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The design transformed into city: the legal rigging of urban activities in São Paulo through the expropriation sector (1937-1945)

Grant number: 19/26027-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2021
Effective date (End): January 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Architecture and Town Planning - Fundamentals of Architecture and Urbanism
Principal researcher:Fernando Atique
Grantee:Aline Canuto da Silva
Home Institution: Escola de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (EFLCH). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Guarulhos. Guarulhos , SP, Brazil


This research proposes a historical investigation about the process of organization of the São Paulo Department of Expropriations (DESAP). This entity, part of the administration of the municipality has immense importance for the urbanistic changes that occurred inside the capital of São Paulo during the 20th century. In that century the city experienced radical transformations, most of them, based in demolitions that allowed new urbanistic experiences. To carry out the spatial transformation the city had to structure a department to deal with the expropriations pointed out as sine qua non for the modern city. We can see the first activities of it in the beginning of the 20th century, with the modification of the Praça da Sé, and, in special, during the major refurbishment that the city center underwent during the Estado Novo period (1937-1945). In those years, the government of the mayors of Fábio Prado (1934-1938) and Prestes Maia (1938-1945) started the implementation of the Irradiation Perimeter, important part of the Avenues Plan, designed by Maia and Ulhôa Cintra, in 1924 and 1930. For the success of the experience of the Avenues Plan, DESAP had important and intense action. Nevertheless, its history is completely unknown in the urbanistic paulistana. Based in the perception of the importance of DESAP, we propose this investigation, trying to study its idealization, legal structuration and who were its daily work agents. In this investigation, we are also interested to understand how the operations under DESAP's competence favored the spatial changes the city went through and what tensions we can identify between the public and private spheres. In order to allow a deeper study, we will focus with greater emphasis on the period from 1937 to 1945, since it was there that the most impactant demolitions took place in São Paulo, due to the establishment of municipal negotiations for the implementation of the Avenues Plan. For this, we will use the primary documentation from DESAP itself: graphic pieces, such as blueprints, alignment plans, urban projects, and documents related to the identification of city owners, the amounts paid by the municipality to these characters, and, in tow, data that allow the identification of jurists, engineers, urban planners, economists and designers who gave vent to the urbanization activities of the municipality. (AU)

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