Informality as Strategy by Bart Aptroot (17 Apr 2009)
Informality as Strategy
FAU-USP Lecture Hall
IN.SP PROJECT PRESENTATIONS 2009
Sao Paulo is a heterogenous monster
3 ci3es: future, present, past
Future Sao Paulo ended in the 70’s
Informal Sao Paulo is always in the present
Formal Sao Paulo is building the past
Informality tends to cluster
Example: “park & light”, a cluster of interior light stores that double as parking garages
Condi3ons for clustering
Flexibility of building typology Flexibility of zoning plan
History (absence of) infrastructure
Two strategic urban design approaches (for architects)
• Use micro interven3ons to create a semi public inner world with the poten3al to interact with
• Ini3ate plans with land owners. Focus on high investment rather than high proﬁt for easy
municipal approval. Land owner will sell land + plan + approval (low risk = high price) to a
developer in a bidding procedure.
Informal clustering (aTer a succesful ﬁrst aUempt)
• Neighbouring plots not only link to the newly created semi public inner world. They’ll start
crea3ng their own inner fabric. Linking these areas increases success.
• ATer one larger land owner has proven the success of selling land with pland and approval
others will see opportuni3es for their proper3es and ini3ate similar strategies.