Although Brazilian housing policy has historically focused upon upgrading and regenerating informal settlements, (urbanização), since 2009 the prioritisation of mass housing has led to social exclusion and spatial segregation across the country's urban peripheries. Using a combined ethnographic and geospatial analysis, we provide a critical analysis of MCMVE (Minha Casa Minha Vida Entidades), a community-based housing programme that alleges the use of autogestão-collective urban management organised around an ethos of social transformation. We find this claim to be misleading. Although MCMVE ostensibly increases access to housing, it is encouraging residents to leave established, well located settlements and relocate to isolated, peripheral tracts of land. Our study emphasises the need to reconsider how MCMVE might more productively assimilate autogestão and mass housing in the future.
This article examines the Brazilian mutirão, an incremental social housing model that was prolific across the Global South since the late 1970s, and linked to right to the city movements in Brazil. I make three arguments for guiding the mutirão's contemporary translation. First, incremental housing models, and the mutirão in particular, are a form of architecture production that reproduces sociospatial segregation. Second, this unevenness was widely debated in the 1970s, yet generally forgotten or ignored by the discipline of architecture. Third, drawing on a large scale study of incremental housing in São Paulo (NSF#1513395), I argue that the mutirão’s most recent variations reveal incremental housing’s actual agency, beyond typological historicism. Doing so can help the work of architecture to transform and better serve contemporary housing issues globally.
This report was prepared at the conclusion of a two-year study about the sociotechnical impacts of slum upgrading in informal settlements in São Paulo, Brazil