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Eminent domain, the real estate financial complex and despossessions in contemporary São Paulo

Grant number: 19/09049-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2019
Effective date (End): February 29, 2024
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Urban and Regional Planning
Principal Investigator:Raquel Rolnik
Grantee:Débora Grama Ungaretti
Host Institution: Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo (FAU). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):22/14614-0 - Property, eminent domain and dispossession in urban renewal projects: terra nullius in contemporary metropolis, BE.EP.DD


The urban studies literature identifies two processes in the finance-dominated accumulation regime which are mostly presented in a disconnected way. First, the State engagement on financialization of urban space through the mobilization of public land and state machine. Secondly, the State engagement on local communities' dispossession as one of the perverse sides of the actual accumulation forms. This research project aims to analyze one State mechanism which seems to connect these two processes in the case of São Paulo: the eminent domain and consequent eviction of informal occupations and popular territories in areas where urban restructuring projects take place, that away constituting vectors of expansion for real estate and financial capital. Two specific territories will be closely investigated so to ground the exploration of if and how the eminent domain is mobilized on financialization and dispossession. In these cases, by hypothesis, the State's active action takes the popular territories out of the scene and rewards the land's owners, real estate and financial agents with high compensation values and with the opening of real estate and financial capital vectors of expansions, thus characterizing processes of accumulation by dispossession. (AU)

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