By Brennan Stark, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Regional administrator of Rocinha, Jorge Collares, has announced that the community will receive new enforcement policies to contain its previously unregulated construction practices. The move has been long anticipated but only recently became a viable option following the Brazilian military’s occupation of Rocinha and neighboring favelas two weeks ago.
For years, developers have constructed new homes and buildings on unsafe (and unauthorized) locations in the favela, or had added new floors on top of structures with already dangerous foundations.
In 2007, municipal legislation attempted to outlaw the spread of development, but social conditions and lack of enforcement had made compliance minimal.
Collares received support from Rio mayor Eduardo Paes, who visited the area last week. New housing “Cannot be over ditches, in protected areas, or in hazardous locations,” Collares stated. “All that [does not comply to building codes] … will be demolished.”
Previously, Rocinha had only one engineer from an urban planning group called Pousu (Landing) appointed to oversee construction, and he had been kept busy by other communities under his watch.
The new policy will allocate a staff of ten engineers and architects as well as ten community workers to Pouso, and head coordinator Jose Antonio Evangelista has promised to give exclusive dedication to Rocinha.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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