The Old Gang in the “New” Neighborhood

“Optimism about informal communities isn’t a misuse of energy”- One of the best pieces I have read about incremental growth and the future for poor neighborhoods as economies grow and change. Indian cities, are you listening?

{FAVEL issues}

In 1995 and 1996 I lived in Sao Paulo, Brazil while doing fieldwork and research for my Masters of Architecture thesis. One of my research sites was a small favela called Sao Remo which borders one edge of the University of Sao Paulo (USP).

While out one day measuring and photographing public spaces in this favela, I met two young girls who became my close friends during my time in Sao Paulo. (My arms are around them in this photo.)

The girls became my friends and helpmates. They were funny and bright and I thought often about what their futures might hold. At the time, the main streets of Sao Remo looked like the photo below.

Houses were either CMU or wooden shacks, streets were dirt, cars were few, and there was a general feeling of “not much going on”. From what I understood, some of the residents worked at…

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About ramblinginthecity

I am an architect and urban planner, a writer and an aspiring artist. I love expressing myself and feel strongly that cities should have spaces for everyone--rich, poor, young, old, healthy and sick, happy or depressed--we all need to work towards making our cities liveable and lovable communities.

Posted on April 10, 2013, in Politics & Citizenship. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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