Animazione Testata


The houses of Jardim Filhos da Terra

Slums are no longer temporary solutions for the need for housing, but are becoming permanent. The phenomenon of this state of informality as a solution to the urgent need for housing in an exponential growing economy has been present in different ages and has been studied by architects and urbanists throughout the history of architecture. Slums are present in most developing countries. Yet given that slums are a consistent reality in the urban fabric they need to be studied individually during their development, as if they were cells of a unique entity - the contemporary city. In the last two decades, there has been in-depth research on informal settlements. This research has focused both on the reasons for the phenomenon and on possible intervention methodologies. Research treats the slum as an integrated part of the contemporary city, studying it with the same tools as the formal ones.The research methodology used in ''Jardim Filhos da Terra'' combines the Saverio Muratori traditional survey method with modern tools of urban analysis. This was tested during a period of research in a favela of São Paulo in Brazil. São Paulo was chosen because the city has invested in in-depth research on this phenomenon and is making a strong effort to find a solution for the integration of the informal settlements into the urban fabric. From this survey it was finally possible to make a taxonomy of the 68 surveyed plots, and from there to hypothesize the informal urban development.The greatest result was the understanding of housing evolution within the plot throughout time. That is a tool enabling planners to make previsions for the development of this informal fabric.

The houses of Jardim Filhos da Terra

Del Bianco, Corinna

International Institute Life Beyond Tourism®




Defining informal settlements

An informal settlement consists of groups of people who occupy land for living purposes without having any legal claim to it and without conforming to codes and legal regulations. Squatting can be a conscious or unconscious housing movement. It can be caused by the need for housing in poor contexts, but also by political movements (Neuwirth, 2004). Slums are settlements which are characterized by informality and, according to UN-Habitat, lack at least of one of the following basic conditions for decent housing: adequate sanitation, water supply, durability, adequate living space.1


Urban survey research methods

The research methods used for this urban survey were the Saverio Muratori methodology on the one hand, and a multiplicity of studies on the society living in the neighbourhood on the other. The latter encompassed its socio-economic factors and the preserved cultural heritage. All of which were documented with drawings, a photo-essay, videos, interviews to the community and graphs. Saverio Muratori was an Italian architect and historian. He was born in Modena in 1910 but spent most of his life in Rome, where he died in 1973. He was a teacher at the University of Rome, and for a period (1950-1954) also at the IUAV of Venice (1950-1954). He was the architect for several urban projects for post World War II reconstructions, predominantly those of the INA-CASA plan for social housing. He was very important in defining a new methodology for urban studies. His research was in contrast with that of his colleagues at the University of Rome: the mistakes that he attributed to the Modern Movement were an absolute break with the past, and the consequent lack of understanding of the urban and environmental phenomena. From this perspective of the Modern Movement he identified the “crisis of civilization”. And to solve this “crisis of civilization” he proposed the application of a direct method aimed at understanding the existing fabric (Muratori, 1963)

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