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Cadernos Metrópole

Print version ISSN 1517-2422On-line version ISSN 2236-9996

Cad. Metrop. vol.22 no.49 São Paulo Sep./Dec. 2020  Epub Aug 19, 2020 

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Popular participation and democratic management – Salvador as metaphor

Inaiá Maria Moreira Carvalho[I]

Maria Elisabete Pereira dos Santos[II]

[I]Catholic University of Salvador, Post-Graduation Program in Social Politics and Citizenship. Salvador, Bahia/Brazil Federal University of Bahia, Post-Graduation Program in Social Sciences, Salvador, BA/Brazil.

[II]Federal University of Bahia, Business School, Post-Graduation Center in Business. Salvador, BA/Brazil.


This paper discusses the role played by popular participation in the preparation of master plans in Brazilian cities, addressing the case of Salvador. Master plans are defined as instruments that democratize the management of the res publica. The paper proposes a reflection on the limits and possibilities of the exercise of democracy in the current context in which the political party known as PMDB has a huge influence in the Brazilian politics. That reflection is supported by concepts such as participation, the right to the city and democracy, and the research sources used in our study were official documents and semi-guided interviews. The study concludes with the thesis that the recent advance in the democratization process of the construction of Salvador’s Master Plan finds limits in the persistent situation of inequality, in the radicalization of the instrumentalization of participation, in the government’s capture by private interests, and in the abandonment of politics.

Key words: participation; democracy; master plan; res publica; Salvador


Este artigo discute como se processa a participação popular na elaboração dos planos diretores nas cidades brasileiras, definidos como instrumentos de democratização da gestão da res publica, abordando o caso de Salvador. Trata-se de refletir sobre os limites e as possibilidades do exercício da democracia no atual contexto de peemedebização da política. Fundamentam essa reflexão conceitos como o de participação, direito à cidade e democracia, e as fontes de pesquisa utilizadas foram documentos oficiais e entrevistas semidirigidas. O trabalho conclui com a tese de que o recente avanço no processo de democratização da construção do Plano Diretor de Desenvolvimento Urbano encontra limites na persistente situação de desigualdade, na radicalização da instrumentalização da participação, na captura do poder público por interesses privados e no esquecimento da política.

Palavras-Chave: participação; democracia; plano diretor; res publica; Salvador


The present article addresses how popular participation in Urban Development Direction Plans’ (UDDP) elaboration has been taking place in Brazilian cities. These plans have been defined by the Statute of Cities as one of the basic instruments to accomplish democratic management and the right to the city by the population, mainly, in Salvador City’s case. The analysis of the last Salvador Direction pointed out that the Capital of Bahia State is an example of participation incorporation and draining out in conservative and authoritarian scenarios that became the standard profile of the urban development and management sphere, which has been updated and broadened in cities and metropoles countrywide.

There is the thesis that this institute, as well as recent advancements in democratic management processes applied to the res publica in Brazil, were limited by the short permeability of public powers to the participation due to the capturing of the public power by private interests and to the history of social and urban inequality reinforced in some big cities and regions in the country, such as Salvador. Democratic municipal management conquests observed in the last decade in state capitals, such as Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte and Recife, was not replicated and it led to cases such as that of Salvador, whose popular participation only fulfilled legal requirements and the legitimization mechanism. Accordingly, Salvador incorporated participation to an authoritarian and conservative context and showed how it can be converted into the metaphor of political drain out in this process. This context was reinforced during the current crisis faced by the country due to the return of conservative privatizing political mechanisms that were away from the control of public mechanisms in the last decades.

Participation and right to the city concepts have substantiated the present study, as well as reference authors such as Henri Lefebvre, David Harvey, Ermínia Maricato and Leonardo Avritzer, among others. The methodology consisted in literature search, in document analysis applied to minutes of public hearings conducted in the City Hall and in the City Council and in interviews with representatives of social entities and movements who have participated in discussions about the UDDP. Besides the introduction, the text was structured as follows: section two, which addresses the a priori of the direction plan, as well as participation and the right to the city by reasoning about the limits and possibilities of democracy in Brazil; section three, which presents the experience of participating in the elaboration of Salvador Direction Plan in the last two decades; and, finally, section four provides the final observations about the a priori of participation in Brazil, today.

Direction plan, popular participation and right to the city

The excluding profile of Brazilian development is mainly expressed in big cities and metropoles countrywide, due to the concentration of people, power, production mean, richness and to high consumption patterns, social vulnerability and poverty, lack of infrastructure and basic services, precarious housing, inequality, violence and environmental degradation. However, Brazil has one of the most advanced urban-recovery legislations; the National Movement for Urban Reform, which was created in the (re)democratization period, struggled to introduce one chapter in the 1988 Constitution about urban development and the social function of cities. Later on, social mobilization helped approving the Statute of Cities (Bill n. 10257, from June 7th, 2001), which provided consistent legal support to actions taken by governments and society in order to control occupation, soil use and urban development processes based on democratic access to urban land and on the reduction of inequality, segregation and environmental degradation ( Maricato, 2010 ; Fernandes, 2010 ).

The Statute established the bases for a new judicial-political paradigm applied to urban development, it acknowledges local power, urban development plans and civil society’s participation in their elaboration by incorporating principles, guidelines and innovative instruments focused on promoting the right to the city and to its democratic management through progressive taxation, compulsory partitioning and edification. Moreover, the Statute also included the expensive cost of transferring the right to build, the definition of Special Zones of Social Interest – Zeis – and popular participation issues in urban policies based on it.

According to the Statute, due to its multiannual profile, the plan must encompass the county as a whole and define the budget priorities and guidelines, due to its multiannual profile. The Bill that has enforced it, which must be revised at least once every ten years, is a good example of factors ruled by the Statute. The authoritarian and often excluding character of urban plans and policies around the country, and its closeness to local realities; and the emphasis on quality of life and social inclusion, the local executive and legislative power must ensure population participation, as well as the participation of associations representative of several community sectors, either in this instrument’s content definition or in its implementation inspection. Debates, public hearings, public consultations and conferences, and the incorporation of popular propositions and projects are among some of the known participation forms, as well as the implementation of collegiate focused on developing urban policies. All these actions can open room for new governmental intervention and democratic management patterns focused on promoting social justice and the right to the city, for all ( Lefebvre, 2001 ; Harvey, 2014 ; Fernandes, 2010 ). However, although it is not good minimizing the importance of, or achievements by, the Urban Reform Movement and the Statue of Cities, it is not possible saying that the expectation of putting some of these actions in place had come true.

Some authors have pointed out cases whose Direction Plan elaboration and reviews have opened space for debates that have led to greater public enhancement of dispositions in the Statute, awareness of counties’ issues and potentials, as well as of strategies set for plan development and for planning processes. Nevertheless, it is known that such factors did not contribute much to the implementation of principles, guidelines and instruments institutionalized by the new legislation and to the accomplishment of its goals. Overall, Direction Plans did not present or articulate city projects based on dispositions in the Statute, on political negotiations and on social agreement among the several actors and interests involved in urban development. Most of them presented a quite generic profile classified as “politically correct” and full of “good intentions”, but that, after all, was little effective. Among other aspects, these factors, overall, do not define property, are not bond to the municipal budget and do not set concrete and systematic strategies to ensure the materialization of the dispositions in the plans. Direction plans use to leave managers free to run their administration based on personal interests or on the interests of specific political and economic groups. Besides, most City Councils or Urban Development Councils are not in place, so far, and participation mechanisms have been problematic, due to their doubtful effects, to say the least.

Santos Junior and Montandon (2011) conducted a critical analysis about the content and perspectives of these instruments after the Statute creation and concluded that, although plans have contributed to make some advancements feasible, they did not derive from negotiations and social agreements about public management and relevant matters. Moreover, the plans did not exchange information with all involved parts and with civil society organizations, as well as they did not embody dispositions and new urban management instruments or contributed to their implementation. Based on these authors, it is necessary advancing in the discussion about city management, in order “to ensure the effectiveness of established participation paths and of population incorporation to it, mainly the incorporation of popular sectors historically excluded from decision-making processes focused on urban projects and programs, and from the management process” (ibid., p. 47).

Scholars such as Vitale (2004) , Villaça (2005) , Silva (2006) , Milani (2007) , Avritzer (2007) , Nascimento (2008) and Coriolano, Rodrigues and Oliveira (2013) have also presented their considerations and not-inspiring evidences of these plans’ impact, mostly on participation conditions and effective implementation. Coriolano, Rodrigues and Oliveira (2013) highlighted that, although the elaboration of Palmas Direction Plan counted on community engagement to several meetings, such participation was meaningless when the project was to be voted by the City Council, which has twisted the previous results of the process. Villaça (2005) embodied an even more critical attitude in a text called “As Ilusões do Plano Diretor” – The illusions of the Direction Plan –, where he argues about the meaning and relevance of Direction plans.

According to Villaça, there are no new reports about any city or municipal administration based on the broad coverage and on exceeding zoning projects in direction plans, since their first implementation in Brazil. Most articles about these plans introduce generalities that do not force effective actions, since they do not take into account the diversity and conflicts of interests among different social classes when it comes to urban issues. They often ignore the claims and urgencies of popular classes, such as the regulation of clandestine allotments, as well as they do not present any proposal to effectively guide the fate and future of cities. Accordingly, besides some other reasons, interests addressed in them end up limited.

The author found that, despite all the interest in defining urban occupation and soil use in São Paulo Metropolis, real estate representatives did not participate in discussions about its Direction Plan, because this sector advocates for its interests in other spaces and through other channels, such as news reports published in the press and/or through negotiations with, and pressure over, mayors and councilors. Residents in popular neighborhoods have asked for a solution to finish with holes on the asphalt and with lack of street paving, for the cleaning of dirty creeks, which are full of rats and often flood, or for the regulation of clandestine buildings, among other associated issues. However, their claims were not linked to more general matters in Salvador Direction Plan, which was limited to support the institutionalization of propositions made by Zeis. Meetings in some neighborhoods were expected to trigger debates, but they were short and/or finished early, simply because there was nothing to be discussed. More elaborated discussions about changes in zoning projects and measurements, or about conflicts between residents – who have claimed for the strictly residential profile of zones allowed to host pubs, restaurants and other night-life houses – of mid- and high-income zones.

Curitiba Direction Plan experience also illustrates the mandatory review, which was put place in 2014, when civil society organizations gathered in Frente Mobiliza Curitiba to get prepared and to mobilize themselves to influence the new version of the plan. These organizations faced challenges throughout this process, such as lack of understanding about the need of sharing decision-making with society, based on a new participatory democracy model put in place by the 1988 Constitution and on participatory culture among public managers, technicians and the population; on lack of methodologies for public hearings, debates and participation; on the distance between the techno-centric and secular languages; or on the overvaluation of technical knowledge about public management by different parts of the population.

Frente Mobiliza Curitiba became a reference for city issues and for movements willing to cope with the current system, given its qualification, mobilization and systematic dispute for effective interventions in the plan by broadening the discussion about it, by influencing the dialogue with the public power and its attitude towards specific matters. According to Coelho (2015) , this process led to some achievements and advancements. Civil society was reinforced and the public power, and its technicians, got qualified due to the discussions. The new Curitiba Plan embodied the missing topics and targets, such as the avoidance of empty spaces and Zeis’ typology underuse, as well as the contribution and solidarity of great real estate ventures focused on the provision of social-interest housing.

However, the text of the plan kept a generic character, it missed directive and effective power, because the implementation of listed dispositions depended on the approval of 16 specific Bills – not even deadlines for their elaboration were defined. The selective regulation of urban policy instruments was also observed in its text. Instruments of interest presenting open support to the real estate market, such as the creation of urban soil and urbanistic concessions, and of urban consortium operations, were kept and reinforced. On the other hand, measures associated with land regulation, with the provision of social-interest housing or with the combat to real estate speculation had to wait for regulation. Basic matters concerning urban mobility were not addressed, but regular discussions about the prior need of regulating drones’ use in the city were set.1

Despite some differences, most counties are resistant to the effective participation of the population in the elaboration and implementation of direction plans due to the political culture and deadlocks caused by real estate interests and local managers’ reduced adherence to the principles and dispositions of the Statute of Cities that impair advancements in the Brazilian democracy; therefore, most counties only allow little favorable conditions to popular participation.

Based on Logan and Molotoch (1987) , it is essential recalling the creation of urban spaces in capitalist societies, and the permanent conflict between their use-value and exchange-value. On the one hand, such conflict opposes city residents’ interest in defending their quality of life and, on the other hand, the great financial return and the application of revenues achieved through the city’s transformation into a sort of “growth machine”.

The interest for the aforementioned coalition has always dominated the urbanization process in Brazil. Besides, there was fast association of capital flow and globalization, with liberal economic policies and with focus on a governance model guided by principles subsidized by the State and by emphasis on market mechanisms. Due to such transformations in contemporary capitalism cities embodied an even more relevant role in the capital accumulation process.

Accordingly, the so-called urban entrepreneurship has replaced the rationalist and functionalist planning matrix by urban governance influenced by the World Bank and by other multilateral agencies in Brazil and in several Latin American countries. This governance was discussed by Harvey (2005) , Vainer (2002) , Maricato (2002) and Mattos (2010) , who were inspired by concepts and techniques that have resulted from business planning focused on cities as the subject or economic actors in this process, cities became the main axis of urban matters, the source of guided competitiveness to attract the capital circulating in the space (without borders, due to globalization) to broaden investments and job position sources. Local governments must use strategies to promote and “sell” the image of the city, to take into consideration market expectations and demands, and to create a favorable and attractive environment to investors in order to reach their current goals.

According to Mattos (2010) , these guidelines mainly favor real estate investments made by local governments that have tended to negotiate the best conditions for city expansions, including flexible installments, soil use and previously established edification codes. Emphasis was given on market mechanisms and on the prevalence of real estate capital given the limited State sources and inversions. This scenario was reinforced by the current importance and profile of state investments, and by their great ability to influence spaces in cities. Urban development, at this point, was consolidated by the strictly-capitalist logic, which set the secondary position of population’s priorities or was against the broader needs and demands of it. Undoubtedly, this process reflected on the pans’ guidelines and dispositions, as well as on barriers to participation.

Although the Brazilian (re)democratization process has enabled the 1988 constitution to ensure the exercise of democracy as one of the main principles of the Republic ( Vitale, 2004 ; Avritzer, 2016 ) based on the participation of the population and of organizations representative of several sectors of society in the formulation, conduction and inspection of public policies in order to truly accomplish a representative democracy, this principle has been facing significant difficulties and resistance to be put in place.

Avritzer (2016) analyzed the recent democratic experience and advocated that the Brazilian democracy is strong and consolidated. His statement is substantiated by the historical viewpoint that the last decades were more stable than the 1946-1964 period, when Brazil was compared to Argentina and Chile. He takes into account that, from an economic, social and political viewpoint, the country was able to break the limits of ‘proceduralisms’ and to accomplish significant advancements in the combat to inequality, poverty and in improving the quality of life of the population.2 However, according to Avritzer (ibid.), the Brazilian democracy also has its deadlocks, some limitations that are translated into a certain malaise caused by inadequately satisfied expectations, into non-fulfilled promises. Among the associated deadlocks, one finds the limits of the “presidentialism of coalition”, the paradox of fighting corruption, the loss of status by the middle class, the role of Law in the political life and the limits of popular participation in politics (ibid.).

Avritzer (2016) recalls that Brazil has implemented a new social participation standard from the 1980s on, which was institutionalized by the citizen Constitution of 1988. The struggle for (re)democratization and the end of the military regime created a favorable scenario to institutionalize participation. Therefore, he took into account the 1990s, when good examples of political participation were observed in the country, but that faced limitations in 2013. Political participation at that time had a relevant character, since it was seen in different sectors and in social policies, but it did not happen or was vailed in infrastructure, mobility and transportation policies. According to Avritzer, it is in the very contexts of participation that one can see the conflicts expressed in street demonstrations, in “spontaneous” participation organized by the civil society without the intervention of political parties or organized entities, and in institutionalized participation. The “new right” emerges after the 2013 demonstrations; it mobilized conservative sectors and set the political arena. According to Avritzer, the “new right” can compromise the participatory political project established by the left, in Brazil, in the last decades.

This analysis is, somehow, quite clarifying, but it does not deepen in the different political meanings participation has acquired in the country, in the last two decades. However, we better go on with this reflection in order to better understand the uncertainties of the herein analyzed participatory experience. It was necessary using the debate between Avritzer and Paulo Arantes (2014) and Marcos Nobre (2013) , who have discussed the recent meanings of democracy and participation in their publications. The study by Arantes referenced by Avritzer rose the essential point of his thesis: nowadays, the country has a consolidated democracy. Arantes used classical concepts to state the incompatibility between democracy and capitalism and to show that the participation policies in place were formed by cooptation, as observed in Brazil, in the last decades. According to him, the insurgent citizenship deriving from the struggles to cope with the military regime opened room for a ‘regulated’ citizenship supported by the very basis of the peripheral capitalism and managed by the Labor Party (Arantes, 2014).

Avritzer opposed Arantes’ approach and advocated for the institutionalization process observed in the last decade, for the legitimization of State actions and for the movement to incorporate participation in processes to develop and implement public policies; he stated that “there is nothing wrong with the legal regulation of citizenship, as long as it leads to social inclusion and political equity” (Avritzer, 2016, p. 25). By criticizing Arantes (2014) , he took into consideration that the argument of participation cooptation turned the virtues of the Brazilian democracy in impairments to it. In addition, he stated that, by rejecting the assumption that democracy can solve injustices caused by capitalism through popular sovereignty, Arantes puts himself in the field of “political faith”. But, actually, he established a conflicting relationship between democracy and capitalism, in the periphery of the system: would Arantes be in the field of faith, or not? What would assure the status of theory and science to Avritzer’s argument rather than of “ideology” or “faith”? Would this argument not be ad populum or an appeal to the gallery of those who have the intention, not so naive, to talk on behalf of principles assumingly universal, such as the scientific ones? But, what are the real matters to understand the nature and the quality of participation in our, more or less, consolidated democracy? By deepening in its arguments, Avritzer (2016) meets Nobre (2013) and sets the concept of PMDBism.

Nobre (ibid.) forged the concept of PMDBism as an attempt to understand the nature of the Brazilian political culture and, thus, to explain the limits of our democratic and participatory process. He started from the following question: “How can the political system control the conflicts of such an unequal society?”. He advocated that, nowadays, such a control is mainly supported by the political culture implemented in the 1980s, “which shielded the political system against the social forces of transformation”. He made a historical retrospective, whose inflection point lied on the resistance to the military regime, passed through (re)democratization and reached present times in order to define what he classified as “PMDBism”, i.e., the construction of a power block, whose main feature lies on its atavistic relationship with the hegemonic political forces and with the implementation of a coalition system that works as veto point. As he has highlighted, this is not exactly a particular way of making politics, which consists in building alliances and agreements to ensure the benefits from the public mechanism, but a way to eliminate and control the controversy. It actually means “to be in the government no matter the administration or political party” and to create a “set of referee rules against conflict” and an “hierarchical system of vetoes” (ibid., p. 42). Thus, PMDBism is featured by elements such as ‘governism’, forced governability, hegemony and the elimination or neutralization of options (ibid., p. 14). Assumingly, these are the elements used by the peripheral capitalism to keep control over conflicts in such an unequal society.

PMDBism would be defined as a particular form of regulating the political action aimed at ensuring the reproduction of historical hegemonic power relationships. Nobres’ assumption is different from that by Avritzer (2016): the transition from Fernado Henrique Cardoso’s administration to Luiz Inácio da Silva’s was the first non-traumatic power alternation in the country and it consolidated the (re)democratization process in the country. However, “democracy in the country, all together, is yet too little democratic, indeed”. This statement is explained by the fact that we did not accomplish to build a democratic culture capable of changing the “lifestyle”, “the pluralist political culture by organizing interpersonal relationship routines, themselves”. Despite the advancements observed in the last decades, according to Nobre, we have a “low democratic content policy” in a significantly unequal country, which presents a series of limits in its political participation process (Nobre, 2013, p. 9).

Avritzer (2016) criticizes the PMDBism thesis by stating that Nobre did not make mistake in the concept, but in the “calibration”. He explained the barriers to the construction of a democratic process, but he forgot its deeds or classified them as concession or as typical PMDBism practices. Avritzer emphatically stated that: “democracy in Brazil worked out well, be it in its ability to make decisions or in its ability to broaden social inclusion” (Avritzer, 2016, p.27). Its limits would have been set by the presidentialism of coalition and by the ineffective combat to corruption, which are aspects related to one another, but that are not entangled.

The studies about concepts of perverse confluence and political project by Evelina Dagnino (2002) and those by Francis Wolf (2007), who have addressed political forgetfulness, have added relevant elements to the discussed topic. However, it is necessary problematizing the thesis advocated by Avritzer about participation systematically taking place in the recent construction of democracy and about its limitations resulting from its sectorial character. The sense of perverse confluence demands pointing out what actually gives substantial dimension to the participatory process, namely: the power dimension and the political project. The neoliberal model from the 1990s, as well as the democratization process, embodied participation as one of their main requirements. However, in the neoliberal model, participation is required to reduce the State and accountability transference; whereas, the democratization project associates it with power decentralization, with State and society democratization, which, all together, have economic, social and political implications. The sense of perverse confluence by Dagnino (2002) refers to differentiating these two perspectives; according to Gramsi, the possibility of participation is the political project. Assumingly, the concrete limits of participation in our recent democratization process takes us to the interpenetration of political projects set among political forces historically found in distinct fields and arenas. This finding made us closer to the argument by Nobre (2013) about the PMDBization of politics, without forgetting the advancements and conquests recalled by Avritzer, as well as to the political forgetfulness and to the fetish about techniques in times of neoliberal-model recovery addressed by Wolf (2007).

Reflections based on the experience of Salvador

The experience of elaborating the Salvador Urban Direction Development Plans (UDDP) was quite illustrative of the structural limitations faced by the construction of democracy in the country, with emphasis on the current moment of political scenario redefinition. Salvador is a remarkably poor and unequal city, given its prevailing tertiary productive structure and GDP lower than that of cities such as Fortaleza and Recife. Historical development and life condition issues, as well as job and poverty matters faced by its numerous population do not favor the construction of a strong and organized working class, of more dynamic social movements and of a mobilized civil society focused on the management of the res publica , as observed in its popular organizations and in their manifestation forms. Furthermore, the city was marked by long political domination by leaderships and conservative authoritarian oligarchies closed to the conversation with civil society and to popular participation.

Avritzer (2007) has compared the participation process in Fortaleza, Salvador and Recife, and showed that Pernambuco State presents the densest popular participation; Bahia State has the weaker associations, mainly in Salvador, when it comes to popular participation in public-management issues (ibid., p. 45). The case of Salvador is quite illustrative of the process to drain popular participation and of how the sense of PMDBism derived from the understanding of how decision making about city management and development corroborate the statements by Avritzer. The experience of elaborating, discussing and approving Salvador’s direction plans in the last few years, with emphasis on the Plan approved in 2016, which is the most specific object of the present study, are factors making his statements clear.

Participation in the 2004 and 2008 UDDPs

The review of the 2004 institutionalized Direction Plan started to be designed in early 1998, in the administration of mayor Antônio Imbassahy, who was part of the political group that for long had dominated the power at the state and municipal spheres. This updating study lasted long and was mostly opposed by the lack of transparency and by authoritarianism, such as that observed during plan elaboration. The proposition presented by the executive power had a quite inaccessible language and privileged real estate interests; information necessary to its discussion was not made available. Public hearings scheduled for this discussion were little outspread, since there was no room for participation. Although it did not stop its approval by the City Council, civil society organizations asked the Prosecutor to sue the Plan; all this pressure made the new municipal administration decide in favor of its review.

According to Nascimento (2008) , the 2005 municipal administration succession set opened room for better expectations about the accomplishment of a more democratic and advanced management, because the new mayor (which was elected in the second poll round and beat the “carlism” domination - supported by conservative groups and progressist powers and leftwing parties) would commit to (re)discuss the UDDP by incorporating the principles of the Statute of Cities and to civil society participation in its elaboration and implementation in Salvador. The new mayor was focused on a sustainable development project and adopted the slogan “Salvador: Popular-Participation City Hall” as the symbol of his administration. However, the promise of “new times” to the relationship between the local power and civil society, and popular movements, was not more than electoral rhetoric. The alliance with progressist forces and parties ended up broken and the mayor never changed the excluding urban-development patterns to go against real estate interests or to adopt new practices and guidelines in the new version of the Direction Plan.

The referred administration triggered a broad debate about the content of, and proposals to, the Plan, which was under the responsibility of the Municipal Planning and Environment Secretariat. The plan was approved by the former administration, which elaborated a minute and a new Bill project that was sent to the municipal legislative power in August 2007. According to records in responses by the technical team, strong effort was made to introduce civil society participation in the Plan review program, such as public hearings and meetings, the creation of different Management Regions and of the Municipal Urban Development Council – Condurb, as well as the development of two seminars to discuss local and regional economy. Representatives of residents’ organizations in the Management Regions (RAS) – which comprise civil society, regional management coordination, business representativeness and political leadership entities – were invited to these events. Moreover, the Environment Superintendence, which was managed by the Green Party at that time, also formed a work team that gathered representatives of Prosecution Bureau, unions and universities, business organizations, environmental entities and community movements, among others. All these events aimed at opening room for discussions about environmental matters and at presenting proposals to ensure the preservation and recovery of both green areas and the sea shore in Salvador, which is one of the main concerns of environmental groups.

However, despite such initiatives, the UDDP review process was little outspread and participatory; civil society did not have the possibility of conducting the necessary control over its approval. Proposals resulting from forums and discussions were incorporated to the new Bill; the viewpoints of the technical team of the City Hall prevailed, as well as the most direct and immediate interests of real estate market groups that mobilized themselves to it. There were no investments and incentives to encourage participation due to reduced organization and mobilization achieved during the plan elaboration process. Most of the population was not even aware of the Plan review process (similar to what happened in the last review), although it was broadly widespread by the local media. Meetings and public hearings counted on few participants; either the limited outspread of the Project or its technical and little accessible language have contributed to make these meetings boring and tiring. The most crowded meeting did not count on more than 90 participants;3 oftentimes, they only gathered few people.

Moreover, the close articulation between the City Hall and the real estate market was expressed in the elaboration of a Plan guided towards fulfilling the interests of this sector. It was possible because of rule flexibilization and change, which was supported by the implementation of mechanisms focused on facilitating the appropriation of urban-capital gain by these sectors. Although the plan has incorporated aspects related to lack of infrastructure and basic services, popular housing, transportation and mobility, it focused on changes in constructive parameters and on the status elevation of “noble areas” in the city, as expected by real estate entrepreneurs.

Although questionable, the referred text was approved by the City Council in the late of the night, with many amendments that were not even close to be read before its approval. The text ended up being the object of a claim issued by the Prosecutor because it did not meet the dispositions in the Statute of Cities about popular participation, among other reasons. Nevertheless, this process did not have practical effects, because the Prosecutor only won the claim four years later, when the Plan was already reviewed and based on the same former orientation. The review axis concerned the clear increment of urbanistic parameters set for soil use, which increased occupation intensity per zones, without presenting technical studies that would justify changes or, at least, the assessment of its impacts on urban, social and environmental factors ( Carvalho, 2013 ). The UDDP ended up sob judice, but the mayor only sent a set of proposals to the legislative power to recover plan dispositions and Soil Use and Occupation Bill – LOUOS, two months before the end of his administration. These dispositions and Louos were approved as an attempt to legalize and institutionalize the urbanistic changes sought in his administration.

Participation in the 2016 UDDP

UDDP elaboration in the administration of mayor Antônio Carlos Magalhães Neto (2012-2016) did not escape de rule implemented in the previously referred process. The 2008 Direction Plan was the object of more than one review between 2015 and 2016 due to the new management and political group in the City Hall. After all, it was not that new, since it marked the return of Antônio Carlos Magalhães’ family to the local power. The reviewed plans did not emerge too different from previous experiences.

However, at that time, the plan was introduced as part of a broader and more ambitious initiative, the so-called “Salvador Plan 500”, which was defined as a strategic plan for the next 25 and 30 years, when the capital of Bahia State will turn 500 years. On the other hand, the Direction Plan would be a mid-term instrument focused on urban development policies to be reviewed every eight years.4 Although the plan remained little permeable to dispositions in the Statutes of Cities about the relative democratization of urban management, claims and “judicialization” made the City Hall worried with the legal demands for participation requirements.

The first plan elaboration activities started in August 2014; in December of the same year, the City Hall hired the Economic Research Institute Foundation – Fipe, to elaborate technical studies necessary to substantiate the Plan and Louos reviews, as well as to necessary reviews in “ Plano Salvador 500”. In 2015, the municipal administration elaborated a Mobilization and Social Participation Plan – PMPS, which took into account the interested parts. These parts were the subjects of this process, they affected, or were affected by, the plan. Assumingly, “not just leaderships of society, but any interested citizen who did not feel represented or who did not have access to power structures”, should participate in the process ( PMS, 2015 , pp. 2 and 3).

Participation strategies proposed by PMPS concerned a set of activities qualified as of “formation”, “consultation”, “technical” and “political” character, with emphasis on (1) neighborhood workshops – the coordination of Salvador 500 was prone to work with “basic concepts of citizenship, environment and urban development, based on the embodiment of daily experiences by participants in their own environment in order to broaden the sight of citizens over the city”; (2) thematic forums with experts invited to discuss matters such as economic development, urban mobility or environment; (3) public hearings to discuss the UDDP Bill, which would be sent to the City Council; (4) public hearings conducted in the City Council before the Project was voted (ibid., p. 3). Based on records in meeting minutes and in testimonials recorded during the interviews, the City Hall had communicated that, at least, these meetings can be considered hasty and not enough to the conclusion of the project. According to Santos (2016) , the cycle of neighborhood workshops was basically limited to the assemblage of outdoors presenting generic content, rather than the date and location for the meeting, in some city areas.5 Public hearings also did not need to be advertised, information about their dates and locations were limited to the Official Gazette of the Municipality and to the website of the Plan. The interval between meetings ranged from eight months (between the first and the second meetings) to few hours (between the fourth and the fifth public hearings, which were carried out in different shifts, in the same day). The use of mass communication means (in this case, radio stations) started in the mid-cycle of the activities due to pressure from the Participa Salvador group.

Based on records in meeting minutes and recorded during the interviews, the activities were conducted in times when most people were at work; either the authoritarian attitude or the Plan coordination methodology followed former participation patterns. Plan presentations in the workshops and public hearings were treated as a sort of lecture; their coordinators assumed different knowledge levels between project poles: an active pole, which was represented by Plan coordination (in charge of outspreading information); and the passive pole, which received the spread information.6 Such issues were mainly marked by participants from popular social layers, such as a formed coordinator of the Federation of Neighborhood Associations of Salvador – Fabs, who has highlighted that:

City Hall mobilization was precarious. The municipal government could have put the local media in action to mobilize society entities and the local population. It was not done. With regard to the methodology, the county has failed, as well. First, because it did not minimally discuss a methodological procedure and, second, because it presented an ineffective and manipulating model. I refer to the calls for the public hearings, the neighborhoods were limited to discuss the “retail” issue, which led to a populist environment to list small construction sites in some neighborhoods. Therefore, it escaped the essential discussions about city structuring and planning. It worked to build a political hegemony between neighborhood leaderships based on the “coronelato” style, which was disguised with a modernity mask. Interventions by entities that produced technical, academic and political accumulation, such as IAB, Engineers Union, Architects Union, Research Groups of college institutes at UFBA, Uneb, IFBaiano, Fabs, environmentalist entities, Women’s rights entities, anti-racist struggle, LGBT movements, were taken into consideration in the process to discuss actions to disqualify the interlocutor in the relationship between the City Hall and society. (Interview 1 – Representative of the Federation of Neighborhood Associations of Salvador – Fabs, 2017)

Basic information for the debate were outspread through complex 300-500-page reports made available approximately 15 days before the public hearing phase; participants argued about the feasibility of reading them and of well understanding their content in such a short period-of-time. Based on such circumstances, it was not actually surprising that most of the time dedicated to these meetings was used to read and discuss the actions and to disputes related to the participatory process itself, to its methodology and effectiveness.

The public hearings started in March 2015; two claims have marked the first meeting. The first one was the demand presented by members of the audience to the mayor, they asked for the presence of Salvador City Council;7 the second one claimed the City Hall to try to favor “the clarity and objectiveness of announcements” during the conduction of the discussions about Plan activities in order to allow better content understanding, since people attending the meeting “have technical formation, or not” (PMS, Public Hearing Minute n.1, August 1st, 2015, pp. 1-3).

The second audience took place in April 15th, 2015; representatives of “Participa Salvador Movement” requested their dismissal and left the meeting, they claimed that there were less than 50 people in it, that neighborhood representatives were not in the meeting, that the “circumstances of the day” (demonstrations took the streets all over the country and a bus-driver strike) stopped people from going and that “the discussion deserved a larger audience”. Another participant, a college student, in order to support their demand, stated not to have seen any advertisement about the public hearing and that, for this reason, people were not aware of it. With respect to Neighborhood Workshops, she stated that “there was no discussion or explanation about UDDP”; moreover, “when somebody made a question or asked for facilitators’ help, they acted as ‘prosecutors’ of the City Hall and gave explanations that would excuse the City Hall from issues pointed out by local residents”. She also highlighted that, for many people, “it was the first time they heard about the Direction Plan and about soil use Bills, or even about the analysis of highlights and weaknesses of the locality”. Finally, she considered that “this administration takes the same path of the former one” (PMS, Public Hearing Minute n. 2, from April 15th, 2015, pp. 1-6). Yet, despite this and other claims, the meeting coordinator (Salvador Municipal Secretary) went on with the session by saying that all call rites were followed, within the correct time interval and due to respect to the ones who had attended the meeting.

Matters related to the debate and participation representativeness process repeated themselves throughout the other public hearings. The hearing scheduled for July 6th, 2015 had some participants who had mentioned the “anguish” caused by the small number of local residents attending these events; therefore, they asked for information about the communication plan set by the City Hall, so that they could clarify what would be the resources applied to it and the range of communication plans. The official representative stated that public hearings are not moments for interaction with social movements and, for this reason, it was necessary drawing another kind of event, such as neighborhood workshops, which would involve more people in the neighborhoods and that would, in fact, help the contact with their leaderships (PMS, Public Hearing Minute n. 6, from July 6th, 2015, pp. 1-6).

It is worth highlighting the hard time in computing the real number of people attending workshops because it was normal observing people “coming in and out” of the meetings or the mere signing of the attendance list. Santos (2016) estimated that there were 50-55 attendees to the first cycle and 6 individuals in the second cycle, on average; however, there were cases, such as that of the workshop carried out in Pau da Lima , that did not have more than 17 local residents in the last meeting. There was great audience variation in the public hearings, the number of participants was even smaller from the 1stto the 8thmeeting, when the presented methodology was defined and the technical studies were prepared; there was significant increase in this number from the 9thto 14thmeeting, which were dedicated to discuss the meeting minutes about the UDDP Bill. In fact, the discussion about the content of the Development Direction Plan took place in public hearings carried out in October 3rd, 2015(9th), October 5th, 2015 (10th), October 6th, 2015 (11th) October 7th, 2015 (12th), October 24th, 2015 (13th) – the discussion was over by October 26th, 2015(14th), i.e., within six sessions. The second public hearing was the emptiest one, due to the aforementioned reasons; the 14thone was the most crowded one, it gathered 275 participants. The thematic forums reached between 150 and 200 people, although they followed shape and methodology similar to those observed in academic seminars or professional congresses, namely: presentations and quite technical contents that only attract a very specific and differentiated audience.

The experience of discussing and approving Salvador UDDP in the City Council faced matters and dilemmas similar to those previously reported in public hearings carried out by the municipal executive power, namely: the demand of entities and some councilors lied on the fact that Public Hearing Rules should be debated in an assembly and on lack of representativeness of civil society entities, of local residents and councilors’ participation. Overall, public hearings counted on the participation of City Hall employees. The first public hearing took place in December 16th, 2015; one of the city councilors called the attention to the fact that the debate in the City Council should not repeat the mistakes observed in the experience of public hearings promoted by the City Hall: “The City Council should enhance the process performed in the City Hall […], otherwise, the process is going backwards” (City Council, Public Hearing Minute n.1, December 16th, 2015, p. 3).

The Planning Secretary advocated for the conduction of the sessions in course, its representative stated that “[…] this UDDP would be the most participatory in the country”. On behalf of the mayor, he stressed that the UDDP should “reflect consensus within society and highlight the role of the City Council in consolidating this target” (City Council, Public Hearing Minute n. 1, from December 16th, 2015, p. 3). This position was reinforced many times by the technical team, as well as by councilors from the same party of the mayor (City Council, Public Hearing Minute n. 2, from February 23rd, 2016, p. 1).

Councilors coordinating the sessions in the City Council called the attention to the innovation “Response Hearings” (Coordinators in this hearings answer to the presented suggestions) brought to the UDDP discussion in the City Council. They took into account that this mechanism would enable the “empowerment of society” due to popular participation, including the digital one”. According to records by the session coordination in the City Council, the democratic and representative character of the sessions would be expressed by the nomination of a PT party councilor as Commission president and of another councilor of the DEM party to write the Bill (City Council, Public Hearing Minute n. 16, from April 25th, 2016, p. 2).

One aspect deserved emphasis during the “response” sessions: the differentiation between contents that would have “technical” nature and “political” content carried out by session coordinators. As recorded in Public Hearing n. 14, it is necessary observing that “responses” did not approach the merit of the proposals, but just their adjustment”. This attitude repeated itself throughout several hearings. What was in the stake was the discussion of “technical” aspects. A member of the City Council technical team justified its position about a controversial aspect, he highlighted that “the Technical commission was not analyzing the fairness of the claims”, and that it should be defined in a different forum (City Council, Public Hearing Minute n. 14, April 7th, 2016, pp. 7-11).

But, who does make decisions about the content of Salvador Direction Plan? When members of the technical team were questioned about the participation of the Municipal Council in the approval process, they stated that “deliberation must take place at several levels” and cited Resolution n. 34 by the Ministry of Cities, by considering that “the Council is in charge of issuing guidelines to advise, but not to deliberate” (City Council, Public Hearing Minute n. 15, from April 14th, 2016, p. 7). Thus, city councilors are the ones who decide about the content of the Plan. But, which ones? First of all, it was decided by the Constitution, Justice and Final Writing Commission (CCJ) during the hearing that amendments would not be presented in the assemblies at the time to vote the Plan (City Council, Public Hearing Minutes n. 13, from March 28th, 2016, p. 1). Secondly, the presented contributions did not actually pass through the evaluation of the public hearing attendees. For example, one of the councilors criticized the fact that his amendments were not chosen, such as the suppressive amendment referring to Linha Viva , by stating that this via would create a toll point inside the city and it would be disapproved by the population, and it would cause deforestation” (City Council, Public Hearing Minute n. 18, May 23rd, 2016, p. 6).

Yet, this hearing recorded claims about the leak in the last meetings, but the “authorities” and representatives of periphery neighborhoods were absent, as well as questioned that many relevant aspects of the plan content were not more than debate topics. Finally, what was City Council’s participation in this process? In the public hearing scheduled to March 30th, when the Plan was going to be presented to the City Council, councilors did not show up. The list of councilors was read to make sure that they were absent and the hearing was finished: “Once again, the list of names of councilors was read and, again, there was not any of them in the meeting, and so the attendees decided that the object of the meeting was lost without them and the public hearing was declared over” (City Council. Public Hearing Minute n. 19, May 30th, 2016, pp. 1-2).

Finally, what is the Plan for? According to testimonies recorded in the minutes and during the interviews, the answer to this question depended on the viewpoint and on the involved interests. According to another participant, ‘if UDDP needed a time horizon, Bill n. 7.400 ‘would be on the ground’”. He recalled that the Basic Sanitation Plan developed by Professor Luis Roberto Moraes was attached to the 2004 and 2008 Plans, but nothing of it was put in place and, now, the exact same Plan was added to the minute in question. The Plan was broad enough to fulfill the interests of its elaborators (City Council, Public Hearing Minute n. 8, March 3rd, 2016, p. 9).

Briefly, the small permeability of the local power to the discussion process, the limited outspread of information and documents, the use of a language little accessible to common citizens, the methodology and the system of meetings have impaired the understanding and a broader discussion about the project and about the more significant matters in the game. Issues, propositions and amendments presented by participants were disqualified or not taken into consideration at all. According to the testimony by another councilor:

The process in the City Council, was similar to what happened at the executive power sphere, it was also complicated. The Legislative power did not sufficiently outspread the event, it set an intense schedule for the meetings, with two to three hearings a week, and it impaired people’s participation. The greatest public hearing took place in the City Council’s conference room, when they should have been decentralized. It did not provide elements to the population in order to allow an effective participation, just as it happened with the handbook with basic information about UDDP. Only few propositions presented in the public hearing were added to the project. In order to make it faster, the president of the council set a special commission by joining the Constitution and Justice, and Urban Budget and Planning commissions to vote the project, but it was supported by the internal regiment. It did not effectively incorporate the urbanists to the project. The amendments added to the text were exclusively selected by the president of the Constitution and Justice Commission! […] I consider that the 2016 UDDP once more responds to the interests of the real estate sector, and it can be shown by the changes in the parameters of construction potential that allow the increase in the size of buildings all over the city, mainly in the Atlantic seashore, which is the destiny of areas in the Atlantic seashore, the Old Downtown area and the Itapagipana Peninsula for Consortium Urban Operations, in which the public and private sector get associated to make investments. (Interview 2 – Councilor, 2017)

Under these circumstances, the Bill Project elaborated by the City Hall ended up being approved with all its dispositions and distortions. It promoted a selective standardization of urbanist instruments and enabled such a use that favors the interests of specific sectors, not mentioning the debate involving society and its propositions. Main questions, such as greater verticalization of the Atlantic seashore and the scale and location of the Consortium of Urban Operations, which were observed by most attendees, remained in the final text of the Bill Project and of the UDDP.8

According to Rebouças and Mourad (2016) , more than 40% of the total of all use-zones had its status increased, they all recorded maximum use coefficient, without taking into account their ability to support the infrastructure and the services or the possibility of beach shading and of obstacles for sea wind circulation, and of conditions allowing the formation of “heat islands”. The use of instruments such as onerous grant or Transcon was enforced without the definition of yielding areas and of receiving areas, which have allowed its use in all the city territory. The institutionalization of Consortium Urban Operations for the use of an exception regime in large scale areas of the urban territory started representing a “Blank check” to the interested companies. The municipal urbanism secretary himself, stated that “from now on, everything is allowed anywhere, except for the environmental protection areas, everything is allowed” due to the reduction in environmental protection areas and to the overall flexibilization of urbanistic rules after the approval of the new Louos ( A Tarde , August 14th, 2016, p. A-4). When he was questioned about what was effectively incorporated to the final version of the Plan due to society’s participation in it, Fabs’ representative stated that:

Just a little, in terms of propositions and meanings. We can register increase in the number of Zeis and in the so-called solidary aliquot that guides the ones promoting the greatest urban interventions to contribute to housing programs of social interest. However, despite the addition of these items, which have conceptually helped the best urban equity, their criteria and application process were not clear, and it can turn them into mere “dead letters” in the legislation. It is very common in the Brazilian culture […]. No doubt, the real estate capital set and guided the main guidelines in UDDP. It limited preservation and environmental conservation areas, and areas of socio-spatial processing for the poorest layers of the city. UDDP flows a speculation and growth plan applied to the action of real estate capital without taking into account the different social and racial interests, and the gender composition in the city. (Interview 1 – representative of the Federation of Salvador Neighborhood Associations – Fabs, 2017)

With regard to the interests of popular classes, the new UDDP only predicted the definition of 234 Zeis, which seemed to be an expressive number, but it did not define a temporal horizon for urbanistic projects and a budget for instruments and construction projects. Besides, the almost total of predicted Zeis is located in areas without infrastructure, close to other occupied areas, since it follows the logics of occupation and the persistence of segregation and socioeconomic inequality. Throughout the interviews, other testimonies also described similar conditions, for example, the statement of another active participant in the Plan elaboration process, who said:

UDDP did not incorporated anything of what was proposed by the popular sectors throughout the public hearing process. Actually, the incorporation was so small that, based on the size of the project and on the attack against the city, there was no incorporation at all. We can register the institution of new Zeis, for example, the one by Gamboa (traditional community), and the institution of Pedra de Xango, as patrimony, as cultural protection area. It was worsened by the fact that, in a black city like Salvador, the racial matter is not addressed by the Plan. And, in the arm wrestling, in the struggle between capital and popular sectors, who really won was the capital and workers have lost. Yet, and once again, the capital has won. We gave the coordinators of the Plan a sack of cement and a golden caterpillar for the way the plan was developed and benefited the capital. And we shouted, we called the press, as an attempt to show the meaning of the 2016 UDDP to citizens in Salvador City. (Interview 3 – activist of Bahia Homeless Movement – MSTB, 2017)

Some final considerations

The recent experience of Salvador UDDP elaboration converted the capital of Bahia State into a metaphor of the political emptying participation process and of what some authors qualify as PMDBization of politics in Brazil, in the last decade. Indeed, the recent advancements in the democratization process applied to UDDP elaboration found serious limits in the persisting inequality conditions, according to which Salvador is an example of the radicalization of participation instruments. It is so because of the dilution of political projects traditionally qualified as different within a context that captures the private interests of the public power and political emptying.

The referred phenomenon of PMDBization of politics is herein expressed by the construction of political aspects of governability aimed at ensuring the interests of social classes that have historically been in charge of great businesses in Salvador. Based on a significant economic and social condition, Salvador, similar to other capitals, institutionalized a UDDP model that does not define targets, does not estimate or define strategies, but that demands more basic technical assessments due to the decontextualized metropolitan insertion of Salvador and to its articulation with the national and international context. Moreover, it does not have development guidelines created to reverse the economic stagnation observed in the city. The Plan does not properly face mobility, sanitation, housing and environment matters by taking into consideration the availability of infrastructure and services or of environmental damages to make it possible achieving the densification and verticalization of certain areas of the city. It opens room for the conduction of Consortium Urban Operations in much more extensive inhabited areas in the city in an arbitrary way, without transparent operations, without a counter-part definition. Due to this and other reasons, UDDP did not contribute to overcome precariousness, poverty and inequalities, not even to ensure the right to the city, as expected.

As the example of what has been happening in many cities, the 2016 Salvador UDDP is translated into setbacks in the political-institutional configuration of civil society structure representations throughout the (re)democratization process – similar to the conversion of Salvador City Council into an advisor. Besides the vigorous participation of few urban entities, the plan construction process was an example of demobilization and instrumentalization of social forces and segments that, theoretically, would represent collective and diffuse interests. This process explains the reproduction of conventional participation methodologies that did not favor participation and interaction – the deliberate mess between instruments, such as opinion survey and participation, as well as lack of representativeness throughout the public hearings.

Despite the conduction of public hearings, there were no dialogue – expressed in the lack of return to part of the public power to demands and in the non-change of contents in the presented propositions. This scenario is the stage to reinforce traditional authoritarian behaviors and attitudes that are legitimized by political-institutional insertion and by the technical competence narrative. It is the environment translated into a democratic one, which legitimates and protects the old and modern corporative interests.

However, it cannot be said that the assessed process did not leave any positive aspect. Although they were the minority, some sectors and organizations got to mobilize and oppose the official guidelines and narratives by promoting a significant debate about conditions and issues experienced in the capital of Bahia State, by presenting propositions to their coping and, so, getting ready to new struggles for the right to the city. Besides, as highlighted in the beginning of the present study, issues observed throughout the assessed experience are not exclusive to Salvador, although they got stronger in the city. Actually, this experience shined light on how the conquest of participation and of the right to the city, as well as the advancements in democracy themselves, in Brazil, still have a long and hard way to go.


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1() It is necessary clarifying that surveys conducted by “Observatório das Metrópoles” about the programs of nominees to the City Hall of Fortaleza, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba and Porto Alegre, in the 2016 editions, have shown that few of them (affiliated to parties such as PCdoB, PSOL, PSTU or PT, and that often have the reduced chance to win the poll) reported to popular participation to the councils, whereas most of them emphasized the attraction of investments, entrepreneurship and urban competitiveness. Some studies have observed that popular participation and other innovative practices also have coped with resistance and/or opposed councilors worried with the preservation of traditional “clientelist” practices.

2() When this text was written, Avritzer did not have faced the impeachment process, what has been qualified as a coupe by most leftists and by the Labor Party, since it stopped the (re)democratization process he refers to.

3() The profile of this participant shows the prevalence of representatives of neighborhood associations and centers, students and public servants.

4() Testimony of the official Plan coordinator, according to the public hearing from July 11, 2015. Official Document of the City Hall also highlights the intention to “rescue the planning process in the long-run and guide development in Salvador towards a view of the future that is not the mere reproduction of nowadays dreamt tendencies, but the projection of a more promising scenario, built with the participation of society as a whole, in which inequality that have been for long featuring the Bahia capital to be gradually reduced and overcome” ( PMS, 2015 , p. 1).

5() According to Santos (2016) , PDDU and Louos must have built the fifth stage of Salvador 500. In practical terms, activities in this plan and urbanist legislation creation were mostly mixed to each other, and separation between projects became quite obscure, and it allowed the municipal executive power to consider part of the process to elaborate PDDU elaboration that, at first, were focused on Salvador 500, in the case of neighborhood workshops.

6() It is clear that there is a Coordination Announcement mentioned by Santos (2016 , p. 83), who highlights that, in the workshops, the population was informed about the concepts and challenges of the strategic planning and the City Hall would listen to the population about readings and expectations about their neighborhoods and the city. Different from the identification aimed by the Neighborhood Workshop’s Report, at least, it could be classified as a survey about what city of Salvador should be, but it was far from what could be considered a citizen participation in political management processes applied to the res publica.

7() The history of Salvador City Council is full of controversy. After its creation, it spent a long time working through calls. In February 2012, mayor João Henrique Barradas Carneiro enforced Bill n. 8197, which addressed Salvador Urban Development Direction Plan, and this Bill became an advisor of “soil use, housing, environmental sanitation and urban mobility planning and management, as well as example of the other matters that affect urban development […]” )PMS, Bill n. 8197 from February 6, 2012). According to Movimento Participa Salvador, “the Prosecutor (MP-BA) sued a Direct Claim of Unconstitutionality (Adin) against Bill n. 8197, n. 8378 and n. 8379 – all from 2012 and that have changed the PDDU (Bill n. 7400/2008) and in other aspects. The claim was sentenced correct by the Bahia Court, and these bills were considered unconstitutional’. Participa Salvador. Available at: . Accessed on: January 1st, 2017.

8() Throughout the hearings, many were the records that, while the Plan was being debated, the city hall had already triggered, in parallel, a Louos review that, theoretically, would depend on its overall definitions. It is worth highlighting that, it was a coincidence, That Consortium Urban Operations – OUCs – meet Manifestations of Private Interest issued by Odebrecht, which involved numerous and populous neighborhoods in Salvador.

Master Plan Assessments

CONSELHO DE ARQUITETURA E URBANISMO DA BAHIA – CAU/BA; Instituto de Arquitetos do Brasil. Departamento da Bahia – IAB; Sindicato de Arquitetos e Urbanistas do Estado da Bahia – Sinarq (2016). Nota técnica. Salvador.

NUNES, D.; SERRA, O. (2016). Projeto de Lei do PDDU de Salvador . Uma avaliação. Salvador.

A TARDE (2016). A nova cara da capital. Lei de Ordenamento do Uso e da Ocupação do Solo e obras de mobilidade mudam perfil de Salvador, p. A4.

PROJETO PARTICIPA; FÓRUM DA CIDADE É NOSSA; MOVIMENTO VOZES DE SALVADOR. (2016). Os 21 pecados capitais do PDDU de Salvador. (Projeto de Lei 396/2015). Documento elaborado a partir dos debates ocorridos nas Oficinas do Ministério Público e das contribuições do Projeto Participa de especialistas da academia, do Fórum da Cidade é Nossa e do Movimento Vozes de Salvador. Salvador.

Minutes of the Municipal Government of Salvador

PMS, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 1, de 2015; PMS, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 2, 2015; PMS, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 3, de 2015; PMS, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 4, de 2015; PMS, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 5, de 2015; PMS, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 6, de 2015; PMS, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 7, de 2015; PMS, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 8, de 2015; PMS, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 9, de 2015; PMS, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 10, de 2015; PMS, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 11, de 2015; PMS, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 12, de 2015; PMS, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 13, de 2015; PMS, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 14, 26 de outubro de 2015; PMS, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 15, de 2015; PMS, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 16, de 2015; PMS, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 17, de 2015; PMS, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 18, de 2015; PMS, Plano de Mobilização e Participação Social – PMPS, Salvador, 2015; PMS, Relatório I – Oficina de Bairros, Salvador, de Janeiro de 2015; PMS, Relatório II – Oficina de Bairros, Salvador, de Janeiro de 2015; Presidência da República, Estatuto da Cidade, lei n. 10.257/2001. Brasília.

Minutes of the City Council of Salvador

Câmara de Vereadores, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 1, de 2016; Câmara de Vereadores, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 2, de 2016; Câmara de Vereadores, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 3, de 2016; Câmara de Vereadores, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 4, de 2016; Câmara de Vereadores, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 5, de 2016; Câmara de Vereadores, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 6, de 2016; Câmara de Vereadores, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 7, de 2016; Câmara de Vereadores, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 8, de 2016; Câmara de Vereadores, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 9, de 2016; Câmara de Vereadores, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 10, de 2016; Câmara de Vereadores, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 11, de 2016; Câmara de Vereadores, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 12, de 2016; Câmara de Vereadores, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 13, de 2016; Câmara de Vereadores, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 14, de 2016; Câmara de Vereadores, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 15, de 2016; Câmara de Vereadores, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 16, de 2016; Câmara de Vereadores, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 17, de 2016; Câmara de Vereadores, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 18, de 2016; Câmara de Vereadores, Ata da Audiência Pública n. 19, de 2016.

Translation: this article was translated by Good Deal Consultoria Linguística.

Received: May 29, 2017; Accepted: September 24, 2019

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