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CoPolis - social co-production of the city and citizen science: a comparative perspective on working class and precarious neighbourhoods in France and in Brazil

Grant number: 19/13365-3
Support Opportunities:Research Projects - Thematic Grants
Duration: April 01, 2020 - April 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Architecture and Town Planning
Convênio/Acordo: ANR
Principal Investigator:João Sette Whitaker Ferreira
Grantee:João Sette Whitaker Ferreira
Principal researcher abroad: Agnès Deboulet
Institution abroad: Université Vincennes Saint-Denis (Paris 8), France
Host Institution: Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo (FAU). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Pesquisadores principais:
Francisco de Assis Comarú
Associated researchers:Caio Santo Amore de Carvalho ; Estevam Vanale Otero ; José Eduardo Baravelli ; Karina Oliveira Leitão ; Mariana de Azevedo Barretto Fix ; Nadia Somekh ; Vera da Silva Telles
Associated grant(s):22/00675-7 - Occupying the city: housing crisis and popular movements in São Paulo, AP.R SPRINT
Associated scholarship(s):23/13041-9 - CoPolis - Social co-production of the city and citizen science. Contribution to systematise and disseminate the processes and products in the cases of São Paulo, BP.IC
23/11589-7 - Contribution to the case study: Vertical Occupations in the city center of São Paulo (SP), BP.TT
22/16700-0 - Urban rehabilitation for housing needs: building bridges through the lens of sustainability and co-production, BP.PD
+ associated scholarships 23/02628-9 - Contribution to the systematisation, analysis and dissemination of the processes and products of the Participatory Action / Co-production Research in São Paulo cases, BP.TT
23/05133-0 - Contribution to the case study: Young occupancies on the periphery, BP.TT
22/12584-6 - Contribution to the case study: Young Occupancies on the Periphery, BP.TT
21/14901-6 - Academic extension projects: a critical analysis of their possibilities as tools and process in urban co-production and professional training for spatial planners, BP.PD
22/02386-2 - CoPolis: social co-production of the city and citizen science: prospective-analytic contributions to the case study: Young Occupations from the Periphery to the Center (RMSP), BP.IC
21/11573-8 - The social co-production of the city in the articulation between university, social movements and technical advisement: a look from vertical occupations in São Paulo city center., BP.PD
21/12918-9 - Contribution for the case study: Young Occupancies from Periphery to City Center (RMSP), BP.TT
21/11528-2 - Urban population and precariousness in Rio de Janeiro: entanglements between university, State and social movements, BP.PD
21/11808-5 - Vertical occupations in central area: a case study on the co-production of the city in São Paulo/SP, BP.TT
21/09648-0 - CoPolis - social co-production of the city and citizen science: analytical-prospective contributions to the case study: vertical occupations in the center of São Paulo (SP), BP.IC
20/16683-3 - Contribution to the case study: Young Occupancies on the Periphery, BP.TT
20/16685-6 - Contribution to the case study: Vertical Occupations in the city center of São Paulo (SP), BP.TT
20/16725-8 - CoPolis - social co-production of the city and citizen science: analytical and forward-looking contributions for the case study: young occupations on the outskirts of the city, BP.IC
19/04945-6 - 'Archeology' of Paulo Freire's influence in the urbanization of favelas: the cases of Recife (PE) and Diadema (SP), BP.MS
19/07801-5 - The construction sites of self-help housing in contemporary São Paulo, BP.MS - associated scholarships


Scientific, political and operational approaches to the challenges of sustainable development in cities are mostly technological. At the same time that governance increasingly promotes official citizen participation, alternatives planning experiences are multiplying, especially in precarious urban areas, as well as urban co-production practices that bring together civil society, universities and professionals, often supported by public institutions. These initiatives bring fundamental social innovationstowards sustainability, especially in the most disadvantaged contexts, where the official practises haven't achieved global and real participations. More than technologies, CoPolis emphasizes the importance of cooperation tools and processes that aim for sustainable development. Cooperative practices make it possible to go beyond certain cleavages between civil society, professionals and, to a certain extent, governments, in contexts where vulnerable urban communities increasingly depend on the need for debate and to be heard, to gain influencing public decisions. Practices of social and democratic innovation that explore alternatives that aim at reducing socio-spatial inequalities. France and Brazil are countries that have a long history of cooperation and community action in popular or precarious neighborhoods where the most discriminated populations live. This project explores the potential of co-production - with collective and interinstitutional action involving the university as an organizing and mediating agent - to adapt urban interventions to sustainability issues in terms of reducing social and environmental vulnerabilities, building governance democratic empowerment, empowerment communities and cognitive effects of co-production knowledge. The project includes the critical evaluation of these practices, processes and impasses in specific cases of study in Brazil and France, understanding their impacts on civil society, the third sector and on the production of urban planning. It will be analyzed through the prism of social and spatial justice.The project raises three main research questions: 1) the genesis and conditions for developing collaborative partnerships between organized civil society and facilitators; 2) relations between political-institutional contexts and configurations of organizational collaborative practices; 3) the organization and circulation of knowledge within these collaborations and the role played by different types of intermediary actors, especially the university in the field of action research ("pesquisa-ação"). CoPolis will conduct a mixed methodology combining qualitative research with participatory action research. Will be investigated eight Brazilian and French cases in different urban contexts ranging from large urban projects to occupations in central areas. The survey will also be retrospective study, with an analysis of long-term collaborative practices since the 1950s, based in two emblematic districts in France. In relation to action-research, the team will work with partnerships already formed by civil society actors in place and inhabitants. CoPolis is both comparative and participatory research, both anchored in partnerships with middle actors and civil society organizations. The tangible contributions of collaborative approaches in different social, economic, political and institutional contexts will be evaluated, highlighting the main conditions that favor collaborative practices. The expected results include the systematization of organizational configurations and tools of social cooperation for the social co-production of the city, as well as the scientific diffusion of this reflection. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
GEISA BORDENAVE. Dimensão pedagógica e ético-política do trabalho social em um projeto ATHIS. Revista Katálysis, v. 26, n. 3, p. 487-494, . (19/13365-3)

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