Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Staff Profile

Laura Pinzon Cardona

Project title:  Citizen participation, collective action and digital media for spatial justice: the case of Manizales, Colombia.
Supervisors: Professor Geoff Vigar, Dr. Sebastian Weise and Dr. Peter Kellett, School of Architecture Planning and Landscape

Sponsors: REA Newcastle University

My research focuses on current processes around citizen participation, collective action and activism concerning urban planning in Manizales – Colombia. At the same time, it examines the local roles and uses of digital media, as well as more traditional media, for self-organisation, collaboration, co-production of knowledge, and actions in three socio-territorial movements pursuing more just and inclusive ways to build and discuss the city. Theoretical discussions and empirical findings around concepts such as spatial justice, transgressive citizenship and digital media’s transformative power, guide the research analysis.
While the academic debate around new media communication and urban development in Latin America increases, the need for studies at a city and neighbourhood scales becomes more relevant, particularly in contexts that, in principle, encourage digital innovation and public participation, as in the case of Colombian cities.
Using an ethnographic methodology, including over a year of nethnography or digital ethnographic exercises, with interviews and interactive exercises about the perception of participation in Manizales, the research aims to contribute to the regional and international discussion about the possibilities and limitations of digital media in improving, deteriorating or affecting, citizen participation in urban development.

Pinzon, L. (2013). Beyond connectivity. The impacts of social media in urban development. Working Paper 160. Development Planning Unit – The Bartlett. University College London.

Spanish, English