Displacement Settlements: in search for the architectural principles of urban informality = Asentamientos del desplazamiento: en busca de los principios arquitectónicos de la informalidad urbana


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Digitalización realizada por la Biblioteca Virtual del Banco de la República (Colombia)
  • Las Artes; Las Artes / Arquitectura; Las Artes / Arquitectura / Edificios residenciales y relacionados
  • Informality; Displacement; Objectile; Pirate urbanisation; Progressive development; Self-construction; San Pedro neighbourhood Bogotá; Informalidad; Desplazamiento; Urbanización pirate; Desarrollo progresivo; Auto-construcción; Barrio San Pedro Bogotá
  • Bogotá (Colombia)
  • Colfuturo
  • © Derechos reservados del autor
  • The auto-construction of dwellings in pirate urbanisations produces about 70% of low-income housing in Bogota. People with scarce resources, usually migrants from the countryside, opt to purchase an individual lot from a clandestine urbaniser that extra-legally subdivides terrains near the city boundaries. Ideally, in about 15 years span, self-builders progressively manage to construct a Casalote: a 3 to 4 storeys edifice, which provides them not only urban dwelling but also a considerable source of income. Casalotes progressively grow next to each other and eventually amalgamate into large, functional and vibrant urban pieces more or less integrated to the city's fabric. This work tries to trace the links between the emergence of informal urbanisations and the structure of the architectural-units generated along the process. It seeks to answer the question whether one can speak of architectural principles, actually determining the shape of "informal" buildings and urbanisations. It focuses on Bogota, a city that has incubated a systematic mode of land subdivision and edification outside the hegemonic planning system: Pirate urbanisation, or the process of emergence of informal urbanisations, and autoconstruction, or the edificatory product-means delivering actual housing solutions upon those urbanisations. The analysis comprehends three sections: (a) a discussion on the dipole "formal-informal". (b) A critical reading, at three different scales ("world", "cities", "Bogota"), of the legal, social, political, tectonic, and economic dimensions of the process. (c) A detailed description of a single Casalote and its neighbourhood in Bogota, observed between 2006 and 2012. This last section reconstructs the building as recounted by its inhabitants, in order to deconstruct it into its architectural components and, eventually, re-compose it in the form architectural principles.
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