Buenos Aires
​Photo: Jenny Stenberg & Jaan-Henrik Kain

Research work in informal settlements in Buenos Aires

As part of the research project »Compact cities and informal settlements« we are in Buenos Aires in Argentina for four weeks doing research in informal settlements together with University of Sarmiento and in collaboration with University of Buenos Aires. We investigate qualities and challenges in the informal areas, to be managed when the city grow as a result of urbanisation processes. We also search knowledge about what drives the development and what strategies there are for dealing with the challenges and changes.

Researchers: Jaan-Henrik Kain & Jenny Stenberg, ACE Chalmers, Michael Oloko, JOOUST Kisumu, Maria Jose Zapata Campos & Patrik Zapata, University of Gothenburg.

The informal settlements we have visited and studied in Buenos Aires and surrounding municipalities are Los Hornos, La Cava, Villa 15, Villa 20, Villa 21/24 and Villa 31. Together with students, teachers, researchers and local associations we asked inhabitants and other actors what they think are the most important qualities to safeguard when the city grow and which challenges are most urgent to deal with for
policy makers, planners and investors when taking an interest in the areas where the formal settlements are. With used Maptionnaire interviews to ask inhabitants about what places in the areas they like and dislike most, and how these places could be developed in order to improve quality of life for the inhabitants.

We also visited Barrio Brandsen in Rivadavia in Mendoza where we worked as architect students 30 years ago. The work was organized by teachers and students at the University of UTN and we were there to
learn self-construcion of houses. Except from participating in their work during six months we made a participatory design of a community building, chased for material and built it together with the residents. This house in very cheap cross-cutting technology held for 30 years and had recently been replaced with a new community house built by the municipality. It was very emotional meetings with the inhabitants when we came to visit and it was great to see that many of them who constructed their homes still stay there and developed their houses.


For more information see www.compactcities.se and the facebook group »Compact Cities Research«. Some of the results in Buenos Aires were presented in Canal Comunitario 5, Urbana Tevé, 28 November, 2017.


Photos: Jenny Stenberg & Jaan-Henrik Kain

Published: Tue 05 Dec 2017.