Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Social Innovation as a Driver of Urban Transformation? The Case of Planning Approaches in the Dominican Republic

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Abstract:  This article assesses the role of social innovation (SI) as a driver of urban transformation through the case-based analysis of an ambitious social housing urban project in the Dominican Republic, specifically in the emblematic slum La Barquita, in the heart of northern Santo Domingo. This project was led by a dedicated public body, URBE, which is in charge of the coordination of several institutions and the management of the community participation. Since La Nueva Barquita integrates dimensions regarding the satisfaction of human needs, change in social relations, and increase of citizens’ sociopolitical capabilities, it may be considered a socially innovative initiative in the territorial development discussion. The article builds first on the literature on SI by drawing attention on governance and institutional structures in specific urban contexts. Based on a series of semi-direct interviews, it then focuses on the analysis of key moments regarding the definition, implementation and evaluation of the institutional dimension of the project from its launching in 2013.

Keywords:  governance; institutions; planning approaches; social innovation; urban transformation



© Abdelillah Hamdouch, Andiel Galvan. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.