The HUM project presented another article derived from the research, in the “PNUM 2018 – Portuguese-Language Network of Urban Morphology” – organized by the Lusophone Network of Urban Morphology. The Congress happened on the 18th and 19th of July in Porto city, Portugal.
Under the theme “The Production of the Territory: Forms, Processes, Intents”, theoretical approaches were addressed, such as territorial reading and spatial evaluation, and practices as placemaking, self-build and actor networks in the production of Brazilian and Portuguese cities.
This PNUM’s edition proposed a look at suburbs and communities’ typologies discussing about “a place for each thing, each thing in its place”. Criticising centralization and hierarchy but also highlighting the need to understand and study favelas’ pattern, its process of transformation and development.
It was also discussed the city of condominiums and big private facilities, “big boxes” of semi-public nature. These shapes and patterns of urban expansion, common in Latin American contexts and that alter function and socioeconomic dynamic of fabric, were called “urban mutations”.
Architecture education and professional activity were discussed in face of growth of slums. In parallel, the diffusion of the dense and compact morphologies, which appears associated to the walkable, cycling, sustainable and healthy cities was also discussed. So, an invite to think “walkability” beyond urban design manuals.
Active mobility in the informal city
The HUM Project contributed to this debate by presenting a paper entitled “Urban form and mobility: the challenges of active mobility in the informal city”. It addresses the walkability in formal and informal cities, comparing the investigated areas in Porto Alegre, Menino Deus neighborhood and Vila Tronco.
The study reveals some similarities and highlights morphological differences between informal and formal ‘traditional’ urban tissue, especially the elements scale, as well as the active mobility behavior of its residents.
The analysis carried on the block scale shows the homogeneity of favelas and the heterogeneity of the formal neighborhoods, especially regarding the compactness and continuity of the built mass.
Through the observation of interviewees’ mobility behavior the socioeconomic condition influence on mobility index of inhabitants is confirmed. There was a significantly smaller number of trips in Vila Tronco compared to Menino Deus. The small sample does not allow generalizations about results, however, it allows to conclude that the majority of traditional formal urban tissues’ residents that uses car also travels by foot, which can be connected with a better walkability in that neighborhood, especially an wide number of destinations and urban attractions.
As soon as the PNUM’s annals of Congress are published, the full paper will be available in HUM Project’ social media.
*Text by Sabrina Machry, HUM Project’s researcher.