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Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 482441
Title The ‘Ilhas’ of Porto and ‘self-improvement urbanism’: the inhabitants as engine of urban transformation
Author(s) Holz Amorim de Sena, N.H.; Doevendans, P.; Rousseau, S.
Source In: 21st International Seminar on Urban Form "Our common future in Urban Morphology". - Porto : FEUP - ISBN 9789729910166 - p. 583 - 597.
Event Porto : FEUP - ISBN 9789729910166 21st International Seminar on Urban Form, Porto, Portugal, 2014-07-03/2014-07-06
Department(s) Governance
Publication type Contribution in proceedings
Publication year 2014
Abstract An ‘Ilha’ in Porto is a typology of low cost housing which spread within the city in the 19th Century as a result of the industrial development. The extremely small dwellings (around 4x4m) were established within backyards of middle class houses, connected to the street through a narrow corridor. Despite all public trials of destruction, more than 1.000 ‘Ilhas’ still shelter more than 13.000 people within the city of Porto. The subject of this article is the analysis of the morphology of the ‘Ilhas’ of Porto, Portugal. The objective is to illustrate what the typology currently means for its inhabitants and for the urban space and propose methods of improving their living standards. The social and spatial dimension of the ‘Ilhas’ as an ‘assemblage’ of the city determines the research method, focusing on a) an analysis of the morphology and typology of a selected cluster of ‘Ilhas’ in different scales; b) participatory research involving the inhabitants, including interviews and observation of daily practices and community values. Despite the low quality living conditions, the inhabitants of the ‘Ilhas’ show an impressive attachment to their living space, forming a strong community. This quality is used as a foundation for the ‘selfimprovement’ urbanism, where the community operates as the main engine of the urban transformation. The main finding of the research is that the ‘Ilhas’ could be an inexpensive solution for the current housing crisis through the further development of the ‘self-improvement’ urbanism. This innovative approach includes strong public participation and an innovative position of the planner within the process.
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