A Case Study of a Squatter Settlement Redevelopment

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The Favela-Bairro Project -- Rio de Janeiro

  • Rio de Janeiro is in the south east of Brazil.
  • It has 600 squatter settlements (favelas), housing one-fifth of the city's population (more than one million people).
  • The Favela-Bairro Project started in 1995.
  • The project involves 253,000 people in 73 favelas.
  • 40% of the $300 million funding for the project came from the local authority.
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Social Improvements

  • Daycare centres and after school activites to look after children, which means that their parents can work and earn money.
  • Adult education classes to improve adult literacy, which means that adults are able to get jobs as they can read and write.
  • Services to help people affected by drug addiction, alcohol addiction and domestic violence.
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Ecomomic Improvements

  • Residents can now apply to legally own their properties, which means that they won't have to pay rent.
  • Training schemes to help people learn new skills so they can find better jobs and earn more.
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Environmental Improvements

  • Replacement of wooden buidlings with brick buildings and the removal of homes on dangerously steep slopes.
  • Widening and paving of streets to allow easier access (especially for emergency services), which means that the life expectancy of the residents is higher as they can get the correct health care quicker.
  • Provision of basic services such as clean water, electricty and weekly rubbish collection.
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Community involvement

  • Community involvement is one of the most important parts of the project.
  • Residents choose which improvements they want in their own favelas, so they feel involved.
  • Neighbourhood associations are formed to communicate with the residents and make decisions.
  • The new services are staffed by residents, providing income and helping them to learn new skills.
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The project has been successful...

  • The standard of living and health of residents have improved.
  • The property values in favelas that are part of the programme have increased by 80% - 120%.
  • The number of local businesses within the favelas have almost doubled.
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