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Project description

Theme

The project deals with forms of socio-urbanistic and housing intervention in the urban margins of African cities of Lusotopie, in the new millennium, focusing on those that contribute to improving the quality of inhabit and the sustainability of habitat of low-income groups. In the current context of accelerated urbanisation, globalisation and increasing socio-spatial inequalities, inscribed in the neoliberal paradigm, it is urgent to reflect on the impact of such interventions, as well as on how to construct a more inclusive habitat and on how and what to do to reinforce them. Luanda and Maputo, with similar structural constraints, are taken as case studies.

Key words

Urban margins; Luanda and Maputo; Quality of inhabit; Sustainability of habitat; Right to the City.

Objectives

Main objective

  • To identify and differentiate interventions in the urban margins, attending to the type of housing situations, to intervention processes and to their impact, as well as to contribute to an increased understanding and dissemination of these interventions.

Specific objectives

  • To deepen knowledge and to map the diversity of situations regarding housing precariousness and the modalities of inhabit in the urban margins of the African cities of Lusotopie, mainly Luanda and Maputo, as well as the interventions paradigms underlying urban and housing policies and programmes, real estate dynamics and practices and actions of civil society, in order to understand the limits of the current socioeconomic, political, normative, technical and institutional framework to address housing precariousness;
  • To identify interventions in those urban margins that lead to an improved quality of the inhabit and of the sustainability of habitat amongst low-income groups, as well as that reinforce their right to housing and to the City;
  • To evaluate the impact of the best interventions in terms of the construction of a more inclusive habitat and to reflect on what and how to do to reinforce them, to contribute to their improvement and operationalisation and to replicate and disseminate successful interventions;
  • To identify the assumptions and to outline and disseminate the principles underlying the best urban and housing interventions, their methodological and procedural approaches and their urban and housing design solutions and building techniques;
  • To strengthen the research capacity of the three universities involved (FAUL, DA-FE-UAN, FAPF-UEM), to teach and to carry out extension work on the issues and territories addressed, aiming to reinforce related academic training and to create and test a new distance-learning curricular course, in advanced studies, between the three universities, on the issues researched;
  • To reinforce networks of action-research regarding the issues address between the three universities as well as the links between the universities and the civil society.

Questions

  • What are the limits of both the current normative, technical and institutional framework and of the ongoing political, economic and social context in what regards facing housing precariousness in the urban margins of Luanda and Maputo?
    What are the principles of intervention underlying policies, programs and actions that contribute to a greater quality of inhabit and sustainability of habitat in the urban margins of both cities, promoting the inclusion of low-income groups and their Right to the City?
    How can one contribute to reinforce and replicate successful interventions in terms of procedures and of urban and housing design?

Research Axes

  1. A theoretical axis, concerning the review of the theoretical-methodological framework and the preparation for a systematic restitution of research (six months);
  2. A macro-level of empirical research, including the recognition and cataloguing of the situation in both cities and the production of interactive cartography (one year);
  3. A micro-level empirical research, including an assessment of paradigmatic situations and best interventions as well as an experimentation in both cities (one year);
  4. An (in)formative axis, reinforcing the action-research networks and university training-programmes on the theme.

Methodology

  1. A collective construction of a theoretical and methodological framework, based on: (i) the previous knowledge of the team on the subject and on each city; (ii) a critical reading of space as a social product; (iii) the notions of the right to the city, of the quality of inhabit and of the sustainability of habitat;
  2. A socio-spatial and multidisciplinary approach, linking the disciplines of architecture and urban-planning with social sciences, in particular, geography, socio-anthropology and law;
  3. An interactive collaboration between all team members, in the three universities (Lisbon, Luanda and Maputo) and the two cities under study, as well as between the team and other experts, the academy and civil society;
  4. Action-research will be undertaken involving permanent interaction between theory, empirical knowledge, experimentation and (in)formation (in workshops and on-line training);
  5. An interactive GIS-based cartography will be created, both as a knowledge and intervention tool, as well as a basis for the cross-check of data on the different situations, policies and interventions under observation, for a participatory evaluation of the interventions’ impact and for experimentations at local level of sustainable interventions, its implementation and assessment;
  6. Collaborative urban planning and housing design will be taken as a research tool;
  7. Participatory knowledge methodologies, public debate and experimentation will underlie all research;
  8. Systematic restitution of the results produced will take place, promoting public debates, with the technical-scientific community, as well as with local actors and inhabitants in view of a social production of knowledge.