Megalopoli e maracche - Meeting di Rimini

Megalopoli e maracche


‘Latin American countries have had an abnormal urban development in the last fifty years, linked to social and economical phenomena which, although apparently clear, are in reality very complex. The development of the great Latin-American metropolis clearly follows two patterns: internal population growth and migration flows from the countryside to the city. This second aspect is by far the most important in determining population growth and is gaining more and more significance as an index of both the attraction exerted by the city, and of power of expulsion of the population from the rural areas. Today internal emigration is so rapid and heavy that it defies any possible (although unlikely) urban plan. Clearly, the needs of the poor to settle in the city, anticipate and dramatically change the city development plans. In these conditions, the housing problem is among the first that the new arrivals have to face, together with the problem of food. As a result of this, the big cities have seen the rise of huge slums (such as the “fa-velas”, in Brazil), which have illegally occupied lands unused by their owners, on the hills and in the suburbs. A constant characteristic of spontaneous occupation is the attempt to achieve the minimum distance between home and work. But the city periodically defends itself from the congestion brought about by the occupation of available central areas, and tends to expel this already outcast population by creating a new speculative and geometrical shape. This technique, known as “desfavela-mento”, acts with the aim of “rationalising and giving order to the city, for the sake of its citizens “. The result is the destruction of both a messy but lively spontaneous urban structure, and of those new social groups, already settled down and born in the name of human solidarity. The exhibition collects graphic and photographic material with the intent of documenting an alternative to this type of intervention: the existence of forms of aid, aiming at respecting the characteristics and the needs of the existing communities. This aid is carried out with the help of the public sector and it is starting to achieve interesting results. Father Pigi Bernareggi, various forms of Christian presence and the aid workers from A.V.S.I., have all worked closely with the inhabitants of dozens of these “fa-velas”, and have together made observations about the urban and cultural values of these ‘sections of the city’; this has enabled them to suggest a few interventions to improve the urban environment, with the aim of bringing outcast areas back into the city and finding valid alternatives to their expulsion. Working along the same line we find “Predeon” (Progra-ma de Desenvolvimento de Comu-nidades, 1979), a body set up by the State Government of Mi-nas Gerais, which adopted a proposal for “participated planning ” as an alternative to the conventional model of centralised planning.’


25 Agosto 1984


Exhibitions Meeting Exhibitions