Written by Nicholas Busalacchi, MPL ’14 | Photo credits: Ginger Li
We stood on the rubble of a former squatter village in the Serra do Mar mountains outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, looking out toward freshly minted housing developments in the valley below. Out came several women from the remaining mountainside homes, presenting a delectable array of spongecake and refreshments for their wide-eyed visitors. Then the “media” arrived–a highly professional group of citizen journalists with video and sound equipment–ready to document the scene. These were not the favelas often depicted in the news–the informal settlements rife with squalor, crime, and desperation.
During the next few days, our hosts from EMPLASA–the metropolitan planning agency representing the State of Sao Paulo–introduced us to their extraordinary efforts to house the State’s 40-plus million residents. Our 25 student class, culled from Price’s MPA, MPL, and MPP programs and led by Professor Richard Green, toured new…
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