Integrating Favelas into the Urban and Social Fabric in Rio de Janeiro

Client: Planejamento Arquitetnico e Ambiental (Rio de Janeiro, Brasil) and NYU Wagner
Faculty: Paul Smoke
Team: obinson Hernandez, Margarita Pjaro, Brad Penuel, Meredith Phillips
Year: 2004
The Favela-Bairro program is a $600 million program funded by two contracts signed with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and sponsored by the Municipalidade de Habitao. The main objective of the program is to integrate favelas into the city, endowing them with all urban infrastructure, public services, and social networks afforded to the citizens of Rio de Janeiro. The client, Planejamento Arquitetnico e Ambiental (PAA), was the chief designer/planner for the physical interventions associated with Favela-Bairro. PAA asked the Capstone team to evaluate the successes and failures of its interventions in one specific favela, Vidigal, by interviewing resident association staff and other favela residents. The team traveled to Rio de Janeiro to meet with various actors and stakeholders involved with this program, conduct interviews and other field research, and make recommendations for future interventions. To aid NYU Wagner in cultivating relationships for future Capstone opportunities in Brazil, the team also interviewed NGOs providing social services and programs that complement these upgrading projects in the favelas.