Self Determined Participatory Action of Marginalized Groups: The streets of São Paulo

looking for a place to stay

information about the practical part of my thesis are currently a little underrepresented. thus its time to write a bit about possible places where the reallife mapping of the urban environment with mobile phones could take place. I currently wrote emails to a number of urban movements and groups in various cities where people are organized mainly around housing issues. The cities are São Paulo in Brazil, Nairobi in Kenia and Durban/Cape Town in South Africa, where the following movements and groups are based:

São Paulo

Fórum Centro Vivo

The Fórum Centro Vivo was founded in 2000 in SP by various groups and persons involved in the struggle for housing and the fight to stay and live in the center of the city. Its aim is to make the city (center) a more democratic space and to oppose the urban revival and the resulting exclusion and segregation of people based on gender, race, class or sexual orientation. A more detailed description can be found at the FCV about page.

Movimento de Luta nos Bairros, Vilas e Favelas

MLB is a socialist (mass) movement that exist in many Brazilian states and which fights for a more just and equal urban reformation. The movements and communities organized under MLB tackle issues relevant for urban dwellers such as improved sanitation and means of transportation. They also conduct direct actions such as occupations of buildings for the immediate improvement of the housing situation of the people but also to point to the lack of affordable housing and vacant propoerties as a general problem. Leran more from the overview of the struggle of the last decade.

União dos Movimentos de Moradia São Paulo

UMMSP is part of the country wide União Nacional por Moradia Popular. It is composed of grassroots movemens, communities and groups which fight for the right to the city and the right for residence. It also opposes the current urban reformation which leads to social exclusion. In addition UMMSP constructs social houses and have impact on the cities housing legislation. More information can be found at their history page.


APOIO is a social non-profit organisation whose aim is the social integration of men, women, children and adults that live in precarious conditions such as homeless people, slum dwellers or low-income households. More information can be found at their history page. 


Koch FM

Koch FM is the first community radio station established in the Korogocho slum of Nairobi. It is run by the people for the people and due to its acceptance among the local inhabitants it may provide a nice starting point to get in contact with the inhabitants of Korogocho and probably to spread information of the intended project as well. I personal like Koch FM because I like pirate and free radio station that exists all over the world.


Abahlali baseMjondolo

is a slum dwellers movement in South Africa, initially established in the Kennedy Road informal settlement in Durban in order to fight the pending sale of the land the settlement was established on. Nowadays, Abahlali is present in many informal settlements of various cities all over the country and also forms, together with other movements, the Western Cape Anti Eviction Campaign and the Poor Peoples Alliance. For a detailed information take a look at their introductionary page.

Category: case studies, general


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