The production of common spaces in buildings of Vila Viva at ´aglomerado da serra´, Brazil

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The production of space in Brazilian ‘favelas’ is spontaneous, continuous and self-produced -and often, self-built. There is a diversity of uses of public and private spaces, such as everyday life, work and play. The occupation process is precarious and requires an active procedure in interaction among neighborhood residents to improve common facilities. The existence of the ‘favela’ comes from the process of exclusion of the working class in Brazilian cities. Belo Horizonte, capital of one of the most populous states in Brazil, is a planned city that was only established 119 years ago, and yet has multiple illegal occupations. Since the beginning of its construction there was no space in the urban zone for the builders. In the history of the city, the state has tried to change ‘favelas’, with removals or transformation of the spaces where poor people live. In 2005, the construction works of the Vila Viva Program for urbanization begins in ‘Aglomerado da Serra’, one of the biggest ‘favelas’ in the city. It includes the paving of streets -most of them less out of a necessity for the population and more so as a municipal mandate, in order to remove a large part of dwellers of low socioeconomic status -, creation of parks -that prohibited popular access and were abandoned augmenting water supply, sewage collection and the construction of buildings. The buildings were constructed to resettle a small part of the original dwellers of ‘Aglomerado da Serra’ that were removed from their houses. The production of spaces is a heteronomous process, as it is with formal city.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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