The role of housing self-organization processes for the urban transformation of Maputo
(Escola Superior Gallaecia)
Isabel Raposo (Technical University of Lisbon)
Paper short abstract:
The paper will focus the relation between housing areas in Maputo and its structure, which reveals a link that connects processes of residential self-construction with urban self-organization. This interdependence promotes renewed perspectives about the city’s morphological transformation.
Paper long abstract:
The capital of Mozambique reveals housing areas with diverse framework, relevant to understand its districts and barrios. Semi-urbanized parts of the city accommodated population largely excluded from economic development axes. Housing suburbs has been consubstantiated mainly through everyday action of people that take in their "hands" the initiative to build and/or improve their houses. This situation - of self-construction (sometimes with formal support by the authorities, others within strictly informal processes) - has significant impact in the city´s urban fabric, which must not be ignored or attached to depreciative notions of its urban qualities. Analysing Maputo's urban condition one can verify an intricate relation between housing areas and the structure that configure the city's urban form. There are parts of Mozambique's' city capital self-organized by its inhabitants, through micro-strategies of urban transformation and appropriation, in which residential self-construction promotes a prolific standard of creative processes that must be integrated on a wide range of approaches to city future planning - in terms of access to urban services, land property, local equipment's, uses, activities. Within the link between city planning and urban self-organization, the paper will set a morphological analysis based on the correlation of physical elements of the urban form with qualitative, contextual, social and economic aspects that are important to understand Maputo in a compact, integrated and systemic perspective. It is necessary to learn from housing self-organization, inquiring it in terms of its emerging potentiality, tools and methods - despite the scarce resources and the rapid change that one can observe.
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