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Corrugated roof structure, people underneath, Critical Neighbourhoods in white font to upper left, by Park Books.

Critical Neighbourhoods

The Architecture of Contested Communities

Edited by Paulo Moreira


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  • Contributes to a better understanding of human habitats that relates spatial issues to broader economic and political questions
  • Offers analyses of three informal neighbourhoods in Africa, Latin America, and India, translating their spatial and social characteristics into architectural language
  • Uncovers new modes of making architecture and maps new ways for architects to engage with contested communities
  • Addresses geographic differentiations also on a local scale, rather than between various continents only, and explores interconnections between particular neighbourhoods and their wider contexts
Full Description

At a time when architectural and urban studies are moving towards seeking to accept and understand informal neighbourhoods rather than ignoring or eradicating them, the need for experiments on the ground is becoming increasingly urgent. In recent years, a growing number of architects and urban designers have committed themselves to the idea that these settlements are here to stay and require selective intervention in order to achieve better living conditions.

This book contributes to the development of new architectural approaches to informal neighbourhoods and to a better understanding of human habitats that relates spatial issues to broader economic and political questions. The contributors analyse feasible and effective practical actions located in Africa, Latin America and India, drawing upon empiric work to contextualise concrete neighbourhoods. Complementing essays explore the deeply intertwined nature of spatial practice, cultural identity and social engagement. A conversation between contributors Julia King, Paulo Moreira, Elisa Silva, AbdouMaliq Simone, and Ines Weizman, moderated by Matthew Barac, rounds out this volume.

About the Author

Paulo Moreira is a Porto-based architect and researcher and a post-doctoral fellow in the research project Africa Habitat, coordinated by the University of Lisbon’s Faculty of Architecture. He graduated from the Faculty of Architecture, University of Porto and completed his PhD at London Metropolitan University.

Park Books
1st Sep 2022
World excluding Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Puerto Rico, United States, Canada, and Japan
240 mm x 170 mm
256 Pages
120 color, 30 b&w
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