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A theoretical-methodological contribution to the analysis of soft space and soft planning approaches: visions of theory and practice from the Lisboa-Portugal experience

Grant number: 22/16640-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2023
Effective date (End): March 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Urban and Regional Planning - Fundamentals of Urban and Regional Planning
Principal Investigator:Sandra Irene Momm Schult
Grantee:Igor Matheus Santana Chaves
Supervisor: Cristina Soares Ribeiro Gomes Cavaco
Host Institution: Centro de Engenharia, Modelagem e Ciências Sociais Aplicadas (CECS). Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC). Ministério da Educação (Brasil). Santo André , SP, Brazil
Research place: Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal  
Associated to the scholarship:21/09660-0 - Contemporary theories and the circulation of ideas in planning - the emergence of the soft spaces approach: a case study in the Metropolitan Region of Sorocaba within the macrometropolis of São Paulo, BP.DR


In recent decades, theoretical research in the field of international planning highlights the emergence of concepts such as Soft space and Soft planning, in opposition to the idea of Hard spaces and traditional statutory planning - linked to formally defined administrative boundaries and governmental structures. The debate addresses a discussion that, since the 1990s, has been advocating from a theoretical point of view a shift in the European planning system from Land-use planning to Spatial planning, influenced by the European mainstream on spatial development and territorial cohesion, state rescheduling and devolution. From this, our hypotheses, proposes that these theories, approaches and processes may be related and by systematizing their elements into a detailed analytical framework, we can deepen the approaches to a more complex understanding of the contemporary planning process. In this sense, this internship abroad project aims to build a theoretical and methodological framework for the understanding and recognition of contemporary planning processes called Hard/Soft Spaces and Soft Planning, in order to contribute with new interpretations to issues in the field of territorial planning and in the debate of metropolitan governance. To this end, it is developed, in the theoretical aspect, in deepening the approaches from the knowledge established in the results and advances of the thematic SOFTPLAN, of the institution based in Lisbon, Portugal. And, in the practical aspect, in the agencies and case studies of the region. Thus, qualitative methods will be developed, such as bibliographic review, case study, content analysis, coding, field visit and the creation of cartographies and schemes. (AU)

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