- The re-urbanization of the city center of Manaus, Brazil    click here to open paper content93 kb
by    Magalhaes, Fernanda & Rojas, Eduardo | fmbrasil@centroin.com.br   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Illegal occupation of land is a major problem in Brazil. This project shows how this problem was faced in the city of Manaus with a project that has improved the environmental and urban quality of a central area of the city.
Illegal occupation of urban land in Brazil is a widespread phenomenon. Slum
dwellers are excluded from the attributes of urban citizenship although they provide
the labor force required by low productivity urban services needed by cities. Illegal
settlements generate multiple problems for the rest of the city. Their solution is of
key relevance to the city in general but also provide an opportunity for the social
and economic advancement of slum dwellers. The programs required to attain
these results are complex and difficult to implement underscoring the challenges
countries will face to attain the Millennium Development Goals of reducing the
population living in slums.

Manaus in Brazil is confronting these problems and provides practitioners sobering
lessons. A recent project launched by the Estate Government of Manaus with
partial financing from the IADB offers a good opportunity to discuss those issues.

Similar to other cities of Brazil that have grown without major planning control,
Manaus population increased fivefold between 1970 and 2003. This dramatic
growth occurred without land use and infrastructure programs promoting the rapid
expansion of the illegal settlements. Some occupied areas are of great
environmental fragility, ravines (Igarapes) that are essential for the natural
drainage, as it the case analysed here. This occupation results in exceedingly poor
living conditions, the almost total blockage of the natural drainage system and
negative externalities for the city’s CDB.

This high-cost and complex engineering and social project represents a major
opportunity to promote: (1) the upgrading of the urban and environmental
conditions of the CBD, particularly by the construction of an urban park;(2) the
provision of infrastructure and the solution of the environmental problems with
drainage and rehabilitation of the Igarapes; (3)the improvement of housing
conditions on by the development of in-fill public land nearby with significant
impact over the city as whole; (4) the promotion of social inclusion and spatial
integration; (5) the opportunity to test legal and urban instruments that could
eventually be used in other similar situations.
Environmental challanges
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