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Re-inhabiting the city: bringing new life to city centres of emerging economies in a changing climate: the case of São Paulo


Sao Paulo is the 3rd largest city in the world by population and 10th richest city by GDP product. Property prices are high but so is the number of squatters and informal settlements. Poverty and unemployment are huge problems resulting in around 11% of the population living in almost 2000slums, around 15% living in inadequate housing and around 16000 homeless people. In contrast,more than 1.3 million housing units are unoccupied andaround 12% of the buildings in the city's centre are vacant. Residual spaces between buildings and many public squares arevastly used by informal business and street marketsand they do not offer appropriate environmental conditions, being usually places of poor quality, abandoned and crime ridden. Sadly, Sao Paulo's situation is not unique and similar realities can be seen in many cities in emerging economies. The Re-inhabiting the City project focus is to support the sustainable reoccupation of underused or abandoned buildings and open spaces in Sao Paulo's centre, creating places that are comfortable, resilient to climate change and occupied by a vibrant healthy community. The project aims to address key urban challenges such as the reintegration of derelict sites into the urban fabric, lack of social cohesion, loss of socio-cultural values, lack of green spaces and public realm, social exclusion and inequality, reduced public health and wellbeing, and increased criminality.The Reinhabiting the City project will work in the city of Sao Paulo and seek to a) identify urban spaces and buildings that need to be renewed, b) establish their current conditions, c) establish their suitability for reoccupation and d) propose improvements for their 'reinhabitation'. A number of tools will be used by a multidisciplinary team to develop the work and the results will be delivered in the form of a report with recommendations for the regeneration of the identified areas. The findings will be disseminated to various stakeholder including local businesses and authorities. (AU)

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