Published: 2017

/ Student Work

inFORMA Ocupação Anchieta


Ocupação Anchieta Avança! (Ocupação Anchieta Forward!)” is an actionable framework plan that addresses one of the wicked problems in the Global South: the rapid informal urbanization of environmentally protected areas, given the lack of affordable housing options. While most slum upgrading programs intervene in consolidated settlements, too late to achieve meaningful environmental sustainability, this project exercises land stewardship practices in young occupations. The plan targets interventions to improve residents’ quality of life, while minimizing environmental impact, and restoring the ecological functions of natural systems through specific actions: Sewage Free Anchieta; Housing Cluster; Cultural Anchieta; Creek Revival, and Solid Waste Management.

Ocupação Anchieta is a four-year old land occupation in the Grajaú district, São Paulo. This water-rich district contains important Atlantic Forest reserves. The Occupation is in the property of a non-profit, Instituto Anchieta Grajaú, and it is home to some 800 families living in poverty. The property contains disturbed natural springs in an area of environmental protection. The construction of the rudimentary houses and precarious sewage, involved the partial deforestation of the area.

During our field studies in March 2017, twenty UM planning and architecture students and two faculty members documented the site and engaged with client-partners to learn about the community. To ensure consistent data collection, we adopted the USAID Rapid Appraisal approach to field research, drawing on multiple evaluation methods to efficiently and systematically collect data (including door-to-door household surveys, interviews, community meetings, direct observation, soil and water testing, and drone imaging).


Ashish Bhandari (MArch), Michelle Bohrson (MUP), Cheng Cheng (MUP), Abhishek Alark Desai (MArch), Laura Devine (MArch), Ning Ding (MArch), Grant Hong (MUP), Xiyao Hu (MArch), Sophie Jantz (MUP), Sara Pizzo (MUP), Alexandra Ramirez (MUP), Nikita Sharad Rane (MArch), Antonela Sallaku (MArch), Yao Tang (MArch), Charisma Thapa (MUP), Isaac Wolf (MUP), Lihang Wu (MUP), Shiyu Wu (MArch), Yameng Zhang (MArch), Anyuan Zhou (MArch)


Ana Paula Pimental Walker, Maria Arquero de Alarcon


Community Partner: Movimiento Anchieta RADDAR Escola Da Cidade, São Paulo
Location: Ocupação Anchieta, Brazil
Pages: 333
Year: 2017