Abstract submitted to the Theme: Urban space and grounds for optimism

Interdisciplinary Research Conference
Brazil: The Land of the Future?
Aarhus University, Dinamarca, de 12 a 14 de março de 2015
Theme: Urban space and grounds for optimism
Abstract submitted by Angela Gordilho Souza
Architect,Professor Dra. at Universidade Federal da Bahia - UFBA
Programa de Pós-Graduação em Arquitetura e Urbanismo
Do the Brazilian favelas have a future for the right to the city?
The Brazilian metropolises have grown into an accelerated and concentrated urbanization process, in a great inequality context that includes lack of social opportunities such as income, education, supply of land and housing, besides inadequate urban environment and infrastructure conditions. The results configure an intense socio-spatial segregation and urban exclusion. In this context, many poor neighborhoods were raised on the city’s outskirts and in the interstices of the old central areas, without appropriate parameters and public policies. They constitute a huge universe of the many slums, villages, invasions, tenements houses and other improvised housing provision, although gradually accumulating significant individual investments, which will persist for a long time ahead. Presently, among the total of 202 million inhabitants in Brazil, 84% are urban population and almost half of that are lives in major cities, where the slums’ population ranges from 30% to 60%. Urban policies developed until then were innocuous concerning the transformation for better cities. Between 1960/80 the proposal to eradicate the slums, transferring the population to peripheral urban sets, was not socially successful, intensifying segregation. The remaining slums were densified and many others have emerged. The democratization process brought gains into the Constitution of 1988, followed by the Statute of the City in 2001, on the guarantee of social rights for land and housing. Since then, there were attempts for inclusive policies, with advances and setbacks. Do the Brazilian favelas have a future? Understanding future as positive changes within the described context, the work to be presented brings to discussion the possibilities that are being experienced currently by the social movements towards the right to the city in Brazil. In this sense, the role of the public University is fundamental. The proposal focuses on recent experience of Professional Residency in Architecture, Urbanism and Engineering at the Federal University of Bahia and its developments. (www.residencia-aue.ufba.br)
Abstract submitted by  Heliana Faria Mettig Rocha, Assistant Professor, UFBA
Architect, Professor MSc. at Universidade Federal da Bahia - UFBA
LabHabitar - Programa de Pós-Graduação em Arquitetura e Urbanismo
Observing Slums in Brazil: humanitarian network is a type of resilience?
Observing ‘Vila Brasilândia’ in São Paulo and ‘Nova Esperança’ in Salvador, both slums in Brazil, we can identify a kind of resilience, still latent, which can be directed to more successful collective solutions. They have in common the proximity to dams that supply significant part of the water to these metropolitan areas, which would require high restrictions of contact by the residents to avoid the risk of contamination. Vila Brasilândia has a former group of inhabitants, health and environmental agents, and public school teachers who meet in a cultural space of the community, focusing a transition initiative to a more sustainable living. Nova Esperança, with a strong community association, now on its second generation, had preserved part of the originally occupied territory to collective functions such as education, health and leisure. The text shows two stories permeated by exclusion and constant social impacts that raised joint creative actions to ensure survival. Extreme proximity of houses, territory’s difficulties and lack of basic infrastructure promote insalubrity when added to ‘social trauma’ inherent of these populations, which violates the ‘right to the city’, the ‘human rights’ and the ‘right to environment’. Instead of promoting more violence and disagreement, it is important to notice true humanitarian network which is being developed in people’s daily lives and places as a valuable resource: neighborly relations, mutual protection, respect and brotherhood, which have been strengthened by local organization concerned with social, economic and environmental issues. These communities need to be viewed differently to take ownership of this valuable resource, making them stronger, recovering self-esteem and the ability to overcome challenges, with more respect from the people, government and international support. Interdisciplinary organizations providing technical assistance to local leaders can facilitate local development plans by self-management combined with ascending and descending political actions to the improvement of life.

Português, Brasil