From living in the grey to living in colour
This research studies the transformation of the favela Ilha do Joaneiro in Recife, Brazil and provides possible strategies and pathways for socially sustainable development. The research focuses on the Rua Nova, a lively central street in which transformation will highly impact the living conditions of the entire community.
A local workshop in cooperation with UNICAP inside the favela was the starting point for a design research. The purpose of this design research is to find solutions that will not only meet the needs of the residents, but also employ solutions that I consider essential in creating better living conditions for the entire district.
Ilha do Joaneiro has problems, but also opportunities. During this study, I tried to look at the problems starting from the existing situation and solve them in practical and sensible ways. This informal neighborhood and the negative connotation associated with it, was tried to be overcome by making it accessible to all. Poor housing conditions, but well-kept streets, and the availability of facilities, creates a desire to start designing for the people by facilitating more public and open spaces.
The question asked during this research is how we could improve the living conditions in a favela by using efficient interventions techniques that mimic transformations that would have happened naturally. Through an extensive analysis following the workshop done in Brazil, a toolbox is set up for the community to use once they decide to make changes in the district. It includes interventions suggestions for the public space as well as interventions for private houses. All interventions are designed so that they can be used throughout the entire favela. This way, Ilha do Joaneiro can be transformed into a vibrant neighbourhood where safety is key and social interaction triumphs.
The motivation behind this master’s work lies in the fact that an informal district should neither be reduced to being known as an unpleasant place as is done by so-called “outsiders”, nor should the development happen ad hoc. Instead, it should evaluate the potential and enhance the small moments the favela district has to offer. This masters work wants to explore those opportunities and small moments in the development of the community.