It Is All Done: An Experience of Teaching Urban Design in a Squatter Settlement in Recife, Brazil.


This paper presents the experience of teaching students of Architecture to negotiate urban design concepts in order to intervene in a poor neighbourhood.

The Favela of Santa Terezinha 1, a former squatter settlement is at present located beside a prosperous Shopping Centre and surrounded by middle class neighbourhoods. Its main asset is the location, alongside an important avenue that links the North area of the metropolitan region to the city centre and South neighbourhoods.

The students aiming to develop an urban design proposal were faced with a cultural problem: if considering the neighbourhood as a squatter settlement, it was very much improved, and as they said: it was all done. But considering its insertion with the surroundings and the city, the area is stigmatised and the dwellers did not profit from the middle class interface.

The group discussed the cultural, social and spatial values experienced in the city and how they are embedded in the built environment. The students were guided to recognise different actors and agencies and their interests in the area. Groups were formed to \"assume roles\" in order to clarify social, economic and ideological logic of each agent and their real possibility to negotiate.

A workshop with international consultants was held, where a joint urban design proposal emerged. This paper discusses the results, as well as the main difficulties in understanding urban design as a negotiating tool of social, cultural, spatial and economic issues. A multidimensional conceptual model or urban negotiation was proposed as a paradigm to design.


TIA 2000, Third International Conference, Sustainable Building for the 21st Century, Oxford, UK. pp. 8

It Is All Done: An Experience of Teaching Urban Design in a Squatter Settlement in Recife, Brazil.

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