With the recent military occupation of the Complexo da Maré, Brazilian and international media have turned their attention to this group of favelas in Rio’s North Zone. Yet Maré and its residents are so often mischaracterized in the same fashion: helpless, desperate and violent. “The notorious Maré shanty town” is, reads an AFP communiqué widely distributed internationally, “a haven for organized crime and one of the city’s most dangerous places.” Local coverage was often no less skewed, with Rio-based O Globo describing it as “one of the most violent regions in the city,” in which, passively, “residents hope for days of peace” following the arrival More >
In the dense built environment of favelas, spatial priority is given to housing. Public spaces, then, develop informally out of the leftover places in the urban landscape. Public streets and staircases are adopted as places to meet, discuss and hang out. Additionally, the private realm often extends into the public sphere, resulting in social spaces that include rooftops, terraces and doorways which provide these same functions. These spaces are the residents’ Third Place, ‘great good places’ where everybody knows your name and regulars often meet. It exists beyond the primary place of home and the secondary place of work, offering More >
Book Review: Cidade de Deus–Working with Informalized Mass Housing in Brazil by Marc Angélil and Rainer Hehl
Cidade de Deus–Working with Informalized Mass Housing in Brazil is a 2013 publication by Marc Angélil and Rainer Hehl, in collaboration with Something Fantastic, presenting a researched-based design study by the Master of Advanced Studies in Urban Design program at the ETH Zurich. Providing a case study of City of God, from historical research to an analysis on how CDD (by its Portuguese acronym) developed, from its beginnings as a planned housing project to one of Brazil’s most famous favelas, the book unveils the actual architectural processes and interfaces of the formal/informal relationship in the neighborhood.
The military dictatorship in Brazil began More >
Last week, Solar Cities Solutions visited the greater Rio area to continue their efforts to build biodigesters in up to four favelas prior to the 2014 World Cup. During this visit the team completed the first set of biodigesters in Niterói that will serve a school in one of the communities affected by the tragic landslides of April 2010. Solar Cities Solutions worked on the Niterói site with Architecture for Humanity (who are concurrently constructing the ninety-person day care center the biodigesters will be utilized by), the future head of the school and local environmental engineers and architects.
Biodigesters are an ancient technology, historically More >
On Sunday March 30, Military Police forces officially occupied Complexo da Maré, Rio’s largest favela complex with 16 communities and over 130,000 residents. According to Google News the event was reported over 270 times in the international press, with agency reports published widely by media outlets all over the world. AFP’s coverage, published by by Al Jazeera, Yahoo!, Australia’s news.com.au, China Post and many more, reads: “The swiftly conducted dawn operation was the latest attempt to drive drug gangs out of the notorious Maré shanty town, a haven for organized crime and one of the city’s most dangerous places.” The report describes the police operation, More >