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Cartography of controversies: the polarized debate about the future of Minhocão

Grant number: 20/15120-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2021
Effective date (End): September 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Architecture and Town Planning
Principal researcher:David Moreno Sperling
Grantee:Gabriela Romano López
Home Institution: Instituto de Arquitetura e Urbanismo de São Carlos (IAU). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


In 2014, The Strategic Master Plan of the city of São Paulo established a concrete possibility of transforming the urban landscape of Elevado João Goulart - popularly known as Minhocão - and its immediate surroundings. Hence, public opinion and experts have been mobilized to debate the future of this elevated road, and the dispute about its future has been intensified through the spheres of social practices and public administration. Also, it has provoked significant changes regarding new symbolic meanings given to this structure in the urban imaginary of the city. The confluence of agents, discourse, articulations, and socio-spatial transformations involved in this dispute allows to present Minhocão as a privileged place to reflect on contemporary urban phenomena. Therefore, the research intend to analyze the spatial and social assemblages unfolding through the socio-technical networks which support the polarized debate about the future of Minhocão, identifying nuances, convergences and divergences existing between these positions in the arrangement of imaginaries and discourses about the city of São Paulo, and its engenderment with the concrete production processes of the city. The investigation is based on an Actor-Network Theory approach, through the method of Cartography of Controversies. In this sense, considering cartographic practice as a political-critical practice to understand reality, the research aims to bring dissent to the forefront, to contest hegemonic narratives, revealing different perspectives of the disputed territory, and to reflect on the urban imaginary that has been produced and on the potentialities and limits of cartography as a technopolitical device for the spatialization of information - which enables the emergence of representations, collective imaginations and territorial propositions.

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