Contribution of the social sciences in the transformation of informal communities

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The article discusses research related to the importance of social sciences in the analysis and intervention in informal communities as a contribution to achieve a positive result possible to adapt to developing societies. The informal settlements are products of unsustainability and uncontrolled urban growth, generators of social disparities on the quality of life. These areas are characterized by an organic morphology generated without rules which results in precarious housing with no minimum standards. This contributes negatively to social development and has consequences in public health. The research focuses on the development of an urban strategy and a housing model to promote the transformation and integration of informal settlements with the more recent surroundings, without breaking with the people and their culture. The intervention model, based on the analysis of the population and the neighbourhood, ensures a contribution towards rehabilitation and improvement of housing security by regenerating the local lifestyle. This way it contributes to change the dynamics of the unregulated urban area under assessment. The approach is developed in an incremental transformation framework of the area. The developed intervention model is applied to the informal settlement Barruncho, Odivelas. The findings demonstrate the advantages of the application of social sciences in the study of this particular reality, since it allows understanding and articulating the population with its territory. This process allows the development of an in-situ rehousing intervention adapted to the existing reality, without breaking with the population’s memory and with the population itself (culture and socio-economic reality). The integration of the social component and participation of the population on the entire process of rehousing (planning, design and construction of housing and neighbourhood development) enables the achievement of the most appropriate solution to the population needs and strengthens the sense of belonging, crucial for the welfare of the population and the wellbeing of the entire neighbourhood, making possible a positive and integrated rehousing in the surrounding reality.
Original languageUnknown
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 40th IAHS World Congress in Housing – Sustainable Housing Construction
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Event40th IAHS World Congress in Housing – Sustainable Housing Construction -
Duration: 1 Jan 2014 → …


Conference40th IAHS World Congress in Housing – Sustainable Housing Construction
Period1/01/14 → …

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