Autoconstruction as a Housing Tactic in the Contemporary City


Based on the recognition of the difficulty of access to urban housing by the lower classes as one of the greatest political and socio-economic challenges faced by Brazilian cities in the contemporary world, this article seeks to elucidate how this issue has been operated over the years and what are the consequences of such actions for Brazilian cities. At first, we identified the agents responsible for the construction of low-cost housing, analysing the history of their actions. From this, we observed that self-construction (construction of housing by self-work, both in consolidated areas and informal settlements) and the production of social housing projects promoted through public-private partnerships (State and civil construction companies) constitute the two main means of access to cheap housing by the poorest parts of society. We conducted two case studies, each evaluating the quality of the neighborhoods produced through such practices in Brasilia, the federal capital of Brazil. In these studies, we analyzed the history of the occupations as well as the formal and functional aspects of these places. We observed that, in the Brazilian case, both the self- construction and the private-public partnerships consist in practices of city production consolidated several decades ago. We concluded that, although self-construction is the practice that has a negative connotation in the collective imaginary, the neighborhoods resulting from both practices evaluated has similar deficiencies, resulting in inefficient cities.

Author Information
Patricia Martins Assreuy, Centro Universitário de Brasília - uniCEUB, Brazil
Larissa Castro de Oliveira, Centro Universitário de Brasília - uniCEUB, Brazil

Paper Information
Conference: CITY2018
Stream: Geography and Landscape/Urban Planning, Architecture and Design

This paper is part of the CITY2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon