VOL. 7, NO. 2, PGS. 30–42


The Living Labs
A Non-Traditional Model of Local Development
Carmen Parra Rodríguez

Carmen Parra Rodríguez is Professor of International Law and Director of the Chair of Solidarity Economy at the Abat Oliba CEU University. She is the author of Empresas con conciencia.

Les Living Labs : Une perspective territoriale
Juan-Luis Klein and Bernard Pecqueur (eds.). L'Harmattan - Logiques Sociales, 2020.

This translation has been automatically generated and has not been verified for accuracy.

The traditional development paradigm is currently being criticised for its ineffectiveness in reducing poverty and inequality in the world. The current crisis of civilisation stimulates the search for territorial models to solve it that include an integrated spatial approach to address persistent social and environmental problems and that are in harmony with ecological and social transitions. Thus, in the 1960s, under Keynesian inspiration, redistributive regional development approaches and policies were implemented. Their aim was to bring the populations of regions considered disadvantaged closer to the income and consumption standards of richer regions.

From the late 1970s onwards, the questioning of Keynesianism and the adoption of neoliberal policies led governments to change their public policies, including those related to regional development, with the intention of reducing the differences between richer and poorer regions. It must be said that these policies were at the same time denounced by local actors as ineffective and too centralised, which gave rise in the 1980s to approaches inspired by egocentric development, autonomous development and self-development, all of which are variants of what has been called local development. This perspective mobilised actors in both developing and industrialised countries. In industrialised countries, in particular, it mobilised people in urban neighbourhoods affected by the changes in their industrial fabric brought about by industrial conversion and actors in rural areas affected by demographic and economic decline.

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