Commoning neighborhoods: the mutual help practices of Brazilian homeless movements
in Common spaces of urban emancipation
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Brazilian Homeless Workers associations, organized in the context of very active movements struggling for the right to housing, not only participate in the design of their future social housing complexes but are educated by groups of activist housing experts (including architects, sociologists, economists, urban planners etc) to be able to work in the construction process efficiently and through organized forms of collaboration. The work of the group USINA analyzed in this chapter is characteristic in its emphasis on the tradition of mutual help (mutirão). Deeply influenced by the relevant ayuda mutua tradition of Uruguayan Housing Cooperatives (FUCVAM), USINA’s projects develop the potentialities of urban commoning through a direct involvement of the future inhabitants in the construction process. The chapter includes an interview with one of the USINA architects.

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