CRAVINO Maria Cristina
congresos y reuniones científicas
Structural transformations of slums in Buenos Aires
Congreso; Annual RC 21 Conference 2011; 2011
The present article will analyze the urban and social transformations that took place in slums of the city of Buenos Aires during the last decade. Buenos Aires is the capital city of Argentina and it contains almost 3.000.000 inhabitants. The population living in slums in the city of Buenos Aires grew from 107.000 persons (2001) to 170.000 (2010). The 50 % of the inhabitants are immigrants who belong to bordering countries (Paraguayans, Bolivians and Peruvians). In 2005, the 25% of this population were tenants (Cravino, 2006), but in 2010 the percentage of tenants reached 40% of the population of these neighborhoods. Contemporaneously, a room rental in slums boosted a 600 %, at a speed rate over the inflation. We can affirm as hypothesis that the cycle of growth of the slums in the city is closing, giving place to the beginning of a new cycle of occupations of urban land that could be named under "The revolt of the tenants". The “villas” emerge with the occupation of urban land by families, mainly public, between the 30´s and 60´s. They were evicted by the military governments (1976-83) but they were repopulated under the recovery of democracy. Over that time the land occupation was based on reciprocity relations, therefore, freed from payment relations. The running out of land to be occupied, together with the pressure over slums as a mean of access to housing due to the economic crisis and, the immigration currents led, by half of the 90s, to the emergence of rooms rental known as “inquilinatos”. This form became the entry door to slums, since the tenants concentrated in saving up for becoming owners of a house in the same slum. In the present time, newcomers to the slums do no longer become owners after a time of being tenants. The reason of this transformation in the processes of inhabiting slums is due to the inexistence of a housing market inside slums able to absorb the demand of tenants. The urbanization policies have not been efficient. The methodology of the investigation is based on the accomplishment of surveys in different slums of the city in the year 2005 and 2006 and on a report done in 2010, besides empirical information of diverse villas of the city. In turn, interviews were realized to inhabitants of slums and state civil servants and members of NGOs. The structure of the article is the following: To begin with, we will be introducing the unofficial phenomenon of the occupations of urban lands in the city, called commonly “villas named common citizen “villas”. Afterwards, we will debate about how to understand the process that generated the “urban informality” within the city’s context. In third place, we will display the structural transformations that take place in the slums in the last two decades and the need for an informal real estate market as an expression of the growing commercialization of urban land occupations. After that, we will explain the transformation processes under a conflict context and the expression of social fascism. Finally, we will present our conclusions.