Urban entrepreneurs and the prodution of residential space: the ‘Condomínios-Clube’ in the South of Natal (RN)
This paper addresses the reasons that led to the spread of ‘Condomínios-clubes’ in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte state, Brazil, as well as the strategies put forward by urban entrepreneurs to promote the transformation of residential space in the city. The main result of this process is the consolidation of urban segmentation, which is a crucial element in the relationship between capital accumulation and production of urban space. Spatial innovation and its dissemination (convention), promoted by urban entrepreneurs in order to maximize profits, generates, as a rule, a certain homogenization of residential space; in this case, through the promotion of ‘Condomínios-clubes’. Based on authors such as David Harvey and Pedro Abramo to analyze the theoretical background, it is possible to understand the relationship between urban spatial form and capitalist development. In addition to a literature review, the methodology of this study also included open interviews with real estate managers in order to consider the relation between the built environment (housing stock) and the hegemonic discourse that seems to guide the residential market in the city. The results clearly show that this discourse tends towards a common objective; there is a convergence in the thinking and practice of real estate agents regarding the location and characteristics of each sort of real estate development. This has caused a sociospatial homogenization of certain neighborhoods at the expense of the rest of the city.