Accepted paper:

(Re)settlement spaces of Maputo, Mozambique: between habitat and the inhabit


Sílvia Jorge (Research Centre of Architecture, UTL)
Vanessa Melo (School of Architecture, University of Lisbon)

Paper short abstract:

Can and how can resettlements' habitat become inhabited settlements? Following the Lefebvrian production of space theory, namely the dichotomy between habitat and inhabit, we intend to search for answers to this question, by analysing two resettlement spaces of the Mozambican capital, Maputo.

Paper long abstract:

In Mozambique, the constitution of housing policies has not been a main focus of the state since independence, although recent attempts to call attention to this theme indicate its increasing visibility, considering that around 70% of its population lives in self-produced spaces, generally designated as slums or informal. Simultaneously, resettlement interventions in its capital, Maputo, have been at place due to natural calamities and urban renewal interventions, based on the tabula rasa of pre-existing tissue, particularly expressive in the neoliberal context, as a result of the development of real estate and infrastructural megaprojects. Lefebvre (1991 [1974]), when theorising about the production of space, establishes a difference between the notions of: habitat, associated to housing top-down supplied, as in resettlement interventions, to an imposition and reduction of space to a 'machine of inhabit'; and inhabit, which results of space appropriation through time and is based on everyday rhythms and ways of living. The understanding of these notions is one of the focus of the research project Africa Habitat: From the sustainability of habitat to the quality of inhabit in the urban margins of Luanda and Maputo, in which we are involved. Having this as a point of departure, we propose to analyse the spatial transformations and levels of appropriation in two resettlement areas of Maputo: one related to the floods of 2000 and another to the reconstruction of an important access road, in 2013. LEFEBVRE, Henri (1991 [1974]). The Production of Space. Trans. Nicholson-Smith, Donald. Oxford UK & Cambridge USA: Blackwell.

panel Soc06
It is not about housing (only)! affordable housing policies and the resettlement of informal settlements