Scopus: 2 citations, Google Scholar: citations,
Socio-spatial legibility, discipline, and gentrification through favela upgrading in Rio de Janeiro
Comelli, Thaisa (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism)
Anguelovski, Isabelle (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals)
Chu, Eric (University of Birmingham. School of Geography, Earth and Environment Sciences)

Date: 2018
Abstract: This paper contributes to global perspectives on gentrification by interrogating the experiences of urban redevelopment and transformation in the global South. Through unpacking the contradictions of public space revitalization and upgrading in two favelas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, we critically examine changes to the socio-spatial fabric of informal settlements over time. Our analysis reveals that upgrading projects, when combined with stateled favela pacification, create socio-spatial legibility through three inter-related pathways ofphysical, symbolic, and economic discipline. In the outset, favela upgrading increases property prices and produces an urban scenario molded for outsiders while simultaneously invisibilizing traditional cultural and social uses. For favela residents, however, upgrading is experienced as iterative processes of securitization and restriction, which involve strategies such as environmental clean-up, property enclosure, police violence, and new exclusionary forms of investments. As a result, the most socially vulnerable residents are controlled, coercively driven away, and slowly erased. Over time, the apparent integration of the formal and informal city, of the rich and the poor, of the 'asphalt' and the 'hill' in Rio de Janeiro produces new forms of separation, segregation, and fragmentation.
Note: Unidad de excelencia María de Maeztu MdM-2015-0552
Note: Digital object identifier for the 'European Research Council' (, Digital object identifier for 'Horizon 2020' (
Note: Número d'acord de subvenció MINECO/MDM-2015-0552
Note: Número d'acord de subvenció MINECO/RYC-2014-15870
Note: Número d'acord de subvenció EC/H2020/678034
Rights: Tots els drets reservats
Language: Anglès
Document: article ; recerca ; acceptedVersion
Subject: Slum upgrading ; Neoliberal cities ; Public space ; Global gentrification ; Environmental gentrification ; Rio ; Brazil
Published in: City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action, (29 November 2018) , ISSN 1360-4813

DOI: 10.1080/13604813.2018.1549205

Available from: 2020-11-01

The record appears in these collections:
Research literature > UAB research groups literature > Research Centres and Groups (scientific output) > Experimental sciences > Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA) > The Barcelona Lab for Urban Environmental Justice and Sustainability
Articles > Research articles
Articles > Published articles

 Record created 2018-12-19, last modified 2020-08-08

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