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.

Illegal and unsafe building development in Rocinha will soon become regulated, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Illegal and unsafe building development in Rocinha will soon have regulation enforced, photo by Alicia Nijdam/Flickr Creative Commons License.

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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  1. This is good news to a certain extent but many of the programmes being proposed for favela reform in Rio are not taking into the account the inflationary pressures on construction – making most of such initiatives unfeasible. Indeed the quantity of completed units under the ´My House, My Life´ (Minha Casa, Minha Vida) programme in 2011 has been negligible at best – so how, therefore, is it proposed that decent housing will be created in the favelas?


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