Low income housing production in the neighborhood of Santa Ifigenia in Sao Paulo, Brazil

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This paper deals with the analysis of the production of Social Housing provided by private investors and public agencies in the neighborhood of Santa Ifigenia, a neighborhood located downtown São Paulo, State of São Paulo, Brazil. The time span corresponds to the administration of former mayor of the city, Gilberto Kassab, between March 2006 and December 2012. The studied area corresponds to 10 blocks defined as Special Zones of Social Housing Interest (ZEIS). The ZEIS were created with the aim of controlling land value in certain areas of the city in order to be accessible to low-income people. The area is a very deteriorated portion of downtown Sao Paulo and, despite being occupied by tenement housing, it is in a historic district surrounded by areas where the land value is high due to the full urban infrastructure and job offer. Plans to revitalize the area were strengthened during Kassab municipal administration. However, the private sector resists to participate in the process because it believes that the area designated for low income housing is too large (about 25% of the total) and that this discourages private investments. Developers have been pushing the municipal government to change the zoning of this area and to designate the ZEIS as a predominantly commercial area. The area adjacent to the ZEIS has already been transformed and has been receiving significant investments from the public sector, such as the restoration of the Luz Train Station and the creation of the Museum of the Portuguese Language (partially destroyed in a fire in December 2015 and now undergoing restoration), the construction of a concert hall at Julio Prestes Train Station, and the creation of Estação Pinacoteca Exhibition Hall.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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