The rise of new political actors in Brazilian peripheries: The effects on space, politics, and planning


Priscila Coli
PhD Student
City and Regional Planning

Tags: Summer Research Funding
Field work in Rio de Janeiro

Traditionally, cities in the Global South have primarily developed by a production of space referred to by some as peripheral urbanization. In this mode of production, residents are active agents in city making, building their own houses and neighborhoods over time. Among the critical outcomes of this process is the emergence of politically engaged and empowered citizens, as well as the extension of property ownership to the majority of the population. In Brazil, peripheral urbanization resulted in the creation of a differentiated citizenship, and the formulation of inclusive urban planning legislation which sought to reverse the country’s inequitable pattern of urban growth. However, the production of space in Brazilian peripheries has significantly changed due to the rise of new political actors. Among them are evangelical churches, drug cartels and militias. They are modifying peripheral urbanization by taking control over basic services and local real estate markets, thus altering the land tenure pattern and the agency of residents. This transformation also challenges the role of the state and planning institutions in these territories. Although such changes may raise pressing concerns of social and spatial equity, the relationship between the production of space and the new political actors remain understudied, a gap that this research aims to fulfill.

2018 Summer Research funded by Global Metropolitan Studies
Skip to content