Geopolitical & Socioeconomic

The Legacy of Habitat I: What Have we Learned about Self-Construction?

  • 126 Wigmore St, Marylebone, London W1U 3RZ
  • 18.00-20.00

Dr Adriana Massidda, the first beneficiary of a new library visiting fellowship scheme, jointly offered by Canning House and King's College London, will discuss the findings of her research on the urban poor in Latin America.


In 1976, following several decades of debate regarding users’ participation in the production of low-income housing, the first United Nations Habitat conference (Vancouver 1976) championed assisted self-help as a way of coping with the accommodation crises then experienced in Latin American cities. These crises, however, were not new. Since the late-nineteenth century the urban poor had struggled to find living space in fast-growing metropolises, first resorting to various types of tenements and later increasingly self-building accommodation in occupied land.

In her talk ‘The Legacy of Habitat I: What Have we Learned about Self-Construction?’, Dr Adriana Massidda will analyse the transformation of low-income urban communities in Lima (Peru) during the second half of the twentieth century, offering a comparative perspective with Buenos Aires (Argentina). More specifically, after summarising the rich history of Lima’s pueblos jóvenes up to 1976, she will analyse the period that followed with particular attention to the interconnection of income and gender.

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