During the last decade, Brazil has witnessed the construction of an unprecedented number of social housing developments, due to an ambitious federal program named “My House My Life” (Minha Casa Minha Vida - MCMV). In seven years, it has contracted 4.2 million of housing units, and 2.6 million of them were already delivered to beneficiaries. The program is currently in its third phase, and it covers three different ranges of income with two main goals: to boost the construction sector and reduce the housing deficit of the country by encouraging homeownership. However, the resultant large scale developments are providing residents with housing units of reduced square footage, located in peripheral locations, with few or no access to basic services and commercial activity. In such conditions, these developments become “dormitory neighborhoods”, since they lack enough infrastructure to meet the population’s daily needs, such as education, health care, commercial activity, job opportunities, social interactions, etc. Standardization of architectural and urban solutions are a way of reducing costs and usually results in the decrease of the development’s overall quality. This thesis first discusses the Brazilian current housing provision situation and the interconnected relation between social and spatial structures of cities. Searching for a more sustainable urban form, it builds a conceptual framework that expands the eight components for sustainable communities presented by the Egan Wheel by incorporating design strategies to reach them. It was performed an assessment, based on the conceptual framework, of one of the largest MCMV’s development, located in the city of Londrina, second biggest city of the State of Paraná, South of Brazil. This study focuses on the urban form of the development, pointing out that any people’s habitat should be consisted of more than a shelter, it should be complemented by a healthy neighborhood that promotes human interaction, and encourages prosperity. Then, it was proposed an alternative master plan to the case study, which has maintained ninety percent of the total current residents and offered quality public and green spaces with a more rational urban form, which also takes into consideration the social processes that define a community.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Housing development--Brazil; Sustainable architecture--Brazil

Publication Date

Summer 2016

Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Architecture (M.Arch.)

Department, Program, or Center

Architecture (GIS)


Giovanna Potesta

Advisor/Committee Member

Nana-Yaw Andoh

Advisor/Committee Member

Ann Howard


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at NA7540 .M67 2016


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