Publication Details

25 Jun 19

Finance as technocratic agent in urban development.

Authors: DÖRRY Sabine.


Current city rankings, cities’ global advertising campaigns and large- scale urban development dynamics with iconic ‘trophy’ buildings, among others, suggest a somewhat schizophrenic trend in contemporary urban development. Cities take much pride in scoring high as the globe’s most affluent places. Yet, they pay a high price for doing so by conceding to the powers of a planning ‘technocracy’, whose activities often intensify the inequalities of living conditions and the unaffordability of housing, to name but a few. This chapter explores the impact of a specific type of economic elite that should be included in the equation of technocracy on contemporary urban planning: the financial and advanced business services (FABS) such as legal, tax, property and other advisory firms – the ‘technicians’ who keep the financial capitalist system afloat.

Reference: DÖRRY Sabine. Finance as technocratic agent in urban development. In: Mike Raco, Federico Savini (eds.) Planning and Knowledge. How new forms of technocracy are shaping contemporary cities. Policy Press, 2019, pp. 115-126.

Finance industry,
Economic development