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PRODUCTION-ORIENTED URBANISM A SPATIAL RESPONSE TO ECONOMIC FUNTIONALITY OF THE INFORMAL:

DIEGO GRINBERG MANUEL OTERO

Several examples demonstrate that the informal plays an essential role on today´s economies.1 However, particularly in Latin America, it tends to be spatially segregated from the rest of the city. As a result, crossovers potentially beneficial for the integration of formal and informal production are rather curbed than fostered by urban features. In Buenos Aires, the isolation of the informal is such that it constitutes an inaccessible part of the city for any outsider. In addition, its main informal settlements sit on obsolete industrial areas in processes of redevelopment. Although their slow progression, due to intricate political conflicts and economic cycles, it is not hard to see the small-scale industry of these areas slowly replaced by real-estate, mostly monofunctional investment.

BUENOS AIRES METROPOLITAN AREA

Thus, crossovers between formal and informal could not only integrate an increasingly important production force, but also collaborate in redefining current patterns of urban transformation based on speculative fluctuation of land price.

1 “U n de r- age w ork ers hav e h e lp e d b u ild A p p le ’s p r o d u c t s , a n d th e c o m p a n y’ s su p p l i e r s h a ve i m p r o p e r l y d i sp o se d o f h a za r d o u s w a ste and falsified reco r ds, a c cordi ng to company r e p o r t s a n d a d v o c a c y g r o u p s t h a t , w i th i n C h i n a , a r e o fte n c o n si d e r e d r e l i a b l e , i n d e p e n d e n t m o n i to r s”. h ttp ://www.nytimes. co m /2 0 1 2 / 01/26/bus i nes s /i ec o n o m y - a p p le s - ip a d - a n d - t h e - h u m a n - c o sts- fo r - w o r ke r s- i n - c h i n a .h tm l ?p a g e w a n te d =a l l &_r =0


In order to revise this situation we explore on three main urban elements corresponding three parts of an integrated strategy: ORGANISE

The border as a space of association: A micro-scale of production is critical for the rapid changes the informal needs to respond to. However, it also limits its development. The border, as a space of transition, presents the opportunity of

establishing

forms

of

association

able

to

keep

the

characteristic of adaptability of the micro scale without undermining its possibilities of progress.

SCALE-UP

Underutilised land upgrading physical support: In addition to

organisational

development

progress

demand

spaces

and scales informal settlements do not have. Cities provide spaces where an intensification of uses could facilitate those requirements. Mobility infrastructure, around which informal settlements habitually allocate, constitutes perhaps the clearest example. A combination of policy change and design could include underutilised space around it for the development of informal production.

OPEN

Permeable

blocks

nurturing

crossovers:

Spaces

of

contact are crucial for the integration of formal and informal activities. Changes in the structure of streets and blocks can produce spatial and typological variation enabling multiple combinations. Informal production, could meet educational or cultural institutions, which could demand commercial space, impacting on the local industry and bringing along new housing or working space investment.

This approach intends to question some of the current patterns of transformation of degraded industrial areas. Instead it puts forward the use of design and spatial tools to stimulate the integration of its economic activities, combining them with new incoming stakeholders.


AA Housing and Urbanism Buenos Aires Group