• Security, Resilience and Participatory Urban Upgrading in Latin America and the Caribbean
    by TINA HILGERS,  

    In theory, security and resilience in contexts of violence and crime are improved by participatory urban upgrading. Yet, upgrading practices actually demonstrate how vulnerabilities to violence, insecurity and crime are reproduced by state–society and intra?community power hierarchies. On the one hand, the priorities and perspectives of politicians and bureaucrats continue to take precedence over the needs and demands of residents of marginalized communities, undermining participation. On the other hand, the internal socio?political structures of marginalized communities complicate the capacity and willingness of residents and external state actors to engage with each other. The result is that upgrading programmes are not particularly successful in ordering development and security or in creating resilience. Internal processes have a greater impact on residents’ choices in their daily struggles to survive and thrive, but the resilience they create is limited because power and resources tend to be centralized and sometimes linked to crime groups. This article uses the cases of Kingston (Jamaica) and São Paulo (Brazil) to highlight these power hierarchies and how they impede the resilience project of participatory urban upgrading processes in contexts of crime and violence.