DRCLAS: Grassroots Urbanism: Participatory Urban Planning in Post-WWII São Paulo


Thursday, March 8, 2018, 12:00pm


CGIS South, S-050, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA
Image of citySpeaker: Marcio Siwi, College Fellow in Latin American History, History Department, Harvard University

This presentation examines the understudied role of popular neighborhood associations in the rise of participatory urban planning in São Paulo. Often dismissed as “clientelistic” and not interested in city planning, Dr. Siwi shows how in framing their requests for local improvements around demands for inclusion into São Paulo’s official urban planning administration, neighborhood associations helped bring about a new brand of urbanism that was more inclusive and attentive to the needs of the urban poor.

Marcio Siwi is a College Fellow in History at Harvard University where his research and teaching center on Latin American History, Urban Studies, Race, and the history of the United States in the world. His current book project, Making the Modern and Cultured City: Art, Architecture, and Urbanism in Postwar São Paulo explores efforts to transform São Paulo into a world-class city after WWII through a transnational analysis of artistic production, architecture, and urban planning. These practices are examined as expressions of an idealized urban sensibility inflected by foreign models that leading Paulistanos aspired to produce and as a broader pattern of racial anxiety, uneven development, and spatial segregation. Dr. Siwi received his Ph.D. from New York University in 2017. Dr. Siwi was Program Manager of the Brazil Studies Program at Harvard University’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (2007-2010). He is a native of São Paulo.

Moderated by Frances Hagopian, Jorge Paulo Lemann Senior Lecturer on Government, Harvard University

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