Social sustainability in the land use planning process of Bogotá

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Insinööritieteiden korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
Creative Sustainability in Real Estate
Degree programme
Master’s Degree Programme in Real Estate Economics
90 + 3
To respond to the challenges of the twenty-first century, sustainability should not only be addressed as the objective but also as a means for planning the cities of the future. To promote a more inclusive and sustainable land use plan might require having a socially sustainable land use planning process. Social sustainability concerns the interaction of society through the participation and empowerment of citizens, the integration and collectivity of actions, and the social norms a society uses to achieve objectives. This thesis analyses the social sustainability aspects in the legal requirements and implemented process of land use planning in Bogotá. Looking for a sustainable future, Bogotá has the opportunity to improve its policies for involving socially sustainable practices in the planning process for having a better and inclusive city that responds to the needs of citizens. What is social sustainability in the context of the process of planning a city? What social sustainability aspects are present in the requirements by the Colombian policies and in practice of the land use planning process in Bogotá? These research questions were answered in this study by a qualitative methodology, consisting of literature review, intensive case study research, and semi-structured in-depth interviews. Several socially sustainable aspects were present in the legal requirements and the implemented planning process in Bogotá. They were mainly connected with participation in the process since it represents the way citizens can be involved in the process and interact with it. The model of participation established by the legislation and followed in the implemented process resulted evidencing the lack of citizen power, the low level of incidence in the plan, and the degree of tokenism of participation in the process. Additionally, the legislation and implemented process presented a strong focus on social inclusion and social mixing in relation to diversity of sectors but undermining the relevance of the community.
Viitanen, Kauko
Thesis advisor
Toivonen, Saija
social sustainability, participatory planning, Bogotá land use plan, urban planning
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