Habitat is a human need. São Paulo according to the UN-Habitat has over 40,000 abandoned buildings and a documented homeless population of 15,000. It is South America’s largest city as well as the economic powerhouse of Brazil. With a growing population of over 20 million, eleven district municipalities and periphery settlements that are completely dependent on it for its survival surround it. The peripheries however suffer from stigmatization and marginalization.
The occupation of public lands and buildings has been a major political force demanding change for the sustainability of the average citizen. In the meantime, the wealthy live in gated communities, some never touching the ground and ever more isolated in glossy shopping malls and silver lining office space. The middle classes have gained economically for goods and some services, but high rents have become a highly debilitating factor for growth.CLOSE