Occupy Estelita:
reactions to a grand project and the emergence of urban rights movements in Recife, Brazil

Occupy Estelita:
reactions to a grand project and the emergence of urban rights movements in Recife, Brazil

Submission ID:

92

During the last decade, the menace of a grand project that can descaracterize the landscape of Recife, a chaotic metropolis originated from one of the main ports in Northeast Brazil, created the conditions for the emergence of a original and consistent urban movement claiming for participation on the decisions of the future of the city. Either occupying the site physically or through the web platform ‘urban rights’, Occupy Estelita invented a new kind of urban social movement gathering activists, scholars, urbanists, lawyers, artists, filmmakers and students that helped to raise a wave of contestation of the usual forms of production of the Recife’s space.
In one side, the ambitions of the powerful local real estate market to seize the last waterfront of Recife and reproduce the model of high rise upper class housing that characterize the beachfront, supported by the mayorship and some architects involved in the project. On the other, a singular coalition of urban middle class and impoverished few local residents, activists and urbanists, claiming for more attention on the strategical role of this terrain vague on city center, public land inherited from the dismantled railways state company, that should host more social relevant uses like affordable housing and public spaces. If the New Recife project will surely maculate the panorama of the city center transforming the historical landscape in background, this urban struggles helped to foster a cultural reaction to the arbitrary and real estate driven decisions on the dynamics of the production of the urban spaces.
If one can question the practical consequences of this struggle, it is undeniable that Occupy Estelita represented an shock on a metropolis marked by the succession of revolutionary episodes and lethargic periods and an fundamental contribution to inspire the emergence and the actions of other movements on Brazilian cities claiming for ‘urban rights’.

Corresponding Author

Diego Inglez de Souza

Escola de Arquitetura da Universidade do Minho

Author #1:

Diego Inglez de Souza

Escola de Arquitetura da Universidade do Minho

Author #2:

Author #3:

Author #4:

Preferred Track

3. Terrain vague redevelopments

Second Preferred Track

7. Urban competitiveness and social challenges

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Contacts

DINÂMIA'CET-Iscte

Centre for Socioeconomic and Territorial Studies

Avenida das Forças Armadas | Edifício ISCTE

Sala D316 1649-026 Lisbon

grandprojects.2021@gmail.com

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