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Visión de futuro

versão impressa ISSN 1668-8708versão On-line ISSN 1669-7634

Vis. futuro vol.20 no.1 Miguel Lanus jun. 2016


Public Space in Quito (Ecuador). An innovative tool to implement the territorial development

(*) Gierhake, Klaus; (**) Jardon, Carlos M.

(*)Zentrum für internationale Entwicklungs- und Umweltforschung (ZEU)
der Justus Liebig Universität (Germany)

(**) Departamento de Economia Apicada
Universidad de Vigo (España) - IDLAB
HSE-Perm (Rusian Federation)

Reception Date: 10/07/15 - Approval Date: 11/13/15


The paper discusses the concept of public space implemented by the Quito Metropolitan District Municipality (MDMQ) 2009-2014 as a source of social capital and territorial cohesion. The findings show the concept is understand more broadly that urbanist tradition. The concept includes a traditional perspective, a dynamic perspective, an environmental perspective and a social perspective. Its introduction in local government was endowed with its own budget programs, ensuring the sustainability of a community policy. Public space is an instrument of sectoral coordination, whose interpretation as a transverse program helps new release to address existing scientific studies. Furthermore, public space is an instrument for ex post project evaluations, to bring the discussion of territorial cohesion to a tangible level of the population and the local administration and to discuss a territorial perspective of social capital.

KEYWORDS: Public Space; Social Capital; Territorial Cohesion; Ecuador


With the Good Living National Development Plan 2008 (Republic of Ecuador, 2008, SENPLADES, 2009), Ecuador achieved international recognition, since this plan leaves the previous paradigm of neoliberalism, that is, the idea of continued economic growth, and focuses the satisfaction of basic needs with an active environmental management from a consideration of general policy. The state should take a more active role in development policy and must strengthen the powers of local governments. The Territorial Strategy represents a separate chapter in this plan and has special importance in the coordination of the different sectors (Böll-Stiftung, 2011). Worth mentioning that in Ecuador, they have succeeded in implementing these general objectives at the level of local governments and have been able to implement innovative proposals environmental-territorial development, accompanied by a process of modernization of the administration and procedures.
The Quito Metropolitan District (DMQ) represents an illustrative example in this context. With an area of approximately 4200 km2, with altitudes between 500 and 4800 meters above sea level, hosting 17 different ecosystems. Live about 2.5 million people, mainly concentrated in the city of Quito and the heads of 33 rural parishes. Some of the valleys, such as Tumbaco/Cumbaya or Chillos suffer dynamic processes little urbanization and tidy. Based on the Metropolitan Area Act, enacted in 1993, the Municipality of Quito got more powers. With the New Quito International Airport opened in February 2013, they managed to increase passenger arrivals and cargo by 30% in one year. Transport flows between the population centers of the DMQ have continued to grow. Approximately 60% of the land area is still forest (including moors, etc.), but is visible increased pressure on land use. On the other hand, Quito is still not facing the typical problems of large metropolitan areas in Latin America (big cities like Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Lima and Bogota).
The DMQ Metropolitan Development Plan 2012 - 2022 is a sign of environmental territorial development. In particular, it appears that the interpretation of public space has expanded, achieving integration in the structure of public administration and own budget headings, which means ensuring the sustainability of this program. This paper analyzes the concept of public space implemented by the Quito Metropolitan District Municipality (MDMQ) 2009-2014 administration.
The socio-political discussion of public space is of great interest for sociology, since influences such fundamental topics as social exclusion (Diaz Orueta et. al., 2003), segmentation (Borja, 2003) or the formation of autonomous citizens (Moran, 2007). It is the key to a richer, habitable and secure city life (Jacobs, 1973).
Territorial cohesion and social capital are particularly relevant in the public space. Forms of economic and social cohesion and, in particular, interest in promoting cooperation in certain territories reached an important level of discussion on territorial development strategies (European Union). Despite its popularity, this concept has been limited mainly to a technocratic vision. Experiences as accurate as is the case of DMQ could enrich the discussion and make it more accessible. Similarly, territorial cohesion is concerned to deal largely social exclusion, which tends to become a spatial phenomenon, such as in the large Latin American cities (Diaz Orueta et. al., 2003).
The second aspect is related to the concept of knowledge management, and in this context to the capital. The methodology has its origins in the economy and was traditionally applied in this regard (Chou, 2006; Coleman, 1988). The capital describes specific criteria traditionally associated with an organization and its potential partners. In this paper, it extends to the territory, considering its image, for example, in terms of culture and tourism, to help to establish contacts with other regions. Public space is studied as a generator of social capital. For this, is analyzed the territorial development in the DMQ between 2009 and 2014 that shows all the characteristics of a process of geographical innovation, where is mix capital and territorial cohesion around the concept of public space.
The research has focused from the economic geography (Hopfgartner, 2012) although there is research that focuses forms of private appropriation of public space, the legal basis for this process and the critical consequences predictable. Different experiences in Chile (Borsdorf 2006, Heinrichs et al, 2009), Argentina, Brazil and Mexico point to the importance of the concept, although mainly been analyzed from the perspective of social and political mobilization (Huffschmid and Wilder, 2013) and It has been included in the investigation of large Latin American cities and problems of informality and insecurity, since these problems occur mainly in the public space. But not this relationship deepened in detail (Mertins, 2009). Most of these studies are specific, focusing on a specific function (Diaz Orueta et al., 2003). Consequently, the potential coordinating role of public space has not been barely studied.
This study shows aspects of interrelation between the applied geography and sociology, whose importance is growing as it may provide contributions to discuss many of the current problems of developing countries. In addition, at academic level are lacking specific studies that have field this approach. In particular, Ecuador has introduced ambitious projects of territorial development, but geography is not oriented toward applied science and has not tried to develop this dialogue. The new interpretation of public space in the DMQ offers the possibility of showing examples of applied geography dialogue - sociological reality in territorial policies.
MDMQ experience is certainly interesting and there are still many open issues. In fact, this paper will not deepen the analysis on issues already discussed in another context, as the philosophical political interpretation of the Good Living concept (Böll Stiftung, 2011), or the Metropolitan Development Plan within the general community - Regional trends planning (Gierhake, 2015) also suggest applications of geography applied to the sociology of great interest.
According to the objectives, the work plan is as follows: First, some theoretical concepts of public space are set to mark the discussion of labor. Below is a brief develop of methodological aspects, to finally study the concept of public space in the metropolitan DMQ plan. It ends with some conclusions and future suggestions.


The public space as a tool for territorial cohesion and social capital

The public space approaches have varied from different perspectives. The public nature of space does not refer solely to access or their property, but also to the way it stays in it, since it is subject to rules agreed publicly. This space is public domain, collective social use and multifunctional (Borja, 2003). The property correspond to the State, which, normally, occurs in the territorial administration. It must also be social and collective use, noting that all citizens can participate with equal rights in the use and enjoyment of the space. In that sense, one could say that "a public space is defined by its free access and free use, meaning free not that you can do what you want, but what has been agreed or at least has not been banned thanks an agreement freely taken" (Neira, 2007, p. 34). However, the protection of the public space can reach the most disadvantaged exclude, for example, the homeless (Bachelor, 2009). Finally, it should be multifunctional, that is not usually used for single use but is oriented to different functions so that citizens can live freely in the space and perform various activities Among the dimensions of public space include the following: physical-territorial, political, social, economic and cultural, encompassing those essential aspects and, largely, show their sociological consequences (García, 2008).
The Territorial Physical Dimension is the largest geographic content. Public space should be a visible area, accessible to all, easily recognizable by anyone as a place where you can make civic activities. That means you must be able to adapt to the different activities that the law permits in that space.
The political dimension involves that the ownership of public space is for public administration and must establish the relevant regulations for use. Access to a quality public space is part of the rights of citizens, therefore, in every public space there is a dialogue between the administration and citizen’s legal owner and exercising the right of use. Management should try to provide that space of sufficient quality for the activities that are planned. The citizenship must respect the laws regarding the use of that space but can use it without further restrictions. This dialogue allows the formation of citizens as autonomous subjects (Moran, 2007).
The social dimension is manifested in social integration. In the public space, people are considered equal, free citizens and can use it with the same rights and obligations. When conflicts occur usually involved the authority establishing more precise rules. These conflicts can originate problems of social exclusion (Bachelor, 2009). Space management must be oriented to overcome these conflicts without causing serious social consequences. This is perhaps the main dimension since the public space is essentially a place of social networking relationships.
The economic dimension is the result of that public space is also a place of exchange relationships, which may involve economic aspects that, in some cases, leads to the main activity space, as in the markets. Political regulation itself acts to establish economic restrictions on the use of space through special permits to develop economic activities.
The cultural dimension is manifested on the one hand, through the content of history and identification with local traditions that expresses the identity and common origins, as traces of the past. Therefore, it aids to social integration, showing the symbolic nature of public space. Furthermore, it is a place of cultural events, which facilitate the participation of citizens and their enrichment as a society, showing the heterogeneity of the citizens and their distinguishing characteristics.
The public space facilitates the formation of citizen unifying historic character with the political, along with the norms and social relations, seeking a culture that allows tolerate and respect each other, the stranger who shares with others his character dweller city ​​(Vega, 2006). The intelligent use of public spaces facilitates sustainable development, as a city that ensures socially integrated, so that future generations can live with dignity in a peaceful and democratic social environment (Borja and Castells, 2000).
The prospect of the science of architecture and urbanism presupposes a series of general functions that public space must meet to make an inclusive city, complementing the above dimensions (Carrion, 2004). The following are described: (a) the symbolic: the central squares in which the population has met in the past, (b) the symbiotic: the overall accessibility, movement in this space and forms of use (banks, bars and use as sporadic forms of dance performances and music), (c) the role of exchange among other functions, (d) the civic function, which can be described on the basis of formal social activities in this space (Cave, 2010).

The social capital in the public space

The concept of social capital refers to features of social organizations such as networks, norms and trust organizations and, in general, the cultural values ​​that facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual benefit (Chou, 2006; Coleman, 1988). It includes social structure that promotes confidence and cooperation between people, communities and society as a whole, allowing them to create value in their actions (Durston, 1999).
Social capital is considered a capital because it is a cumulative stock of goods, from which you can get a flow of benefits (Chou, 2006), since the stable relationships of trust and cooperation can reduce transaction costs, produce goods public and facilitate the constitution of social actors and even of sound civil societies (Durston, 1999). It is more than a simple set of organizations or social values, as often increases production by increasing the productivity of other resources, such as human capital and physical. It is the result of collective action. Obtaining social capital is not free; you need a certain amount of effort and time, although it is difficult to market (Chou, 2006).
The social dimension of public space shows a key to the growth of capital element, since the latter is enriched with culture and relationships. Public space is a place to promote civic culture and a time to build relationships. Consequently, it will be a support of social capital enrichment. At the same time, public space is the image of a territory, facilitating the integration and attracting visitors and tourists place, increasing the social capital of the territory.
There is some feedback between public space and social capital. The very structure and definition of public space may increase the social capital, as the capital of those who make the decision to attribute the public character to a space influences the content of the use to which it will give (recreational, sports, communication , etc.). In addition, the capital of the actors involved in the public space itself increases the social capital of all participants. Simultaneously, as the quality of public space increases, the likelihood of positive interaction which results in an increase in capital is generated increases. The quality of public spaces depends on the fact that requests and responses are explicit correctly, which needs trust, partnership and capacity to act in common, generating more capital. The public space is a source of social capital because it multiple relationships occur allowing individuals to act linked with others and for the benefit of all (Neira, 2007).

Territorial cohesion and public space

The 'territorial cohesion' is a complex concept. Although coexist different interpretations, this paper focuses on two: first, closer to the idea of social integration, which refers to a model of balanced development with the primary aim of reducing socio-economic disparities and avoiding imbalances; another, the nearest geographical view, which is formulated in terms of accessibility, ie the possibility that citizens have equal access to facilities, services and expertise, regardless of where they live (Mirwaldt et. al., 2008).
The European Commission (EC, 2010) notes the important role of cities to get that territorial cohesion, advocating the development of an urban policy, where the necessary resources to address urban problems more clearly identified, and where authorities urban play a greater role in designing and implementing urban development strategies paper.
The actions are aimed at promoting urban regeneration, revitalization activities supporting integrated intra-urban spaces, with a wide local partnership structure (government, NGOs, businesses, etc.). With a view to achieving the objectives of social cohesion and integration in cities and urban areas are important experiences and knowledge that serve to support actors involved in urban development, to reinforce the urban dimension of international strategies for sustainable development (Queirós, 2013).
The public space facilitates territorial cohesion taken as a territorial and social aspect, ie in the second and third essentially meaning. On the one hand, it facilitates intra-urban performances, showing a meeting place where they can share knowledge and experiences and where all stakeholders can interact freely. Moreover, to put at the service of all citizens a set of common services and media helps eliminate imbalances where some are more likely than others. In parallel, you get easy access to all citizens, since free access is one of the characteristics of public space. In that sense also it strengthens territorial cohesion. Finally, being a site of generation of civic culture, strengthens social bonds, facilitating integration in the territory.


The implementation of new concepts of territorial development requires a long process. Research projects can take pictures of a given moment of the process, so have a limited database in some way. However, these investigations are important, as they help in several ways: to review what has been achieved, analyzing the conceptual bases employed or focus research needs. This analysis and the formulation of new issues for discussion, which appear in the case of public policy in the DMQ, are the focus of this work. Additionally, you want to present the potential and limitations of the approach applied geography to sociology related to a particular project in developing countries.
The methodology is used on the whole concept of plausibility analysis of sectoral development plans and institutional competencies (Gierhake, 2001 a, b). Formal responsibilities for planning, implementation and control of the most important institutions in this process as well as communication mechanisms and implementation capacities installed are analyzed. In this context, the analysis of the Municipality of Quito is concentrated. It works with simple indicators that allow quick conclusions (in the sense of a rapid assessment). Undoubtedly, these indicators must be specified in the process of a more complex investigation. Worth mentioning that this approach applied geography to sociology meets the needs of territorial development in the metropolitan areas of Latin America. The observed data and the possibility that a body such as the municipality where involved in a highly dynamic process allows initial conclusions. To capture the sociological realities, this methodological approach is complemented with qualitative interviews in various parts of MDMQ and own observations related to public space and ways to use over a year.
When working with a focus on applied geography to sociology must take a series of strategic decisions that determine the scan: For a process that is still underway, the availability of quantitative data usually has limitations, so it is convenient to work with qualitative information. The problems of qualitative information (semi-structured interviews), their advantages and limitations of interpretation were analyzed (Baxter & Eyles, 1997). It also includes proposals for how it could refine the qualitative information, such as: criteria of credibility of those interviewed, analysis plausibility of existing concepts, review of dependency ratios of respondents and feed back the results obtained by external sources (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). These additional criteria were incorporated in the interpretation of data obtained in interviews. This aspect also reflects the perspective: geography applied to the sociological reality.
In addition, you want to answer questions arising from the practice of territorial - locals strategies who have not yet received a response. This aspect reflects the look of the sociological reality to applied geography.
Considering the complexity of the study of territorial development and the number of questions that have not yet been answered in different national and local cases, it should work on the basis of examples. Territorial cohesion and social capital, as stated in the objectives: To illustrate this view of marriage between geography and applied sociological reality two aspects discussed in several scenarios, but still little discussed interrelated. They will lead the methodology of empirical analysis, the focus of public space focus primarily on those aspects.

Management of territorial development and public space in the MDMQ

The concept of public space has been analyzed in different approaches. Arguably, in the month of July 2014 a process of discussion of future prospects began when the mayor of Bogota (Colombia) organized the Second International Forum on Public Space, with participants mainly from Colombia, but including representatives of some metropolitan areas international (Barcelona, ​​Mexico, New York, Quito, Sao Paulo). Planning this event was focused on the role of public space as a strategic tool in the future construction (remodeling) of cities, the development of tools to ensure general access of citizens to public space and regulate economic activities carried out in that space (Mayor of Bogota, 2014). While the results of this event have not yet been published in a comprehensive manner, you can analyze some of their suggestions about new features of public space based on the experiences of Quito.

The public space as a tool of integration

The government of Barrera has stated a series of territorial development programs initiated by the previous administration. Possibly, some of these projects started arguing before the year 2009 since the MDMQ has a tradition in planning development that has survived the neoliberal era. However, in these programs it has been qualitative progress relating to specific instruments and especially the general concept of land use planning. The main instruments are the Metropolitan Development Plan and Land Use Plan, which defines a coherent way the main lines of the multi-sectoral / territorial coordination. There will deepen in this context the analysis of the various secretariats. In general it can be seen that the main development programs are agreed with the two plans presented below. In them, the public space appears as an essential element.
With the Metropolitan Development Plan (MDMQ, 2012a), supplemented by the Land Use Plan (MDMQ, 2012b), the MDMQ has created an efficient management tool. The main elements are: (a) axes safe and efficient mobility and transport, (b) guarantee universal access to public space and its use, (c) reduction of the environmental problems caused by urban growth not ordered, (d) regional urban development under the polycentric territorial and environmental perspectives (Quito city region concept) and (e) population development in the DMQ-balanced accessibility to social services. It is already seen in the description of those elements that public space is essential to integrate them and put them into practice concept.
On this basis, we have formulated five overarching objectives (1) focus on human development issues and employ a territorial perspective, (2) develop the DMQ as social and territorial functions, focusing especially in public goods, (3) encouraging comprehensive development process in the cultural, ecological, social, economic, and help establish a local identity sense, (4) promote overall modernization process, which includes instruments and communication technology, (5) implement a land management democratic, including the mobilization of social actors and the possibilities of exercising the rights of citizenship.
To operationalize these goals, seven areas of development were developed. In five of those public space is part of the results or activities. The shaft number two focuses on the rights of citizenship. To realize the potential of putting it into practice, we wanted to improve access to public goods and services, which necessarily includes public space. The axis number three comes to the rights of the city. In this context it combines two structural aspects, mobility and public space. Such activities deserves mention: ensure the existence of public spaces evenly distributed in the territory and access to them by the population; create a network of green areas including urban to rural; reaching an understanding on the financing of public spaces; reduce urban growth boundaries and urbanized territory; and create a pool of available lands for development projects. The shaft number seven focuses on the activities that contribute to a decentralized and participatory urban management. In this context it is worth mentioning that you want to define new spaces for dialogue management - citizenship, a scenario that points to public spaces. The shaft is number five of sustainable environmental development. To achieve this goal, they are intended to identify areas of natural heritage in the DMQ, and, if necessary, take action to protect and / or recover them. Necessarily, this line of activities includes all municipal parks. The axis number six proposes promoting the Quito identity, which is considered essential to recover the sociocultural functions of public space. To achieve this, we want to strengthen the social, cultural and productive capital that can contribute to neighborhood and district identities.
As the functions are designed public space, one can conclude that you can try a coordination instrument at the micro level of the territorial community planning, which could complement coordination tools at the macro level: the metropolitan development plan the land use plan.
Whereas it has another tool for coordination at the micro level, the provision that all sector development plans should include a section on the treatment of the historic center, it could also initiate a discussion on new instruments of territorial management processes. However, to make a long exposure, will not deepen this methodological conceptual perspective in this context.
Metropolitan Land Use Plan 2012 - 2022 is the public space of less detail. One of the main objectives of this document is to strengthen the rural urban system of central places in the Metropolitan District and partial goal has agreed to develop a network of public spaces and other green areas. For both networks, you want to establish a readily accessible territory, which share certain quality criteria (still waiting to be processed). The creation and preservation of green areas is also promoted, with contributions to the idea of ​​achieving ecological balance in the Metropolitan District. Moreover, the specific role of public spaces with the idea of ​​contributing to local identity (MDMQ, 2012b) was defined. This double orientation leads to consider the system of communal green areas as part of the public space (including communal protected areas).
The Mayor's Management Barrera Report presents the results achieved partial sectoral level (Barrera, 2014), although they have not evaluated the impacts on the regional development achieved. However, no visible processes that suggests concrete manifestations of these impacts, some of which will be analyzed below.

The public space in Quito

Public space and its treatment show different levels in the case of Quito such as: (1) the different categories of public space and its forms of use (2) the cultural dimension of public space and (3) a combination of public space with the security aspect.
The category of public space refers to the physical-territorial dimension. We could list the following: squares, parks, green areas in the territory of the DMQ, boulevards / sidewalks, cycle paths, car parking areas, historical monuments. In the new approach to public space two of those categories call special attention: the parks and cycle-way system.
a) The Parks include the following areas: Metropolitan Park South, Las Cuadras Park, Chilibulo Park, Guanguiltagua Metropolitan Park, La Carolina Park, Rumipampa Park, Bicentenario Park, Equinoccial Park, Nature Trail The Chaquiñán. People use these areas for sports and recreational activities, both private and institutionalized form (among others: reforestation activities organized by schools). Facilities for many sports, social activities (facilities Barbecue) and routes to practice mountain bike guide the use of the Parks to precise territories. The intensity of use grows visibly during the end of the week. However, almost no forms of overuse and neglect, being an indicator for a community management of those areas and public awareness.
b) The system of cycle paths Barrera increased during the administration, since it is built 53.7 km of cycle trails. In the territory of the city are 35 stations, in which, you can hire a bicycle and return. Intra-urban travel by bicycle increased from 14,000 in 2010 to about double in four years. The program to promote bicycle traffic was complemented by many specific activities. The whole system of communal bike is free, including the initial enrollment for card use (for details, see: BiciQ, 2012). It is estimated that by the end of 2014 were registered 30,000 people approximately as users.
The cultural dimension of public space occurs essentially in two aspects: a) the integration of all the places in which the Ministry of Culture presents its program titled culture in public space (includes art galleries, Bicentennial Park, MDMQ, 2014d); b) scenarios (buildings and open areas) which is use for regular public activities, such as the Summer Arts Quito, or public presentations of the results of photo competitions (MDMQ, 2013c) were scheduled develop. For example, the program for the 2014 Summer Arts shows 20 concerts in different public spaces, a theater presentation about 50 training courses in craft practices in different neighborhoods of Quito and four craft fairs and book (MDMQ, 2014c). Between 2012 and 2013 several photography contests were developed in order to obtain and publish visual impressions of Quito, presented in 16 to 20 different areas (Andes News Agency, 2014). In addition, some public spaces are being continuously used for presentation of craftsmen (individual or group) informally. This activity contributes to give life to these spaces; it fosters a positive attitude to these handcrafted expressions and contributes to the understanding of public space as a setting for meeting and communication.
The combination of public space with the daily security of the people is carried out with the idea of ​​solving the problems of violence and crime that are known in Quito, although with less intensity than in the big cities of Latin America. The program entitled safe public space, implemented by Barrera Government covers different aspects: environmental architectural remodeling of the respective spaces, lighting, construction of Centres of Community Development and in coordination with the Interior Ministry to install community police units (UPC) (Quito, 2013a and b). Meanwhile, they held events focusing aspects of security and the rights of citizenship to accompany the above activities (eg MDMQ, 2013a and b).
Among the complementary roles of public space, it is worth mentioning that the system of green areas, together with the reduction of motorized traffic has a high potential to contribute to the microclimate of the District, and this, in turn, to the management of the effects caused by climate change.
The concept of public space shows increased functionality and development prospects in this area. At the beginning of the Barrera administration this space was presented as an instrument to implement the new territorial structure, planned for the DMQ, together with the mobility network (traffic), the system of central places in both urban and rural parts of DMQ and creation of a network of green areas and protected areas (Barrera, 2012). In this way, a concept that is more dynamic than traditional characteristics, as shown, for example, the cycle trails, facilitating mobility between different spaces, or in communication, which is a consequence of the cultural activities developed. At the same time, one can observe an orientation to the daily interests of the population. This participatory approach is reflected in the tenders for spending free time (cultural and sports activities, and social relations) and integration of the insurance aspect of public space.
The aspect of security in public places deserves special attention. Considering the problems of violence and crime in other major cities in Latin America, it seems that in the DMQ have created a preventive tool to deal with them: a comprehensive treatment of public space.
Similarly, the possibilities of the municipality to work on adapting to climate change may also indicate a line of dynamic performance of public space.
Multisectoral vision of public space has potential to be an instrument of participatory management in territorial development policies. This process is based on a modernization of the municipal administration and a definition of specific instruments to manage public space by establishing a specific budget for carrying it out. These aspects are discussed in more detail below.

The modernization of the municipal administration

The Barrera Government reformed the general structure of the administration. Based on a decree signed in August 2009 (MDMQ, 2009), making some important changes, of which the following are noteworthy:
The planning and implementation responsibilities were concentrated in the top management of the institution (Mayor, Vice Mayor, and Secretary of Planning)
Communal enterprises were integrated into sectoral management structure with clear to the respective Secretaries dependencies.
The number of Secretariats of four former governments was increased to twelve to respond to the growing complexity of the problems of a Metropolitan District and territorial development.
The Planning Secretariat assumed responsibility for coordination, a function attached to the Mayor's advisers in the previous government.
Regarding the organization of the operation of the municipality should indicate, in particular, aspects of improving coordination. To this end, coordination meetings, called cabinets were prepared with greater intensity and a monitoring system was introduced to inform everyone about progress. In parallel, a shared identity in the MDMQ (in the high / middle levels) was built, making leverage existing institutional memory of the institution (MDMQ, 2009).
With all this, it was possible to introduce a system of considerable internal flexibility, professional quality and significant levels of trust between the management level of the mayor, the Secretaries / Directors and their advisors. This basic structure helped the implementation of new projects, mainly multisectoral nature.

Instruments to manage public space in the municipal administration

Although the concept of public space is part of all actions of the plan, there are two instruments that have facilitated implementation: The Metropolitan Public Transportation and Public Works Company and the Ministry of Culture.
Metropolitan Public Transportation and Public Works (EPMMOP) Company is responsible within the Ministry of Land, Housing and Habitat. It works based on four specific themes of the territory and to public and legal relations. The main themes are: (1) Underground and renovation of sidewalks (three pilot areas: the La Mariscal, the United Nations Boulevard area and surrounding streets, Avenida Napo). (2) Operation of community nurseries, a bank of forest data and a laboratory for forest affairs, (3) Management and maintenance of the nine community parks, (4) Maintenance: Boulevard Quitumbe United Nations and Cultural Center (EPMMOP, 2013).
In the Ministry of Culture there are the following departments: (1) Creativity, memory and heritage (2) Culture in public spaces, (3) Sucre Theatre Foundation, (4) Foundation of the city museums, (5) Cultural Centers City (6) Cultural Centre Benjamin Carrion (MDMQ, 2014). At first glance, this division of powers for a policy, in this case, for the public space, can create problems. This would occur if there were a framework of overall planning and implementation capacities were not well agreed. For MDMQ, this problem does not occur. There are two main planning tools and, in both cases, public space is perceived as an instrument of coordination between different themes (see section 2.3.1). The modernization of the municipal administration helps all sectoral policy approaches.
To facilitate its implementation, a specific budget of 10 billion adapted to different functions of public space was provided. In addition, for the rehabilitation of public spaces, home to green areas, including in the historic center of Quito program, they invested 51.6 Mio dollars between 2009 and 2013 (Barrera, 2014). These figures prove the capacity of implementing complex projects and transparent management of government. The lack of data on the existing communication between the administration and citizens difficult to assess the existing cooperation process in public spaces. The budget and its implementation.

Capital and territorial cohesion in the public space

In this section the results of actions aimed at public space in MDMQ checking some results obtained following established policies that have facilitated the increase in capital and territorial cohesion in the area are analyzed.
Quito's population use public space, every day in cycle routes and end of the week playing sports and doing social gatherings in community parks (La Carolina, Guanguiltagua, among others). No signs of overuse (destruction, garbage) are noticed. In the case of communal staff bicycle was used to ensure the maintenance of bicycles and usually are found in good condition. Therefore, we can conclude that the municipality has managed to sensitize the population to sustainable use of its public spaces and communal bike. In that sense, there is a specific manifestation of generating social capital by fostering a culture of environmental improvement and respect for public property (MDMQ, 2012c).
The classic ways of using public space are diminishing, especially for what refers to street vendors. Due to the loss of parking for cars and made to create cycle routes within the communal streets, the motorized mobility is less space, which could have an impact on private trips with this medium. While they have not analyzed the impacts, and have only opinions published in the press, some trends can be summarized:
(1) The forms of leverage parks as a venue for sports or social activities remain high.
(2) The acceptance of bicycles as a means of transportation for short distances and is constantly increasing.
(3) It is assumed that the groups of street vendors and motorists lobby groups represent a decisive influence on the loss of the municipal elections Barrera Government in the month of February 2014.
The fact that public spaces coexist very diverse people, with the humanization of these spaces looking for a safe space is a step forward in the territorial cohesion.
The MDMQ presented the results of the policy of public space in various international forums such as the World Urban Forum, Medellin, in the event titled Red and Green Urban Public Space, organized by the MDMQ (World Urban Forum, 2014).


With the development of public policies in the DMQ space certainly it has succeeded in opening the discussion on the potential of public space in urban policies territorial role and expands the content of the functions of the space. The program of cultural and social projects implemented reflects clearly. It has made the public space as an instrument of territorial cohesion, which allows you to start dialogues serve as territory of communication and foster shared responsibility between neighbors for space, all aspects related to social capital is understood.
With the creation of specific administrative departments for public space management and planning of budget items sustainability of this concept at the level of local politics ensured. Whereas the public space is approached from different departments MDMQ, it could be suggested a new aspect in the discussion on new forms of coordination of regional policies in levels of internal communication. Meanwhile, the coordination of cultural, sports and recreation in public spaces is a possibility of participation and expression of the population. This perspective is critical when establishing a new administrative culture. It is seeking general coordination instruments MDMQ generalizing the case, with the instruments of overall coordination and modernized administrative structures. In this context, the way the public space focuses is instrumental to introduce crosscutting perspectives in planning and - depending on the methodological advance - monitor their progress. The figures show the investment implementation capacity.
All partial aspects are precisely documented (programs, investments, cultural activities, etc.), both publications MDMQ and management reports of the Mayor. This communication indicates the results achieved aspects of capital required for interaction between state and citizenship. In addition, the wide (holistic) way to treat public space, it seems they have achieved an added value that is manifested in a base (which also suggests an instrument) that enables the management of complex sociological processes of territorial development, its communication and forms of citizen participation. This process could be transferred and implemented in future projects, a scenario that could be relevant and useful also in other territories. On the one hand, this refers to the operational level, transferring those experiences to similar projects of urban land development and, in that sense, the International Forum held in Bogota represents an important point of departure. On the other hand, it is likely to experience serve to ex post evaluation processes of certain international program and the needs of communication and dissemination of experiences and identified. In this aspect, the URBAL project funded by the EU, with the participation of Quito in one of the sub-networks, network represents an example (URB-AL, 2012). However, they have not yet been analyzed and systematized MDMQ experiences in this regard. The experiences suggested dialogue could feed the wider international level pointing another manifestation of social capital. You can mention two examples.
This new interpretation of public space could be a way to realize a very popular figure in the European discourse on land policies and make concrete and visible experience: the question of how to establish (or maintain) the territorial cohesion. As main issues the EU has formulated - theoretically - the following: (1) How could leverage the strengths of each country in the best way? (2) How you could meet the challenges, positive and negative, for the territorial development of cities, such as innovation and improve productivity, reduce social exclusion and environmental problems (congestion, garbage, etc.)? (3) How could ensure the most efficient access to communal services, transport, energy and communication networks? (4) How you could try those future problems such as climate change and increased traffic in a way that allows going through the administrative boundaries (EU, 2013)? All these questions could be discussed within the concept of public space and provide answers MDMQ line with global needs.
The district has a public space relatively well accepted by the population, which represents an interesting basis to reduce contamination and pollution and tackle social exclusion, in particular aspects (Bachelor, 2009) or more general. At the same time, this space serves as a basis for improving access to public services. Finally, understanding the public space reflects DMQ Anyone can more permeable the traditional boundary between public administration and citizenship option. Thus, territorial cohesion is promoted.
On the other hand, it could broaden the discussion on social capital and scope. Once this concept to move knowledge of a municipality and its administration new views appear. Traditionally, the capital, in its relational aspect, should describe, among other things, the relationship with other areas, such was closely associated to clarify the role of tourism, culture and the image of a territory on the basis of existing regional factors. All these aspects are integrated into public understanding MDMQ space, but perhaps the aspect of tourism has a reduced coverage. Based on the need to develop respective indicators on the basis of the already obtained in other areas, ie adapt the indicators developed on an economic concept towards a vision of sociological sciences, they could build a more regionalised perspective of social capital, especially in its relational aspect. One result of this intellectual exercise might be able to generate models and data to allow the analysis of communication between the administration and the local population, which is a prerequisite for policy impact monitoring input. On the other hand, the concept of knowledge management where capital management is included, it could mean a future conceptual enlargement.
The large number of implemented in the DMQ activities in this regard represent a good basis for research-oriented quantitative results (MDMQ, 2014 a, b, c, d).


Please refer to articles Spanish Biographical abstract.


Please refer to articles in Spanish Bibliography References.



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