São Paulo

Occupations – A Pedagogy of Confrontation – Informal Building Occupations in São Paulo’s Central Neighborhoods

Authored by: Alexandre Apsan Frediani , Beatrice De Carli , Benedito Roberto Barbosa , Francisco de Assis Comarú , Ricardo de Sousa Moretti

The Routledge Handbook on Informal Urbanization

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  January  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138183889
eBook ISBN: 9781315645544
Adobe ISBN:


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The city center of São Paulo is increasingly a key site for local housing movements to challenge the rules and practices of spatial injustice in Brazil. In a context where housing for low-income groups is in short supply and, critically, continues to be characterized by highly skewed social and spatial distribution, informally occupied buildings have emerged as laboratories for the production of novel ways of inhabiting the city. Using the lens of ‘pedagogy of confrontation’, this chapter examines the practices and outcomes of one particular occupation: Ocupação Marconi, where, since 2012, 130 households have been inhabiting the building Edificio Manoel in central São Paulo. The chapter argues that ongoing inner city occupations demonstrate possible alternatives to the prevailing modes of conceiving and imagining urban change, and urban renewal specifically. As such the chapter outlines an approach to regeneration that engages processes of self-production and self-management as a means to achieve dignified homes and contest exclusionary urbanization.

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