Digital Scholars in Practice – Situated Data

Hello, so thank you for coming out on this beautiful lunch hour, I’m
Kristine Stiphany, I am a National Science Foundation postdoctoral
fellow here at the School of Architecture, and my talk today is about how
Architecture meets the city, and how people influence that interface. So,
I use geospatial methods to understand where phenomena is happening in the
city, so on the left you see a map of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and where the informal
settlements that we’ll be talking about are located. So in the dark right, you see
loteamentos and favelas. I use geospatial methods to look at distribution of
phenomena. I also use ethnography to understand the political implications of
what is happening in cities, and why technological choice occurs the way that
it does in particular places, and when buildings meet the ground. I’ve been
studying these relationships in Brazilian informal settlements since my tenure as
a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Sao Paulo in 2008, and then as a
project architect for a slum upgrading project in Sao Paulo. Since that time,
I’ve come to recognize that one of the most interesting dimensions of self-
building practices, these building practices that structure informal
settlements, is not necessarily the unit of housing in itself, but its
evolutionary trajectory, so how it changes. What’s been most surprising
of late is that in parallel with this emerging data revolution, this urban
data revolution, the city is being transformed through the digital
tools through which we use to study it. However, those tools have yet to calibrate
to the parts of the city that are changing the most, so simply put, my argument is
that our urban data revolution needs new inputs, not more inputs. So today,
I’m going to talk a bit about a project in Brazil where we are attempting to
create new data inputs. My preliminary objective has been to grasp a finer grain
of data that derives from the built-in social environments of informal
settlements. So I’m going to structure this talk by first talking about half-
houses and core houses, these catalysts for informal settlements that
we’ve heard about through our recent Pritzker Prize winner, talk about the
research, scope, and objectives, then I will focus the talk most profoundly
on the digital tools that I use to link ethnographic and urban methods.
I’ll then discuss some of the limits of data for interfacing and studying
the wicked problems that confront cities in the global South, and offer a few
concluding remarks for thinking about how these kinds of methods intersect
with design. So, who’s familiar with half-houses? Aravena’s, okay,
so which is the half-house? Anyone? It’s not a trick question.
So they’re all half-houses. (laughter) So even though this model seems-
Aravena’s half-houses, this half-house, but they’re all half-houses. Even though
this model seems very innovative and new, it’s actually one that was brought
online in the 1970s by the World Bank, so this core house appealed to both
bottom-up grassroots movements, because it involved the incremental
construction of housing, as well as to international aid agencies that were
looking to develop housing cheaply. So what is known as the Mutirão,
or self-help, and core and half-houses shaped one of the most significant
paradigm shifts in international development for the global South,
or third-world, or developing world, and it’s pushed is shift toward the
upgrading of informal settlements, so we moved away from displacing
and eradicating informal settlements in whole, now we do it in part, but
we shifted more toward- development shifted more toward the upgrading
of informal settlements, and there are many debates around this topic, but
the use of data today is directed toward refining those upgrading approaches. But one of the most interesting parts of these core house schemes was that they
were not only a technological solution, but designed to be a social solution,
and so in many instances, communities, informal settlements that had formed in
the 1960s and ’70s evolved through the collective construction of housing, and
these community associations have evolved over the last three decades, and so you
can see on the left here, “Mutirão e Autogestão”, ‘autogestao’ is most
significantly situated within the work of Henri Lefebvre, and it really speaks to
this idea that came through the 1980s Brazilian urban reform movement that
to build the city is to change the city, and develop one’s self, and so these
community organizations in many cases now do different things, they
deal with women’s rights, they deal with environmental degradation,
but the point is that this housing system has evolved social systems over time,
and those social systems have changed. What I’m gonna argue is that the new
form of autogestao relates to the digital movement, yet they lack the tools
through which to make those, or complete those connections. And so a little
context, there are three things to know, four main things to know about Brazilian
informal settlements, just as a background. There are two main types,
favelas, and loteamentos, you saw this in the map at the beginning. Favelas
have an irregular morphological pattern, they’re composed of core house
structures, and self-built structures that have not benefited from any
technical assistance. They look like this, this is the Heliopolis favela
in Sao Paulo. The second type is called a loteamento, so you can see
loteamentos have a much more regular form. Loteamentos were actually the
first informal settlements in Sao Paulo, this is different than Rio, where favelas
were the first type, but in Sao Paulo, loteamentos emerged in the 1940s,
and they’re essentially illegally subdivided little peripheral settlements,
and so a land surveyor went out, subdivided the land, and filled it
illegally, so they have a more regular morphology. Today, most informal
settlements are hybrid of these two types. So, the two cases that I’ve been
studying for the last eight years are Heliopolis in Sao Paulo, one is-
Heliopolis is an inner ring favela, so it’s located 11 kilometers from the
city center, Sao Francisco is a peri-urban situation. It started as a loteamento,
it’s located 22 kilometers from the city center, but the point of this slide is to
show you through the coloring that these informal settlements have been upgraded
excessively over the last 30 years, so not only are there two different types
of informal settlements, they’ve been successively upgraded by government
interventions, and because of political volatility, those upgrading interventions
are never the same, they just flip-flop. So, this picture shows, this image shows
one informal settlement, Sao Francisco, and the myriad of development approaches
that have been applied to the area since the 1980s. So in the foreground, you
see, these are half-houses or core houses, here and here, these were probably
building kits that were provided, and here you would probably have an inner core
house that was constructed, and families construct the entire house over time,
so this is 1970s, 1980s, these are Cingapuras, so the Cingapuras coincided
with a shift away from self-help in the 1990s, toward an urban management
approach to development, in parallel with neo-liberalism and neo-liberal
restructuring, here are Cingapuras, and then the other development approach,
the most recent approach, is called, ‘Urbanization of favelas’, and these are
infilled boutique housing projects that are inserted within the Cingapuras
and the self-help, so the larger point is that these are very highly-hybrid
situations, that have been successively upgraded over time. Approximately
50% of all informal settlements in Sao Paulo have been upgraded, so we’re
not talking anymore about these untouched areas. So the big urban
development problem today is that despite the work that has been done
in informal settlements on the part of social movements, and on the part of
the government, and on the part of technology, in politics, nothing has
been evaluated or assessed in it’s nexus, so we don’t know about the
relationships between these building types, so there have been studies about
the Cingapura, about Mutirao, these self-help types, but nothing about their
relationships, and so the challenge of consolidated settlements is how to
actually build and develop in them when you have such a mix, which one is the
model? There’s also a question that people related, or studying urban
development, international development for decades have been concerned with,
the relationship between physically upgrading an area, and the extent to
which this has not led to connections between residents and broader channels
of social mobility. Also, community empowerment, how does redevelopment
actually empower people, so the point is that data infrastructures are
uneven, the urban development processes aren’t capturing this finer grain of data
that relate to informal settlements, so this is one quote from Arlete Persoli,
who’s down on the right here, and I finished my doctoral work and she
said to me, “you know, we need something more concrete, to say ‘look, there’s
something here, and it needs to be documented'”, and so this lack of
finer-grained, or what I call situated data, is something that’s recognized by
emerging movements, within science and technology studies, and it’s
recognized by the people themselves, and so the research objective of a
project that I’m working on right now, is to merge empirical data and
ethnographic data, so understanding where and what of housing development,
and what the meaning is, and so as a background to this study, the
study is a two-year postdoctoral grant, that I wrote in 2015, and this
grant is located here at the School of Architecture, funded by the National
Science Foundation, and I chose to work here because the grant permits
you to, or wants you to work with two mentors, so I have one of my mentors
here today, Steven Moore, and my other mentor is Peter Ward, over at the School
of Public Policy, so for the last year and a half, we’ve been working together to
undertake a project in Sao Paulo, and the objectives are to produce new data,
or situated data, as well as synthesize the data into spatial forms that can be
applied to urban design and development. The research has three phases, and I’m not
going to focus on all of them, but it began with the community engagement
process in two communities in Sao Paulo that I’ve been studying since 2010.
It then went on to a data collection process, and analysis and digital tools
phase, so I’m gonna constrain my talk to the data collection and analysis
and digital tools phase. There are three main ways that I’m using digital
technologies to study the relationship between housing and cities. So one,
data collection and fieldwork, coding, and application and analytical maps.
Data collection and field work involves a combined survey questionnaire and
post-occupancy analysis of approximately 1,000 housing units across the two
settlements that I described earlier, Heliopolis and Sao Francisco. These areas
were chosen because they’re the only informal settlements in the city of Sao
Paulo that have been upgraded four times, and are now going to be upgraded a
fifth time, so they share that in common. They’re very different because of their
spatial situation, as I mentioned, one is 10 kilometers from the city center,
the other is 22 kilometers, and the extra 12 kilometers makes a world of difference,
as I’ll talk about at the end. We used a weighted sample among different
development types, and a two-step random selection process to select the housing
units. Coding and 2D models helps us to understand the housing patterns and
typology studies, and then application and analytical maps are most useful
for providing feedback loops between the community partners with whom
we’re working, in the field, and also generally, and with the city of Sao
Paulo. And so the first- as a backdrop to the digital tools, we first constructed
maps using a combined CAD, computer aided design, and GIS method,
where we basically merged these maps that the city has created since 1990
using aerial photography, and then we ground-truthed those maps throughout
the process, so this map, and the one of Sao Francisco, these have been in
construction throughout the entire process, and so you can see here
the distribution of the different development types, these are the
core housing types here in dark blue, and non-core housing, straight,
self-building in light blue, these are those Cingapuras, and urbanization
of favelas, and so this is the Heliopolis favela, and the distribution of those
development types, and in red, you see the randomly selected blocks, and within
those blocks, we randomly selected eight housing units. We used random selection
to ensure external validity of the sample size, it is highly unusual to use random
selection for a study in an informal settlement due to safety issues, we’ve
been very fortunate to work with community organizations and people
on the ground who have helped us through this process, and did complete
the entire data collection process in December, albeit two months late,
however, the random selection process has really permitted us a very broad
understanding of the housing typologies within these two areas,
and so I’m gonna talk about the three different steps and ways that I’ve begun
to connect ethnographic research with digital tools, and so the first,
data collection, this is just an image of our field notes, so how we go through
the field to understand where we are, what’s missing, and what’s next.
This is a photograph of my field team, and so you’ll see two research assistants,
one from Berkeley, and the other from the (inaudible) in Sao Paulo, Kirsten
and Alessandra, and then Barbara and Stephanie and Lua, they’re our community
partners who were with us throughout this process, and so we went door-to-door,
and interviewed residents in their own homes, talking to them about how they
built their houses, and measuring their house to understand the physical
dimensions of how the house evolved, so this is a photo of a core house
in Sao Francisco, and so the steps in this process of data collection involved three
primary phases, field notes, so we had the two step random selection, and this
is how we documented which houses were selected, digital reconciliation,
every single field day, so we would go into a CAD drawing, and we would mark
which units were selected, and draw in areas that were constructed but not
shown as constructed in the maps, so we made corrections to the map
over time using computer aided design, which is a tool that has been used by the
architecture field since the 1970s. We also had for every housing unit field
notes. These field notes were really about the physical space of the house, but also
about the respondent, and so they say, I’ll find things such as, “oh, are
with the city”, “are you with a development country”, “do you want to
take away my home”, so we ran across a lot of issues in the field that required
quite a bit of sensitivity, sometimes interviews would take 45 minutes,
sometimes they would take two hours, because it just depended on respondents’
feelings that day and their sense of security and confidence in what we were
doing. This led to the step of coding, so each set of field notes and maps,
each house that was drawn in the field in axonometric, was coded into a 3D
model, so at this point we’re shifting from 2D documentation using CAD
into the 3D projection of each housing unit, and coding those projections
according to function, and according to social experience, as well as
tenure conditions. So what we did was used photographs
and then built models of every housing unit. And so here you can see
the core housing unit mapped here. Here’s one that has not been evolved
and so here’s another core housing unit, so you can see the hatch pattern for
the core here. So we developed a series of
3D models in order to understand how these houses have evolved
overtime. We developed a coding guide along with
community partners and through trial and error, and observation, so this
coding guide was in evolution for probably three months.
And we used the guide to understand mostly ownership.
Ownership is something that is very important to the development
scholars, it’s very important to community members because it’s related to politics
and constituents and social needs. And so that’s a common– the issue of
ownership and tenure was a common ground for us to really begin to… begin to
develop our first analysis maps. We then used these 3D models and moved
them into a program called Rhino with a VRay plug in, which is
a rendering plug in. And what we did with the initial codes,
is you attach a material to that code. So for example, we have a house that has
three owners, the third owner is renting out the back of their unit.
And so we begin to code all of the spaces according– using
Rhino and VRay in order to visualize them, so we begin to have conversations
with our community partners about what was going on, and understand
among ourselves how these places were evolving. And so here you see there’s
a section for owner commercial, common circulation here, the pink is a
phase that’s been– it’s in construction. And so we begin to develop a series of
tenure typologies. So you have an original owner, someone
who has just evolved their house over years and it’s only their family living there.
And absentee owner or rental, this is starting to happen more and more,
and is fairly concerning because it’s generating highly precarious rental
situations. Owner and rental at the bottom,
so it’s just a very– this is the most common typology, where you see an
owner who has evolved his or her home overtime, children move out, and they
transfer that space into a rental situation and in many cases will put a
street front shop, at the front. So that’s a common, one of the most
common typologies we’re seeing. We also mapped these typologies according
to time and experience. And so you see here the original core
house from 1993. Two additional bedrooms, the second floor
is constructed, two room rental unit, open your laundry, and so you begin
to see how these houses evolve overtime. And so we used the interface between
CAD, which is in 2D, Rhino which is in 3D, and VRay which
is a rendering tool, in order to begin to visualize these
changes across the 1000 or so housing units that were surveyed.
And so what does all of this mean? How do we actually apply this data
to an urban strategy? So one of the things I mentioned,
one of the most concerning issues for community development
is tenure. And so this map is one of our first
analytical maps, it’s focused on the distribution of ownership.
And so in orange you can begin to see the surveyed lots, and in green
you see an owner extended family rental, so these are owners who have added
a rental unit. Red, absentee owner. Original owner
in the gray. And two owners, two or more owners in an extended family
in the light blue. And so the most interesting or the thing
that stands out most in this kind of analytical map is that, while there’s
quite a bit of difference across informal settlements within blocks,
they’re fairly similar. So you see a lot of similarity between
these two blocks here, and they’re beginning to group. Another issue that we began to see is
this… we survey an absentee rental owner that the rental conditions are fairly
precarious, and more often than not the respondent is a single mother
and of the lowest income realm. And so we’re starting to really look at
how can rental situations, or housing situations begin to accommodate
these kinds of very, very vulnerable situations, but also beautify the
physical space of informal settlements. And so the next step in this research is
to translate and synthesize all of this data into a series of urban strategies
for redeveloping the two communities we’ve studied. And so this drawing shows
an area within Heliopolis here that corresponds to the map
that I just showed. And his area is called Lagoa and it
borders the Muchinao area so this is a very– this is a
historical zone within Heliopolis. And this is an area that is just as old.
However it evolved without any tactical assistance from the state.
And so these two neighborhoods within this neighborhood, are quite
divided. There’s on one side the people in Muchirao would like
to remove all of Lagoa, And the people in Lagoa
would like Muchiraohose in the (indistinct) to move themselves, and so there’s
quite a bit of tension between these two sub-neighborhoods, within Heliopolis. So what our plan is, is to use two
different technologies as a way to begin to analyze and visualize different
options through which these two sub-communities might begin to develop
a discourse around a common future. And so we’ll use Envision Tomorrow
which is a planning tool used to analyze different land use
scenarios. So for example, Envision Tomorrow works very differently
than CAD or Rhino, where you’re focusing on a building, but Envision Tomorrow
works where you basically use the data from the housing typologies
to create idealized building types. So in our world that might be
mixed use. And then you select an area and you
paint over that area, and you say, okay, what would happen financially if
we developed this area according to mixed use? So instead of using the mixed
use typology that we use in the United States, we’re going to build building
typologies based on the data that we’ve developed in Brazil
for Envision Tomorrow. So essentially you run analyses
based on building types and housing types, that come from
historical… historical precedence. And then the second step of this is
to use Rhino or 3D analysis to begin to design typologies that will
accommodate our different tenure structures, so owners who would like
to build a rental unit, or single mothers who need a small space for a cheap price,
or these younger people who are looking to move out of their parent’s home.
So we’re looking to begin to use 3D studies to develop these urban
strategies that would work within informal settlements. So what is the limit to data? When I started the talk I showed
you two different settlements, Heliopolis and Sao Francisco.
Sao Francisco started with the same core housing scheme in the 1970’s,
they had the same development approaches. However, the outcomes have been much
different, their community organization is much weaker, much more fragmented,
they have the same organized crime, the organized crime in Sao Francisco
involves much more infighting, so it’s a very precarious situation.
And what’s happened in terms of housing, it’s that there’s been quite a
bit of resettlement, and so I’ll show you an example.
This is Sao Francisco in 2008. So just keep your eye on the soccer fields
and the area to the left of it. 2011, the area is removed, and last month
this is what it looks like, again. So this shows essentially that where data
which was used to develop this area in this image, is falling short, because
what’s happening is that there are no data infrastructures to begin to
accommodate what happens when nothing is done by the state
in the meantime. So when you have these political
volatilities, communities have no way of protecting what has already been done. And
so you begin repeating the same patterns. That’s one limit of data, and that involves
political will, not data. And so we have a couple of different
things to think about in terms of data limits. Generally, rental markets,
you have the peri-urban conditions, like this, is a classic case of
a peri-urban condition. So you have rental markets that are
generating very different flexes. These rental markets come from the last
development type, urbanization of favelas when Sao Paulo started using
rental vouchers, it’s pushing up the rents and causing gentrification processes
within inner ring informal settlements, and pushing people out to the periphery.
So you have absentee owners within the inner core settlements, and squatters
in peripheral areas. The second issue in terms of thinking
about an urban strategy is that all of this development is creating
isolatists on class. This is not only the state coming in
and putting a fence around things. One of the questions for individuals who
are seeking to move to a new location is what will the first upgrade you will
do to your home, what would you do, what will you build when you get there?
These are self builders who have evolved along with social movements since
the 1970’s. The first thing they’re doing is building a wall or a fence.
So that tells us that there is quite a bit of… there are serious issues
with security, people who are relying on organized crime to secure things
in their communities, are also quite scared and looking to move out,
so you’re having this general flow of flights out of informal settlements. This has been fueled by and fanned by
greater access to credit, and peripheral housing estates. In Brazil this is
called “minha casa minha vida” it’s been in implementation since 2009,
and so what’s happening is that when you look at these self built patterns, where
by families in the 1980’s and 90’s would build their homes, their children
would build their homes, and the house would evolve according to
this expanded family structure. That’s not happening anymore.
So we also did interview with 100 people moving to “minha casa minha vida”
settlements or housing estates, and these are all 20, 30 year old kids
who don’t want to live with their families. They have consolidated homes, they’re
homes that are on– they’re in low income neighborhoods,
but they’re far from being very peculiar situations, they simply don’t
want to live in these consolidated settlements anymore, and so it’s creating
even more peripheral shift to peri-peri-urban situations, and creating
conditions of environmental degradation, spacial segregation. So these are
irrational, these people understand very well that there’s going to be
financial hardship, greater distances to get to work, however the conditions
within informal settlements are so poor that they’re willing
to take those risks. So the question for scholars and designers
is maybe it’s not about data, and if it’s not about data, then maybe
it’s about design. And so digital tools will continue to
change the city, but their efficacy really depends on the extent to which
they interface with design, and the extent to which designers use that data
not to determine, but to inform design choices, so we’re making urban
space about people. It’s really about creating spaces in
informal settlements, again, that are not data driven, but are spaces where
people really want to be. But if design can account for social
behavior, the resonance would be much more applicable to what people
area actually doing right now in informal settlements.
We’ve had many studies of informal settlements since the
1960’s, 70’s, but there are very, very different trends happening right now.
And so it’s one of the things that data can help us do, is to be very realistic
about what is actually happening. Data and design matter together, you can’t
have one without the other anymore. I was at a conference in November and
French designers said, “well, you know, we can’t possibly
design housing anymore, “because we don’t know the market.
We have no idea what’s gonna be “happening.” And the argument,
my argument is that we know what’s going to happen. The point is that
we really need to pay attention to what’s actually happening so that
we’re beginning to design for reality. Thank you.
(applause) Questions? Yeah? (inaudible question)
Pardon? No, we look at investment, original
investments. And what they may… what they think
they can sell the house for right now. So we have those two benchmarks.
And investment overtime and upgrading. (inaudible question)
>>…is that when you basically… transformation, so you’re actually
increasing the value of your house… so instead of… when you buy
a house… you’re losing money… … but everything that is happening,
is increasing… buy a new home. (inaudible)>>I think it also depends on place-nicity
because I think what you’re suggesting would definitely hold for São Francisco,
in this peri-urban situation. But in Heliopolis and this inner core
area, property values are rising. I mean, when you’re– all of the
incremental upgrading had caused significant amounts of gentrification
like that, people are getting pushed out of rental situations in these areas.
But rental subsidies of the last eight years have set the baseline rent
at about 500 reales. When it was 200 reales a year before
so it’s really– jumps. So the government is continuing
to pass out these subsidies and it’s essentially excluding a lot of
people who could live in these settlements for a while.>>(inaudible)
>>Property owners?>>(inaudible)>>The ab– I’m finding that the absentee
rental owners are. So those people who have evolved the
house and they’re just turned it over to renters, and they’re living somewhere
else, so those are the most precarious situations. Now, the original owners
who have build a couple of the rental units on the back of their
home, they evolved those spaces along with the other renovations
that they do their house. But it’s the absentee owners, absentee
renal slumlords, who are the most concerning in areas like Heliopolis.>>Can you tell us about what
distinguishes Heliopolis or what constitutes the…
between it and whatever is next?>>Yes. So Heliopolis…
It was a blank site owned by the state up until the 1960’s. It started, this area
here looked like this. It started in the 1960’s, the government
was building a viaduct, moved 100 families to this area to temporary housing, never
built the new housing, and that was this. So Heliopolis has evolved within a working
class neighborhood. This is Sacoma, so it’s what you would see
maybe out in east Austin, it’s low density, single family housing
here. This area to the north, is the Tamandua de district.
That district is the city of Sao Paulo’s central planning focus right now.
And so it’s very concerning for Heliopolis, and one of the cases we’re
attempting to make to the study is that this new Tamandua de
development project could essentially use lessons from the housing within
Heliopolis to build social housing for that development. They’ve committed
to 20,000 units, but there’s no design for it. So Heliopolis is
bordered by middle income working class neighborhood, and a district that is going
to be turned over to private developers over the next 10 years, so it’s in a
precarious situation.>>What are the… (inaudible)>>So here– they’re very similar.
I mean, here you’re going to find a occasional tower, but it’s two to
three levels of housing. And within Heliopolis some blocks
are, you have– I mean, I’ve seen five to six story houses, but mostly you’re
talking between two and three stories within Heliopolis. But it’s dense, it’s
one of the densest informal settlements in Sao Paulo. It’s the largest, so.>>Have you done any comparisons…
(inaudible)>>No. I would love to. No.
I’ve… my comparison has focused upon very small fevela in
Sao Paulo’s northern sector, another peri-urban situation, and in
between Heliopolis and Sao Francisco. But that would be a very
interesting study, yeah.>>(inaudible) …the data should include data
about social… … I was just wondering, I don’t know if
you found this point in your research but, what would it look like if a
centered approach were the scale of that, how would that happen…
this is a… it’s a ton of work. It’s very labor intensive…
very complex… house and properties… I guess… If you’re called…
you see it laid in this sort of analysis could be utilized… (inaudible)>>That’s a great question.
So the next step is to use the 3D Rhino models to develop a series
of typologies that correspond to, and we also measure, we have a 5 point
scale for measuring the consolidation of a house. If it’s very consolidated,
if it’s very precarious. And so for matching typology to level
of consolidation, then using 3D modeling to develop typologies, and
then repeat those. So that would be one way to scale up.
But use that in tandem with something like Envision Tomorrow, so you can
begin to measure the financial vocations for those.>>(inaudible)>>Well, I hope so.
(laughs) not yet. So the idea is to develop a series of
typologies, maybe 5 to 10, from these thousand, and then load those
into Envision Tomorrow as a building type, and then paint that over areas.
And so the first test bag will be that district that I showed at the end,
it’ll go to a district within Heliopolis, and then a second area will be
the Tamandua de district. So the city is very interested in using
the data for the Tamadua de district, so right now that’s the goal,
it’s to scale it.>>(inaudible question)>>I am not, at this point I am not
but that is part of the next of analyzing the typologies, it’s to begin to look at
how those expand into district scales. So the strategy that I’m proposing for
Heliopolis is to work on a district scale that encompasses two to three blocks,
because of the differences between blocks and similarities within them.
And so the idea would be to use something like Envision Tomorrow to
begin to create a series of districts within informal settlements that
have historical boundaries. Heliopolis, I studies it’s historical
boundaries for my dissertation research. So it has districts that have been
established for the last 30 years. To be using the study of housing to begin
to work on street level, street scape, and district level improvements,
some would involve the creation of parks and some removal.
But in the case of Heliopolis they have quite a bit of open land,
so it’s possible to build new housing on that land, in that case removal
would be a viable option. Did that answer your question?>>(inaudible question)>>I think it’s… I think that’s a great
comment, and building upon that I think there’s a movement within design
and urbanism to romanticize at hawkism and incrementalism in these areas.
And what we’re finding is that people have lived with that for many years, they’re
used to the incremental at the political scale, and they’re used to these small
projects on a household scale, or lots scale, and so one of the things
that was so invigorating for many people with whom we’ve spoken about the
Mutirao and the self-up approaches is that they– someone had a vision,
and so this is what’s going on. And so it wasn’t about everyone
coming together, and everyone coming to some sort of consensus, it was
about some normative vision, saying this is a possibility, based on
what we know about your social situation for this area. Now, I’m not advocating,
I don’t believe that the core house should be replicated in mass for it’s
density problems, the fact that people don’t want to self-build anymore.
I don’t believe that that’s a model that we should be replicating,
especially across Brazil. But I do think there is something
to a normative vision, in using digital tools as a way to visualize
that vision, to begin to create discourse through image, through
representation that’s related to urban change.>>(inaudible) … understand the implications and
impacts of those choices. Have you talked to people about
what they really care about in terms of how much housing costs…
what software is able to give them information about it… to sway
these might be too… it’s actually really respond to
and you…>>Yes. I mean, one of the things
I’m analyzing the data in pieces. And so I’ve been really focused on
the people who are opting into these minha casa minha vida programs,
and trying– I’m mapping the existing conditions where they live now, their
house, their neighborhood, and where they’re going to go to
in the next 5 years, or they are expected to and
want to go in the next 5 years. And so, some of the things I’m seeing
debunk a lot of what I thought about design, and human development.
They want… they want security like everyone else, but they want
walls, fences, those kinds of things. They want their own space.
And even when financial hardship, even when they have the data,
that financial hardship will increase that commute will double, and that
they will be isolated from social services they’re still making that, they’re still
opting for that program. And that is something that, this is the
fourth coming article that I’m working on with Peter Ward, and it’s…
So those are hard things to look at. But in terms of those who want to
stay with an informal settlement I think something like a planning tool
that works on street level improvements, that deal with trees, that deal with
commerce, creating a little bit more evenness within districts, related to
commerce and access. Because some areas have not one
store, other areas have 10. So there’s quite a bit of internal
unevenness, so those would be, an insecurity, commerce, social
services. Thanks for coming.

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