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The afterlives of urban megaprojects: Grounding policy models and recirculating knowledge through domestic networks

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Gabriel SilvestreORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


This paper interrogates and expands understandings of agency in processes of knowledge circulation by focusing on actors switching their position from the demand-side to the supply side of policy knowledge. In doing so, we contribute to recent debates about the importance of accounting to other scales beyond the local–global binary that dominates the policy mobility literature and to the politics of policy translation and dissemination. Emphasis is given to the performative role of domestic actors and their practices in localising mobile policies of urban regeneration in ‘gateway cities’ while leveraging and recirculating knowledge within their national contexts. Conceptualised as policy brokers and policy entrepreneurs, such actors are attuned to the local dynamics and able to distil context-specific lessons that are sensitive to national regulatory frameworks, funding and political contingencies. We focus on two urban megaprojects of waterfront regeneration in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro that introduced new practices of land monetisation while making use of inter-referencing, drawing on in-depth interviews with policy actors and archival material. We argue that an attention to ‘follow the reformatted model’ reveals how policy models mutate as they conform to contextual factors and to particular interests. The analysis of such processes allows us to transcend the local–global dichotomy and to trace multiscalar connections between multiple projects.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Silvestre G, Jajamovich G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space

Year: 2022

Volume: 40

Issue: 7

Pages: 1455-1472

Print publication date: 01/11/2022

Online publication date: 18/04/2022

Acceptance date: 07/02/2022

Date deposited: 29/04/2022

ISSN (print): 2399-6544

ISSN (electronic): 2399-6552

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.


DOI: 10.1177/23996544221082411


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Funder referenceFunder name
BEX 0704/12-1
CAPES Foundation
PIP N 11220130100717CO