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Privatization and Restriction of the Use of Public Space in Lima and Its Interrelation with the Fear of Crime Discourse

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Poole Fuller, Esteban
Conference: In Defense of the Commons: Challenges, Innovation and Action, the Seventeenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons
Location: Lima, Peru
Conf. Date: July 1-5
Date: 2019
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/10604
Sector: Social Organization
Region: South America
Subject(s): crime
Abstract: "During the last 3 decades, widespread fear of crime has led to increasing restrictions on access to as well as appropriation of public spaces in Lima. The restriction and privatization of Lima’s public spaces has been carried out through several means: enclosure of access to streets, proliferation of residential gated communities, widespread presence of private security agents and video surveillance, and, overall, increasing restrictions to access and use of public spaces. In turn, the restrictions on the use of existing public spaces have stimulated the spread of private developments, especially shopping malls, areas focused on consumption that replace public spaces as the main social venues for Lima’s residents. This has gone along with processes of privatization of public assets, fostered by the neoliberal economic policy agenda which has been dominant in Peru since the 1990s. Taking into account the described context, the proposed article proposes that the fear of crime discourse has legitimized processes of privatization and segregation of urban space that reflect, in the spatial realm, a political-economic order that advocates the prevalence of private interests over the public sphere."

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