collected from different stakeholders, they were separated in three different groups, which represent different interests, different levels of involvement and relations with the conflict. This is based on the categorization of value indicated in the previous chapter, which helped to identify strategic stakes (see table 1). According to this categorization, was elaborated a data with the different actors involved in the case studies and a group of questions was elaborated to cover the thematic of this research through the perceptions of the interviewers (Appendix A).
Part of the conversations had questions about the elements of Heritage that were perceived as essentials for the Identity of the city. Questions also asked them to identify conflictive points of development strategies and describe the role played by civic society, professional and public sector in the evolution of the conflict, as well as their perception of limitations and capacities.
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Table 1: Selection of Informants and Sources
The information was collected from interviews and other sources mentioned above, but also from materials given by the same informers such as conference papers and documents shared by mail. Impartialities of the information were taken in consideration and integrated depending on its contribution to clarify stands. The next step was to select and insert in the analysis some of the answers originated from the interviews as well as from official statements published by some sectors. The extracts selected represent the main perception of main actors, institutions and organizations involved in the conflict.
The main limitations were given in the interviews due to the difficulty to contact some people by phone because there was not contact information available on Internet. In some circumstances, telephone conversation did not allow a closer approach and unable the possibility to extend the interviews. Due to the zonetime, informers that had a tighter schedule such as the public sector, manifested their willing to collaborate although, were difficult to contact.
Chapter IV: Results and Analysis
The case studies are two interventions in the city of Valparaiso led by Valparaíso Port Authority (EPV), a government owned corporation that owns the coastal land and whose aim is to increase the productivity of its assets;
- Terminal II is driven by development strategies and refers to the extension of Prat Quay over the sea to increase the productivity of the port, which implies the closure of the historic quay.
- Baron Quay, is a market driven project, and refers to the enhancement of Baron Quay area by concession. EPV gave the administrative concession of the area to Mall Plaza Group.
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Figure 5: Totality of the transformation area of Valparaiso Coastal Land. (Source: Adapted from Google maps)
To contextualize the expressions and information provided by the interviewers, this section establishes the arguments and development strategies that support the urban transformations, providing the background of the cases studies.
The “ Portal Region ” the identity at regional and national scale
The Region of Valparaiso Region is identified by development strategies, as a “Portal Region” to the extent to consider the image of a container as an identifiable feature of the area (Identidad y Desarrollo. Programa de Fortalecimiento de Identidad Regional 2001-2010) where the port of Valparaiso is assigned with an important role in the context of future demands of free trade agreements. Consequently, development plans established the need to improve and modernize the port infrastructure to increase its productivity in short, medium and long term (further details of the master plan were placed in the appendix B)
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Figure 6 & 7: Images of the terminal II project, the western extension of the Prat Quay (Sources: Valparaiso Port, new challenges of an old port n.d.).)
The implications of this over the city such as the division between city and coast, the end of maritime-related activities, the traffic increase and the image change, for instance, reveal the complexity of the relationship of the city-port. On this point, Bergamin (2011b) refers to the connection between the city and the sea with the transformation of the port throughout its history; which was first divided by its industrialization process, and now, its modernization might provoke a more dramatic rupture with consequences on an identity that seems to be based on the narrative of the old city-port relationship.
Baron Quay, waterfront & shopping center
In that context, the implementation of a waterfront could somehow intent to recover the unity of the city-port, however, the reorganization of the city to integrate this intervention as a regeneration strategy, was not part of development plans (Bergamin 2011a; 2011b).
As it has been mentioned before, there are two parallel development strategies running in this conflict; one is the Valparaiso Plan (2002) aimed to reinforce heritage features of the city to increase its economic potential, and the other is the development strategy of the port activity, to increase its competitive opportunities for future demands. In that context, and as it is expressed by interviewers, the implementation of the Baron Quay scheme turns out to be quite inconvenient for both; for the future of the port activity, and for the city as a world heritage site. As Bergamin (2012b; 2012a) argues, this intervention has nothing that connects it with the port activity, neither contributes to strengthen the city identity. On the contrary, this is driven by the consumption criteria of a city image; efficient and sealable, that wants to replace the real one; complicated, insecure and poor. Coincident with the section 2.2.1., this intervention does not assigned any role to the identity of the city, instead, it seems to change it for a more productive one.
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Figure 8 & 9: Images of the proposal for “Baron Quay” project (Source: No al Mall Plaza n.d).
4.2. Analysis of Interviews
The background above supports and contextualises the perceptions expressed by the interviewers. This section summarizes and analyses in detailed the main ideas and concepts provided by actors of different sectors about the problematic of Heritage and Identity according to their involvement in the conflict and their perception regarding roles and responsibilities played by different sectors.
4.2.1. Regarding Heritage and Identity of Valparaiso.
From different perspectives, actors of the professional and civic society sector describe their understanding of elements that identify them with the city, which are part of their arguments to support their stand against the interventions.
a. Intrinsic and institutional values of identity.
In general terms, those argument come from a dominant tendency to perceive the future and vocation of the city strongly associated with the port activity. There is also a tendency to perceive and appreciate the city as a totality, tightly connected to its geography and its relation with the coast and the port. Both elements are ingrained in the discourses of different actors of the professional and civic society sector who support this argument from historic, cultural and economic perspectives. As it was expected, that discourse about the city finds acceptance in the community, the longlasting residents of Valparaiso, who turn to these reasons to explain and give legitimacy to their sentiment toward the city.
The Architects Association of Chile-Valparaiso elaborated a letter statement explaining part of those reasons.
“ Regarding the relationship with the coastal land and the urban structure, it can be said that during the history, the city of Valparaiso has had a harmonic relationship with its coast that has articulated the activity of the city with the sea; the maritime-economic and leisure activities such as fishing or rowing, becoming a historical resource with a sense of identity... The edge
port and the urban grid, have been tightly related; scarping the hills, infilling the coast, reclaiming the land from sea, allowed the development of both; the port and the city, constructing in that manner the architectural, landscape and port identity of this city ” (Architects Association of Valparaiso ’ s letter statement, Dec, 2011)
At the same time, there is a tendency to understand heritage and identity as the totality of the aspects of the city that are responsible for large part of them.
Most actors shared the idea that identity is not limited to the area nominated World Heritage Site, but it goes further. Coincident with the analysis of the section 2.1.4, a group of answers points to the fragility of those elements that are responsible for the identity of the city which are also strongly co-dependent and maybe be more difficult to protect.
b. Instrumental value of heritage reactivation plan.
At the same time, interviewers of the community sector indicated that interventions made in the city to reactivate its heritage, affected urban, social and economic aspects that are associated to their sense of belonging with Valparaiso. As a consequence, the perception that interviewers shared is that the nomination of UNESCO brought a series of transformations that instead of protecting the heritage of the city, it exploited it; prioritizing the tourism and real estate sector, rather than creating benefits for the community that currently live there.
c. The city-port narrative and urban problematic
Along with the general impacts observed in the city due to the activation of heritage, actors from the academic and civic society sector, foresee additional transformations. They agree that the development of the projects allocated in the coastal land - Terminal II and Baron Quay- definitely does not contribute to solve urban problematic of the city neither to its demands of identity. The perceptions coincide with the idea that those interventions alter the essential of the understanding of the city as a cityport, that is intrinsic to its connection with its habitants, which could be summarized as the contact between the individual and its historical resource of identity.
In accordance with the section 2.1.2, there is a need of the identity to be expressed in tangible materials. As Prats (2009) explains, this relationship between the city and the sea has become a support of narratives of cities, which gives sense of belonging and identity to their habitants. Which is way the civic society of Valparaiso would argue a total disregard for the city and its habitants.
In association with the fracture of the unity city-port caused by the interventions, several other negative consequences are raised, such as disappearance of traditional economic activities, increase of congestion due to the rise of cargo being displaced thought out the city, alteration of the skyline, therefore, obstruction of viewpoints toward the sea and so for The classification of aspects identified by the perspectives of the interviewers, allow building a list of aspects associated to the city, the sense of place, quality of life and development. Coincident with the Hewinson & Holden (2006), it is this sentiment toward the city and the intrinsic values assigned by habitants, that move them to understand aspects associated with the city and its interventions, creating a network that allowed them to give force for their demands of what they consider are the aspects that really support their identity. Narratives that become institutional values when they are formalized and supported by the professional sector.
4.2.2. Problematic of Development Strategies
In general terms, there is an agreement among actors of the civic society and academic sphere, including residents and private sector, that whatever the perspective from where this conflict is observed, there are permanently opposite forces that are brought into scene. For instance, the incompatibility of development strategies; the competition between needs and demands at different scales and the prioritization of one economic activity over others, are some of the contradiction denounced in the interviews.
a. Problematic for local economic activity
The opportunistic approach reported in the interviews; coincide with the idea that heritage could represent either an obstacle or an opportunity for local development. The fact is that, coincident with the evaluation of the section 2.2.1, successful urban regenerations based in heritage are not solely associated to economic outcomes but to the level of commitment with local identity. For Colombo (2011) to reach it is needed political will, however, the scenario of this case study hardly could aim at that direction; first, because of the lack of tool of local authorities to coordinate development strategies as it was explained in the section 2.3.2, and second the lack of commitment of the state to generate a more sustainable growth regarding local needs and demands. Attitude that is observed in narratives of local entrepreneurs, who perceived the disinterest of the state to acquire knowledge of the local problems caused.
In the other side, Valparaiso Port Authority is a state company that is ruled by private laws with the aim to promote investment and efficiency through concessions (Law N°19.542). Therefore, despite that urban development of the city is deeply rooted in its relation with the port activity, the development of the port runs in separate paths.
The impact of the decisions of the port company over the city is critical, in addition, the vulnerability of Valparaiso increases due to the lack of an urban policy that provide a clear orientation on urban planning and management of complex process. As it is explained in the section 2.3.2., there is no integral approach to cities regarding issues such as governance, heritage, social integration and economic development, there are just basic principles to order the cities but they can be modified -as it wasto allow the implementation of projects such as the Baron Quay’s.
b. The identity of the Valparaiso as the main port of Chile
Parallel to this, from the perspective of the private sector, the main point of the conflict regarding Baron Quay is the change of land use of an area that was supposed to be destined to the expansion of the port. The argument expressed from this view, relates to the prioritization of an economic activity over other. The opinion of the leader of the National Association of Ship Agents is clear regarding the construction of a mall in the Quay Baron, indicating The construction of the mall as a tombstone for the development of Valparaiso port In contraposition, regarding the feasibility of the expansion of the port in Baron and Pratt Quay, the general manager of the Maritime and Port Chamber expresses a different perception, indicating the lack of storage capacity of the port and the problems that the project Terminal II will have Further answers given in the interviews, open a question that coincides with the argument expressed by Espinoza (2009a) who argues that the role assigned to Valparaiso as the main port in development strategies are based on the glory of the past, on the image of a city that one day was cosmopolitan and pioneer but that no longer possess that features. In that sense, how possible is to encourage the development of a city from the foundation of the past?
Regarding this, the manager of the Maritime Chamber reinforced the idea by saying that there is a concept in the city that we have been the main port in the country so it has to continue to be that way, been the naval army and small companies ’ dream that Valparaiso remains as the Chile ’ s most important port.
c. The private interest and the lack of benefits at local level.
The perceptions expressed above, not only question the posture of the development strategies at a national scale but also coincide with the questions raised by Bergamin (2011a), regarding the absent of convincing arguments behind the intervention proposed in Baron Quay, because Valparaiso Plan never considered the reorganization of the city around a waterfront as part of regeneration strategies. From the perceptions of the civic society, the “Baron Quay” project is a result of the pressure of real-estate speculation over quite strategic assets.
At the end, the project “Baron Quay” is not seen to improve the quality of the city. This also reflects the lack of management of Valparaiso Port Authority to lead with the urban problematic caused.
In the other side, the construction of the project “Terminal II” even though professionals and community recognize the importance of giving continuity to the port activity -so to some extent they accepts it- they are concerned by the additional problems it implies. Nevertheless, the do not see any benefits for the community neither for the municipality interest In general terms, the conflict caused by the interventions of the coastal land, combined a series of disagreement regarding the development of the city and the port. In one hand, there are disagreements regarding the approach of the heritage activation strategy, concentrated on the economic benefits of the WHS nomination. On the other hand, there are disagreements regarding the development strategy of the port activity and the uses that the port company gives to their assets. The complexity of these disagreements increases because the type of interventions that EPV proposes has an impact on the city and on aspects that characterize the identity of the city. For instance, the increase of the congestion that will be generated by the port and the shopping mall, the impact on the landscape of the bay and views, the closure of the historical access to the sea and the traditional economic activities associated, as well as the change of image that the Baron Quay will mean for Valparaiso, are some of the impacts that those interventions might cause. And despite that, Valparaiso Port Authority as a state company does not recognize the responsibility and commitment that they should have with the city because it is ruled by private laws.
4.2.3. Governance and Community Involvement
As it was analysed in the section 2.2.1, the creation of networks among stakeholders and the construction of spaces for socio-cultural interaction are relevant to enhance capabilities of organization of the communities (Rotondo & Loconte 2013; Russell 2007).The habitants of Valparaiso present high level of participation in comparison with the rest of the regions, although a high centralized state does not allow a social democratic “mediation and negotiation” between different actors because despite the high level of participation, local authorities not only do not have the tools to prioritize and coordinate strategies according to local problems, but neither have the economic capacity to deal with the basic problems of the city. Situation that is acknowledged by the community in general and that was expressed by one of the local entrepreneurs.
a. Informal Participation Channels.
The participation of the civic society in the problematic of the city, and their influence over the decision and destiny of significant projects, in some circumstances, has been quite emblematic. However, the impact that the community has in Valparaiso, does not occur inside institutional frameworks. Formal instruments of representation are used by the public sector as a manner to diminish further resistance, but they do not promote a place for social interaction because there are already guidelines established that do not allow further changes. As a result, meetings realized by the public sector are not perceived as a legitimate instrument by the community to find a solution to their demands.
b. Performance of different sectors; capacity and limitations.
In addition, the performance of the institutions in the management of heritage and problems associated to its reactivation, is been constantly criticized from different sectors, even from the perspective of the public sector. Coincident with the analysis of the section 2.3.1, the dispersion of functions among different organism does not facilitate the articulation between institutions, which reduce the possibility for interaction.
As a results, the lack of a legitimate instrument of representation and the lack of coordination among authorities to attend the concerns regarding Valparaiso’s heritage, leaded to civic groups to request the intervention of an external entity. Despite the disregard of port authority to accept any interference of external entities in its activities, UNESCO delivered an statement with similar appreciations regarding the obstacles of the institutional framework and the complexity of the case study;
“ The fragmentation of competencies and mandates by sectors and by different levels of government, as well as by the different types of specific protection and use of different areas, does not currently allow for the management of the property with respect to its Outstanding Universal Value and within a broader perspective to include a territorial framework and all of the impacts that the transformation of the area could generate. Moreover given the scale and character of the transformation of the port area, of its seafront and its related areas, it needs to be subject to Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) in accordance to ICOMOS guidelines ” . (UNESCO 31 January 2012)
It is need to say that, even though, organisms of the specialized sector such as ICOMOS and the Architects Association were part of the actors that presented the request to UNESCO, the movement for the defend of the city initiated with the community, when the process of revitalization started to change their neighbourhood. The movement started to grow along the heritage activation progress, and became more organized with the interventions in the coast.
The approach of the civic society to international organisms reflects the lack of trust on the state. This analysis have exposed a series of perspective that contributes to explain the reasons that lead to the conflict between the community and the state, however, the determination of state entities is crucial, and clearly has not been open to dialogue. An example of this could be the information given by the manager of the Maritime and Port Chamber who refers to a mechanism given by the Law 19.542, which establishes an organism or committees of coordination of city-ports, as a manner to allow cities a more direct participation regarding ports. However, the government never established those institutions.
Empowerment of civic society
Due to the lack of visible mechanisms that allow different actors from different sphere to make prevail their demands of protection, is that the resistance of the civic society became stronger and diverse, also more informed and organized. Due to the lack of legitimate representativeness and leadership of the local authorities, is that the community has found themselves with the need to mobilize among them.
The perceptions gathered, underline relevant aspects related to the different interpretations of the city and the factors related to heritage reactivation, such as community involvement, articulation of actors, development strategies, and institutional framework. Those axes are coincident with those elements that have been underlined in the literature review.
The research also registered a series of efforts of the civic society and the professional sector outside the institutional framework in an attempt to balance the inequity of forces that are involved in the conflict and overcome the failure of an institution that does not represent their interests.
From the perspective of the intrinsic value which is connected to the intellectual and emotional experience of individuals of the civic society, the problem of Valparaiso is the opportunistic approach of the state to the city and its category as a world heritage site. However, the problematic of the case study does not relate much to heritage but to the identity of habitants. The elements that are associated to this sentiment are intangibles and difficult to capture, but refer to the totality of the urban structure and of narrative of the unity of the city-port.
Most of the arguments and perceptions expressed by the community sector are supported and legitimised by professional and experts from the perspective of the institutional value. As the interviewers expressed, the documents sent to UNESCO - which contained the arguments for heritage and identity protection- were elaborated by this sector, who counted on the civic society’s support.
From the perspective of the instrumental value, it is clear that has prioritized the economic potential of Valparaiso’s heritage. The dominant perception of the community and specialized sector points to the interventions implemented by the state not only do not aimed to create socio-economic benefits at local level but just exploit its heritage and menace its identity.
Chapter V: Conclusions
This research has analyzed from the domain of Identity and Cultural Heritage, aspects related to urban regeneration strategies and conflict caused by development interventions that represent negative impacts on heritage resources and the identity that is being promoted. The hypothesis proposed about the reasons behind the conflict between state and the civic society of the case studies, is supported by the analyses of its aspects throughout the objectives established for this research.
The narrative of the city-port
This study established that the implementation of development strategies in Valparaiso, has caused conflict between the state and civic society because those interventions are not in accordance with local values; they undermine the identity of the city by altering significant elements of the city and threatening traditional activities that are part of the essence of the city.
The above is supported by the conceptual relationship between heritage and identity which becomes significant when it is understood that heritage is defined by meaning and that elements that possess that meaning are references of a narrative that supports the identity of society, providing legitimacy to actions that give continuity to this.
As it was defined, the conflict is not much more about heritage, but about the identity of Valparaiso. The study utilized the categorization of value to analyze different interpretations of meaning involved in the case study. As a result, the intrinsic value of heritage assigned by civic society, describes those elements and aspects that are references of the narrative of the city-port, so are part of the essence of the identity of the city. Those references relates to the port activity of Valparaiso, the relationship of the city-port, the traditional activities related to the sea, the way to live the city as well as the views of the bay landscape from city’s viewpoints. These are references that are threatened by the interventions in the coast. These aspects identified by civic society have significance at local level but are not designated as heritage by legislation, so are not protected. Nevertheless, heritage nominated by legislation, is object of reactivation strategies that promote the instrumental value of the WHS status, having effects on the economic sphere rather that in its ability to reinforce local identity.
Role of identity in the cases studies
Going further that explanation, this research identified the role given to Identity of Valparaiso by different interpretation of the narrative of the city-port. For instances, the narrative utilised by regional development strategies, assigned to Valparaiso a significant role in the port activity at national level with the aim to maintain -as in its old glory- its importance as the Chile’s main port. However, this role might not be longer feasible because its growth is constrained by the problems and problematic caused at local level.
Regarding the role no assigned to Valparaiso’s identity, the contribution of Baron Quay project to the narrative of the city-port is null. The project does not contribute to give continuity to the city but threaten it with its change. This explains why this intervention provokes a much stronger opposition that Terminal II. Baron Quay project, was not born from development strategies, is driven market, and has no connection to aspects of the narrative of the city-port, which makes it become an action without legitimacy in the present.
The barriers of social construction of Heritage for development in Chile
In addition, this study also established that the centralism does not facilitate the participation of local authorities in development strategies neither provide effective community participation channels to incorporate local perspectives of heritage into development plans.
The role and political will of authorities to achieve local benefits from urban regeneration is constrained by a centralized institution that neither encourage community involvement in decision-making process. However, heritage as a social construction essentially requires a space to reach a consensus between government, and civic society. This is aggravated by the lack of an urban development policy framework that contains aspects such as identity, development, governance, for instances, that promote the creation of spaces for mediation. Otherwise, the absent of that space, means interventions that solely prioritise instrumental values of heritage, and the role of identity is utilised to satisfied external demands failing to satisfied local demands.
Interesting issues for further development
This research has highlighted an interesting field for further analysis; the problematic of development of a city-port whose identity is based on a narrative that relates to the relationship between the city and the port. The unity city-port becomes a complex structure compound by two organisms that work separately but whose development impacts to each other. The process of modernization that a port requires accordance to national and global demands is constrained by local demands of the city to reinforce an identity, which is based in the old relationship of the city- port.
Some considerations to take into account
It seems urgently necessary to recognise the responsibility of the port activity over the development of the city of Valparaiso. The consensus between the heritage status of the city-port, which want to be maintained and reinforced, and the desire of expansion of the port, consensus that might be achievable if at least there is participative channels and spaces for mediation at earlier stages of the development process. Mediation that -in a centralised system- should not depend on the political will of authorities or private companies but should be compulsory for significance interventions.
Similarly, the status given to a city as a world heritage site might result inconvenient for the identity of the city and its habitants if there is not a strong and clear urban development policy framework that guide all the aspects concerning to its development. The aim of external organizations to recognize significant heritage is the protection of institutional values. But, in some circumstances, global recognition of heritage is object of speculative market that alters aspects that turn out to be the sources of Valparaiso's identity.
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MODULE I: ABOUT HERITAGE AND IDENTITY OF THE CITY
- In your opinion, what would be the elements that construct the identity of Valparaiso that might be in risk due to in the development of the project Terminal 2 and the waterfront Baron?
- Even though the concept of heritage and identity are tightly related, the identity is much more that the components of its physical heritage. What of those ideas do you think are playing a major role in the in conflict related with both projects (Terminal 2/ waterfront Baron)
MODULE II: ABOUT LOCAL AND REGIONAL STRATEGIES
- The nomination by UNESCO and the implementation of the Valparaiso Urban Renewal and Development Program PRDUV , were part of the Plan Valparaiso strategy as well as the modernization of the port (T2) is part of Regional Development strategies to meet future demands. Which point do you think those two strategies are getting in to conflict in? Why?
- The development regional strategy establishes the identity of the Region of Valparaiso as a “Portal Region”, where Valparaiso plays an important economic role for the region. Do you think that this “perceived regional identity” is being more in consideration than local economic activities of the city of Valparaiso?
MODULE III: GOVERNANCE & COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
- What is your perception about the role of sectors such as civic society (neighbourhoods, union, syndicates) as interest groups (professionals, academics o cultural institutions) have played in the protection of the identity of Valparaiso? What are their needs, interests and demands in the conflict?
- How do you evaluate capacity and limitations of the local government, in the representation of local interest in the conflict?
Development Plan of Valparaíso Port
Through the Development Plan, Valparaiso Port planned to satisfied demands of transportation charge at the short, medium and long term, maximizing the use of the protected area by its current quay.
The figure shows the general development plan of the infrastructure that Valparaiso Port plans in different stretch of the coastal line of Valparaiso’s bay. In this plan is distinguish the development of Terminal I, with an extension of the main docking area in 120 meters, the extension of Terminal II, through concession, and the future development in medium and long term in the areas of Yolanda and San Mateo.
Referential image of future development. (http://www.puertovalparaiso.cl/WebLectorRealInfo/Tapa.aspx?sitio=49&edicion=75
Terminal I is an extension of 120 meters in the northwest, which will allow to attend two post panama ships simultaneously. It should be noted that this interventions does not affect the operating conditions of the area for Terminal II
Referential image of future development
Terminal Outer-Port Yolanda and Terminal San Mateo
Valparaiso Port developed a master plan with a vision of medium and long term, incorporating areas of support and operating to satisfy the needs of growth of the port and remain with a level of activity and relevant competitiveness in the region as in the South American western coast. Valparaiso Port has those alternatives for growing to meet the port transfer capacity outside the current warm pool, denominated
Terminal San Mateo and Terminal Outer-Port Yolanda. The implementation of those
projects will depend on the future demand
Terminal Outer-Port Yolanda Terminal San Mateo
Terminal Outer-Port Yolanda it is proposed as a terminal of big dimensions that will be implemented in phases and talking in consideration the harmonic development of the area where it is located, regarding historic monuments located in that area, Its implementation will have to take in consideration buffer areas with urban uses toward areas of Baron quay and Caleta Portales beach, and the green areas of avenue España, which will provide qualities for the touristic industry along with the development of Baron Quay project.
An essential elements in the implementation of this new terminal is the Access of Cabriteria from Santos Ossa as for the trucks that enter directly to the terminal, as for a new Access with to the city, decompressing avenue Argentina. Terminal San Mateo is a project inserted in the area on urban impact, so the insertion is planned to be integral and collaborative with the coastal land of Playa Ancha.