Lima 2005 Workshop | 2005

"Three Decades of Squatter Dreams"

In 1969, four squatter communities were surveyed by MIT in Lima, Peru: Cuevas, El Ermitano, El Agustino, and Mendocita, and documented in the book, "Urban Dwelling Environments" (Caminos, Turner, Steffian; MIT Press, 1969). It is now 35+ years after: What happened? How did they manage? Do they still offer housing opportunities for the low income?

SIGUS revisited the settlements in January 2005, for a 2 week workshop to explore these questions. The workshop collaborated with students from the Facultad de Arquitectura Urbanismo y Artes (FAUA) in the Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria (UNI), and with NGOs working actively in the settlements. Four teams of students interviewed families and documented their house expansion. They were joined by two special groups: one explored the use of internet cafes in the squatter settlements, and another developed concepts for a self rish-assessment checklist for families to make informed decisions on earthquake risk. As a result, a collaboration was established with FAUA-UNI to promote joint research of students from MIT and UNI, and proposals are already being considered for the Summer of 2005.