Discourses of the Environment in the Northern Expansion of Santafé de Bogotá

by Rojas, Carlos Eduardo

Abstract (Summary)
This study explores environmental discourses and rhetoric. The first part provides a review of postmodern approaches to discourse analysis, a description of methodologies used to identify environmental discourses and creates a combination of these methodologies using narrative and graphic resources. A second part employs the combined methodology to explore the debate about the northern expansion of Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia, (1999-2001) using a selection of public documents that include legal resolutions, academic papers, maps and newspaper articles. In the debate of Bogotá, the institutions involved (District Planning Department DAPD, Regional Environmental Authority CAR and the Colombian Ministry of the Environment MMA) didn't reached a final agreement over whether the city must develop over lands of high ecological value or how it must be done. The debate represents the universal conflict of preservation vs. development and the common conflict that arises when cities encroach vulnerable ecosystems. The exploration is made in three levels. The first is a narrative description of the city, the Territorial Plan and a timeline summarizing main events in the debate. The second level presents a discourse and rhetoric analysis of the institutions, academics and community leaders. This section provides tables that summarize arguments and discourse characteristics and a graphic model illustrating the discourse position of each actor. It emphasizes on exploring the mixture of elements from discourses that are different in their assumptions. The third level presents the predominant discourses, common assumptions, discourse tensions and discourse strategies. The study explores the inconsistencies of the institutional discourses of sustainability, democratic pragmatism and administrative rationalism and the technical and rhetorical presentation of issues such as community participation, biodiversity and urban growth. The rhetoric of the law is explored also as one of the possible sources of failure in the agreement process. The conclusion summarizes findings, reflects about the methodology, provides a personal opinion and proposes some lessons for planners.
Bibliographical Information:


School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:bogotá colombia discourses of the environment environmental debates urban growth sustainable development


Date of Publication:01/01/2001

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