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Water and sanitation in the Buenos Aires metropolitan region: Fragmented markets, splintering effects?

Abstract : This paper discusses the provision of water and sanitation services and the related urban impacts in Buenos Aires circa 2005. The first part of the paper focuses on the metropolitan region (BAMR) which is larger than the area served by the Aguas Argentinas S.A. (AASA) concession (i.e. the capital and its conurbano). It highlights a form of institutional fragmentation that is reflected in the diverse management practices of the numerous service providers and results in differentiated levels of and access to services. The paper discusses the technical, economic and regulatory factors that have historically resulted in this institutional fragmentation. The second part of the article focuses on AASA's water concession agreement. it demonstrates that, although the agreement had an in-built splintering logic, its implementation led to a more "integrated approach" based on the "reality on the ground". On the whole, the conclusion regarding the application of the splintering urbanism concept to Buenos Aires is a mixed one and depends on the scale of observation. Although at regional level (BAMR), a form of "institutional fragmentation" Would appear to be obvious, it is the result of a long and complex historical process and, while recent neo-liberal reforms in service provisions have "cemented" this fragmentation, they did not actually cause it. If we take the AASA service area in isolation, the trend in the decade following the contracting out of the service has been one of improved service provision and access-although this was not achieved through increased integration of the supply system. Finally, in the case of the Buenos Aires metropolitan region, the splintering urbanism thesis defended by Marvin and Graham needs to be nuanced in several significant ways. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Soumis le : lundi 25 juin 2012 - 12:33:50
Dernière modification le : mercredi 26 février 2020 - 19:06:03

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Sarah Botton, Bernard de Gouvello. Water and sanitation in the Buenos Aires metropolitan region: Fragmented markets, splintering effects?. Geoforum, Elsevier, 2008, 39 (6), pp.1859--1870. ⟨10.1016/j.geoforum.2008.08.003⟩. ⟨hal-00711598⟩

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