Let’s commemorate and celebrate this Anniversary by re-connecting and catching up with one another. I’d love to hear what you have been doing and what are your thoughts on your beloved city and its informal communities.

During the pandemic i have been working at three major projects:

  1. An overview article, “From Demon to Darling:  Child of the Dark or Model for Sustainable Cities”, based on my 50 + years of research and action in Rio’s Favelas. The article is a reality check for the current fad, even fetishism, about informal settlements.  I pulled it out of an edited volume because looking at the other chapters I felt the concept was misguided and I am now looking for a journal to publish it.  The formatted text below is ready to go. So, any suggestions are most welcome!
  2. A research/action project titled “The Power of the Peripheries: Favelas Combat Covid”. This was conceived to identify and disseminate the outstanding actions taken in the favela communities of Greater São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro to mitigate the negative effects of the pandemic. This resulted in an illustrated booklet with the nine most inspiring initiatives among the 59 experiences our local teams identified.The booklet was launched in Rio de Janeiro on september 22, 2022 at the IAB (The Brazilian Institute of Architecture) and in São Paulo on October 5, 2022 at INSPER, an urban-focused research institute. The presentations by community leaders and their interactions with professional and activists were geared to strengthening partnerships in confronting future challenges.
  3. Fulbright Research Project in Recife. From mid-September to mid-December, 2022 I was in Recife, Brazil on a three-month research project hosted by FUNDAJ, the Joaquim Nabuco Foundation. With my associate Paulo Moraes we conducted a longitudinal study in two peripheral communities — Pontezinha e Ponte dos Carvalhos, more than 50 years after I participated in a project there with Brazilian and American students in 1965. We are now writing the Final Report.

In the coming months MCP will participate in the Latin American Studies meetings in Vancouver (April, 2023); The Urban Summit in Brussels (June 2023) and the UN General Assembly/SDG Summit in September, 2023. We hope to see each other there if not elsewhere. Please let me know your planned activities for the coming year. Any thoughts on how we might collaborate?

Hopefully the work we have all been doing on inclusive, just and sustainable cities will be one of the many building blocks towards the SDGs.

Thank you so much for your contributions to the MCP over the years.

Sent with warm wishes,