July 23rd, 2012


In the now published book Building Brazil!, the Master of Advanced Studies in Urban Design program at the ETH Zürich turned its attention to the settlements blanketing the hills of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

As cities strain under a growing population and demand for resources, Brazil will provide a test case for how politicians, architects and urban planners can work together with local stakeholders to improve living conditions in informal settlements without upsetting their social structures. Against the backdrop of recent and exemplary developments in Brazilian public policy and slum-upgrading practices, Building Brazil! suggests a proactive approach to the favela that opens up the existing urban fabric to architectural and urban interventions.

Shifting between micro and macro levels of analysis, Building Brazil! investigates the way forward for the favelas of Jardim Colombo, Heliópolis, Cidade Ipava and Rio das Pedras. Practical design solutions for informal, risk-prone areas are situated within overarching urban strategies; and context-specific projects are complemented by editorials on the spatial, social and financial dynamics of the informal Brazilian city. Great reading for everybody interested in a more in depth view of spatial politics, architectural innovation and favela culture.

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