The city is ours! [?] Collective action and appropriation of symbolic urban spaces, the case of the Estelita wharf, Brazil.

The city is ours! [?] Collective action and appropriation of symbolic urban spaces, the case of the Estelita wharf, Brazil.

Submission ID:

94

The article discusses the transformation of abandoned urban areas appropriated by the community to propose critical alternatives to the productive rationality of common urbanization. The redevelopment of Estelita Wharf in Recife, Brazil, is used as a case study. The area, located close to the historic city centre, has historical and symbolic importance for the city. The proposal to transform the site, through the construction of a project focused mainly on real estate interests, generated opposition from the community, creating the OcupeEstelita Movement (MOE). The MOE included a myriad of collectives, groups and individuals (academics, architects, planners, sociologists, philosophers, artists, lawyers, journalists, citizens and residents of adjacent low-income communities). Using different tactics (occupies, debate, creation of iconography/audiovisual) they acted both to protect the area and to propose alternatives for its transformation. Under the banner “The city is ours. Occupy it”, the playful occupies of the site included public classes and a multiplicity of cultural and recreational practices. These initiatives created opportunities to reinforce the population's affection for that public space through their experience. Questioning the proposed project as the best solution to be taken against the abandonment of that area, the MOE reinforced the possibilities of imagining other futures for the site, emphasizing its public and cultural character. The study of these emerging collective practices demonstrates the importance of creating arenas in which citizens become more active participants in the design of the city. Using invented spaces, art, playfulness, memory recovery and creative practices, they broaden the discussion about the contemporary transformation of symbolic urban areas, expressed that the territory is in dispute and proposed alternatives to reality, strengthening collective and collaborative action.

Corresponding Author

Lucia Camargos Melchiors

Unitec Institute of Technology

Author #1:

Lucia Camargos Melchiors

Unitec Institute of Technology

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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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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