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  • Author or Editor: Camila D’Ottaviano x
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Comparing self-build experiences in city-regions over three continents, this book spans gigantic local differences. In order to make sense of comparison, a strict selection of paradigm is made to focus the analysis in all cases on the same relationships. The paradigm combines critical economic theory (coined by David Harvey) and cultural institutional analysis (inspired by Henri Lefebvre) in order to focus on the struggle between material and immaterial forces underlying the local performances. The analysis focuses both on the micro level performances and at the trans scalar social and political conditions to these practices. The commissioning role of residents vis-à-vis the role of the leading social movements focus on the social normalisation of moral ownership of the poor residents. The challenge is to sustain this active institutionalisation also in future processes of professionalization as the relationships on the lower segments of housing markets appear to be vulnerable for commercial economic exploitation.

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Comparing self-build experiences in city-regions over three continents, this book spans gigantic local differences. In order to make sense of comparison, a strict selection of paradigm is made to focus the analysis in all cases on the same relationships. The paradigm combines critical economic theory (coined by David Harvey) and cultural institutional analysis (inspired by Henri Lefebvre) in order to focus on the struggle between material and immaterial forces underlying the local performances. The analysis focuses both on the micro level performances and at the trans scalar social and political conditions to these practices. The commissioning role of residents vis-à-vis the role of the leading social movements focus on the social normalisation of moral ownership of the poor residents. The challenge is to sustain this active institutionalisation also in future processes of professionalization as the relationships on the lower segments of housing markets appear to be vulnerable for commercial economic exploitation.

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Comparing self-build experiences in city-regions over three continents, this book spans gigantic local differences. In order to make sense of comparison, a strict selection of paradigm is made to focus the analysis in all cases on the same relationships. The paradigm combines critical economic theory (coined by David Harvey) and cultural institutional analysis (inspired by Henri Lefebvre) in order to focus on the struggle between material and immaterial forces underlying the local performances. The analysis focuses both on the micro level performances and at the trans scalar social and political conditions to these practices. The commissioning role of residents vis-à-vis the role of the leading social movements focus on the social normalisation of moral ownership of the poor residents. The challenge is to sustain this active institutionalisation also in future processes of professionalization as the relationships on the lower segments of housing markets appear to be vulnerable for commercial economic exploitation.

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The chapter sets up the analytical framework for the comparison of cases of self-building by low income groups in city-regions of the Global North and South. Considering the enormous local differences, a choice of paradigm is needed to enable comparison. By designing a framework of contested urban governance, the analysis focuses on the struggle of social and economic forces that are underlying the local experiences: it consists of the economic powers that capitalize on material growth of cities on the one hand and the social and cultural powers of the urban population, claiming their right to the city, on the other. Crucial is the commissioning role of the residents in the attempts to control their housing situation in relation to other relevant players on urban housing markets. These attempts are not only made in the micro-level performance of self-building but also in the political and social struggle on the conditions that rest on these practices.

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The chapter shows how the housing policies for the low-income population in Brazil, especially in São Paulo, were transformed by popular practices. The huge increase of the Brazilian favela population in the last decades reaching more than 11 million inhabitants (about 6% of the Brazilian population in 2010) has led institutions to gradually tolerate heterodox practices (such as land invasion) and even to have them legalized by the public power. Starting from the point of view of Latin American urbanization and irregularity reality, this article describes the gradual institutionalizing of informal governance arrangements in Brazil and the evolution of the intervention paradigm from the 1960’s to the present day.

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The concluding chapter epitomizes the empirical findings of contested urban governance in the empirical case studies and compares the institutional regime conditions of self-build housing in contrasting contexts. By focusing on the social and economic struggle on public regime conditions, we aim to analyse and compare the performances and challenges of very different self-build experiences in city-regions on three continents. Guided by this framework, the most important empirical findings of the case studies are inferred in this concluding chapter.

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This chapter explores how the different arrangements of low- and middle-income housing at the micro-level relate to processes of city building at the level of the city-region. We study how the social and economic contestation on the uses of urban land translate into new spatial patterns of urban and regional development. This is concretely done through a comparative case study of a Brazilian and an European city-region. This comparative perspective will sensitize the empirical investigation to the effect of the (changes of) institutional context and regimes on housing arrangements and spatial patterns of city building. A specific focus will be on self-building arrangements as practices that challenge existing formal systems of city building in both cases.

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Institutionalisation, Place-Making and City Building

Using a broad international comparative perspective spanning multiple countries across South America, Europe and Africa, contributors explore resident-led self-building for low- and middle-income groups in urban areas. Although social, economic and urban prosperity differs across these contexts, there exists a recurring, cross-continental, tension between formal governance and self-regulation.

Contributors examine the multifaceted regulation dilemmas of self-building under the conditions of modernisation and consider alternative methods of institutionalisation, place-making and urban design, reconceptualising the moral and managerial ownership of the city. Innovative in scope, this book provides an array of globalised solutions for navigating regulatory tensions in order to optimise sustainable development for the future.

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Comparing self-build experiences in city-regions over three continents, this book spans gigantic local differences. In order to make sense of comparison, a strict selection of paradigm is made to focus the analysis in all cases on the same relationships. The paradigm combines critical economic theory (coined by David Harvey) and cultural institutional analysis (inspired by Henri Lefebvre) in order to focus on the struggle between material and immaterial forces underlying the local performances. The analysis focuses both on the micro level performances and at the trans scalar social and political conditions to these practices. The commissioning role of residents vis-à-vis the role of the leading social movements focus on the social normalisation of moral ownership of the poor residents. The challenge is to sustain this active institutionalisation also in future processes of professionalization as the relationships on the lower segments of housing markets appear to be vulnerable for commercial economic exploitation.

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The chapter analyses two experiences of housing production through the federal Program ‘My Life My House Entities’ in São Paulo: Ipiranga/ Dandara and Maria Domitila buildings, both projects of Unification of the Tenements and Housing Struggles (Unificação das Lutas de Cortiços e Moradia – ULCM) movement. São Paulo has a long history of innovative policies regarding self-build housing. During the last two decades, government housing programs steadily incorporated self-help and collective task forces. The text analyses the opportunity of high quality affordable housing in central areas based on self-help and participative practices in the recent Brazilian experience.

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