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Challenges for urban planning teaching: possible paths through community outreach university projects

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In Brazil, experts involved with urban planning -planners, architects, urbanists, economists, lawyers, etc. - have a constant challenge to confront two divergent realities: a legal city, consolidated by the implementation of official (legalized) urban settlements, generally located in central areas, designed for middle and upper classes housing; and an illegal city, with lower classes dwellings as favelas and illegal (or irregular) settlements located usually in the peripheral portions of the municipalities. In large cities and metropolises access to housing by the lower income population usually occurs through housing in favelas or through self-built residence in illegal peripheral settlements. According to the 2010 Census 84% of the Brazilian population lived in cities (161 million inhabitants), at least one third of this population lives in precariousness or irregularity conditions. In a country with continental dimension, Brazilian urban planners have the constant challenge to deal with a reality with specific and peculiar characteristics that differ widely between its various regions and metropolitan areas. In this sense this paper wants to bring to the debate the following question: how teach urban planners and urbanists to be able to face the challenges presented by an urban reality of extreme irregularity and inequality? Based on the analysis of recent community outreach experiences carried out in Porto Alegre -Faculty of Architecture of Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (FAUFRGS), and in São Paulo -Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of University of São Paulo (FAUUSP) this paper intends to explore the teaching potential of the urban projects operated outside the classroom. We understand that on the search for the construction of a sustainable habitat the teaching of urban planning has to pass through a knowledge based on real experiences and direct observation of the complexity of the urban phenomenon.
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Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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