Rocinha 750 favelas in Rio. But new ones still being established. 20% of Rio’s pop live in favelas. 33% of world’s urban pop live in spontaneous settlements.
Housing in Rocinha 2001 Census – pop 60,000 But over 100,000 legally registered electricity meters. Estimated pop 200,000. Rocinha started 1940s, Every neighbourhood required domestic servants and labourers who lived in nearby favelas. No policing of these areas. 1950s drought in NE brazil led to rural to urban migration, 1960s construction boom in Rio attracted workers. Favelas integral part of Rio. Older favelas located centrally. Rio’s first favela established in 1888 by government troops (ex slaves) who returned to Rio after defeating a Royalist uprising in NE Brazil. They were given no housing on their return and camped on Morro Providencia
Favelas are not illegal settlements. In Rio there are squatters rights on public land. The right to build and own a house. After 10 years of ownership the squatter can start procedure to obtain title of the land.
1950s and 60s. More space needed in central Rio. Favelas cleared to make way for new developments. New housing built for favela residents on edge of city. City of God near Barra da Tijuca. But no shops, services, employment, public transport. People took toilet, sink and water tank and moved back into central favelas.
During the period of forced evictions from favelas, the residents of favelas resisted. The police moved them during the day, they moved back at night. In Vidigal residents resisted using force. Eventually the authorities stopped trying to move people form favelas. In 1994 favelas were first included on official maps of the city. An acceptance that they exist.
1995 Favela Barrio Plan. Accept that favelas exist and try to normalise and integrate them through provision of sewage, water and rubbish collection. Electricity companies had been supplying favelas since 1970s. High demand, easier to set up, residents use bills as proof of residency and ownership. Recent focus on speeding up legalisation process. Property value doubles after legalisation. Tax paid but also possibility to realise the value of the asset.
Not all electricity use is paid for… “Making a cat” Wiring up electrical cables. The blue cables are boardband Internet
Rocinha’s central location means it functions as a low cost residential area. The newer favelas which are in Rios sprawling North Zone do not benefit from that centrality. Favelas have strong social fabric based on original rural migrants and extended families
With large barriers to entry to the formal sector such as lack of access to credit and bureaucracy, most enterprises are in the informal sector.