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Literature Review Assignment: Urban Development and Planning Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Task:Please read it carefully and understand the structure. Search the literature on planning in developing countries focusing on population growth, strategic and statutory urban planning, housing systems, land delivery and methods of provision of infrastructure and services.

Choose a city from a developing country which has substantial informal housing. Choose a city on which there are sufficient material available. Depending on the city you choose some of the eReaders available on the course homepage may be useful.

Describe strategic and statutory urban planning model/style followed in the city. For example types and nature of plans (strategy plans, stature plans, master plans etc. as they may be called) Identify strategies and policies followed with respect to land acquisition, zoning, housing policies and housing delivery.

Discuss how plans are implemented and its success and failure on housing and infrastructure. Critically analyse how informal housing come about and continue to persist and is a form of housing for substantial proportion of urban dwellers. How does informal settlements coexist with planned development and how planning strategies, land policies deal with informal housing?

Describe attempts, if any, towards improvement of the quality and liveability of informal housing such as self-help or sites and services and regularisation of housing.Discuss why informal housing persists in developing countries and what can be done about it.Try to use more reference.


Population boom, courtesy stellar growth of medical technology, has caused scarcity of residential places; thus compelling developing countries to pay special attention to urban development and planning. Allocation of residential areas for population and providing necessary initiates has become a serious problem for a developing country such as Brazil. Growth in population and scarcity of place urban development had become an important aspect for new cities. Many major cities of developing nations like Asia, Africa, Latin America and Caribbean Islands are facing this challenge of rapid population growth. Due to rapid growth in population issues like scarcity of resources, rural-urban migration and severe poverty with socioeconomic imparity are emerging. This is where urban planning has got a vital role to play as it provides a vision that will give an alignment with the policies of government and people of that area. More realistic planning will result in the proper implementation of the policies on the ground of Urban planning is a type of value creation which sometimes generates returns of unthinkable nature. This essay will focus on the urban planning and development of Rio-de-Janeiro.

Population growth: Brazil's population is 210.87 million (as of 2018) and population density is 24.66 people per square kilometre. Rio de Janeiro has estimated population of 6.45 million which is ranked 2nd with the population ranking of Brazil. It is third largest metro area and town agglomeration in whole of South America. Mainly inhabited by the Portuguese population of Brazil, there are other ethnic classes of peoples who live in Rio de Janeiro. It is home for about 11.6 million residents and is estimated to grow to 13.1 million till 2030.

City selection: Rio de Janeiro is selected as a suburbanized core city like many other municipalities of the world Rio de Janeiro is also a municipality of suburbanized colonies. These suburbanized colonies make up about 43% of the habitable area of Rio. The growth rate in these areas is little bit sloth and the areas outside the suburbanized zone or outskirts of suburbs see the maximum growth rate with respect to a population which is almost 53%. This growth rate is due to the fact that the new urban and town planning can be used in these types of area. Since the suburb zone has ample amount of vacant land suitable for residential developments, hence migrant population often settle on the outskirts of Rio (, 2018).

Strategic and statutory urban planning: From 1902 there has seen a massive restructuring of the city of Rio de Janeiro. In 1902 Mayor of Rio initiated an urban renewable under the guidance of Engineer Francisco Pereira Passos. In this renewable process, the core of the city was subjected to a massive restructuring and intensive construction that lead to a modern day Rio which is visualized today. All the structures of colonial era were modified or demolished to make way for the modern day Rio. Central Rio was modelled on European cities with construction of similar style of buildings as they are found in Europe. As opined by Albrechts (2015), the government of Brazil has tried hard to maintain a stricter vigil on the new developments of living properties in and around the central city of Rio. This has forced the government to think about some laws which it did.

The City Statute national legal framework developed and approved by Brazilian congress in the year 2001 in its parliament. This act was meant for strengthening of local planning and its management towards more formidable and sustainable growth framework in urban development. The enactment of this law was federal law 10.257; this law played a decisive role in the urban development and planning of Brazil. As stated by Buckley, Kallergis, and Wainer (2016), with the end of military dictatorship in Brazil ended in 1985 with that there was a movement for basic housing facilities it was National Movement for Urban Reforms (NMUR). With this movement, the statue of urban development changed in Brazil and especially in Rio (Frank, 2018).

Housing systems: The housing policy of Rio can be sequenced in main two parts one is based on evaluative analysis and the second part is related to the studies for forming policies on housing. In 1993 the head of Rio municipal administration Cesar Maia started creation and development of Rios housing policy. It was a strategy plan which started with creation of Executive group of special programs for popular settlements in RIO, famously known as GEAP. This group was formed under municipal urbanization secretariat (SMU); the GEAP includes representatives from other municipal departments also. With all this procedure GEAP came up with the housing policy of Rio in which included 6 different aspects. Some of the strategies for land acquisition, zoning, housing policies and housing delivery are described below-

Land acquisition and zoning: As stated by Caldeira and Holston (2015), land acquisition for housing construction was done in slum up gradation. Emphasis was given on slum up gradation for developmental purpose of housing situation in Rio. As stated by Cummings (2015), the first slum up gradation program was named Favela-Bairro, this project was implemented in Andarai Favelas. It was an initiative taken by Mr. Maia in 1994 when he created Municipal Extraordinary Housing Secretariat and appointed Mr. Sergio Magalhães as extraordinary secretary (Fuller and Moore, 2017).

Housing policy and delivery and their provisions: The Municipality of Rio de Janeiro has implemented the laws enacted by the government of Brazil in Rio. The organic Law 1990 which empowers the municipality of Rio to provide housing facilities to its residents is a concept based law. As stated by Haddad (2015), this law is based on Master plan 2011 that specifies clearly that how the municipality should deal with the housing, land and urban issues more tactfully. In article number 2 of this law, it is stated that the land within the city will be used for social purposes and all the citizens of the town will be a part of this social development. Article 3 of organic law 1990, creates a platform for developing urban policies by developing Favelas and providing shelter to the residents of Rio.

Article 70 of this same law states that how an area of social interest can be created, which will help the municipality to earn through using it for tourism and other rationales. Article 77 of this law provides reasons through which government can take away land and includes regularization of land by controlling the urban expansion portfolio of Rio. This practises implements social welfare housing practices were developed for providing shelter to citizens of Reo De Janeiro. Article 230 of this law provides a specific objective land and regularization policy for the Municipality of Rio (, 2018).

Success and failure on housing: As it is known the first program that was implemented was the slum up gradation program undertaken by Municipality of Rio, by creating a new department of SeMH. As opined by Huchzermeyer and Misselwitz (2016), this decision of slum up gradation was selected via consensus and this became a popular urban developmental tool in Brazil. As opined by Klink and Denaldi (2016), this program had a special earmarking to it as this program was initiated indigenously in Brazil and didn't require any international funding for its completion.

In 2009 the federal government of Brazil started a program called ‘My Home My Life’ program which was aimed to provide 1 million houses in two years. This program mobilized an amount of R$34 million in investment. In 2010 Rio municipality started Morar Carioca plan which was aimed toward urbanizing all the Favelas. This was named as housing Olympic legacy it included reorganization of 1020 Favelas which were identified by the IPP (Municipal institution for urbanization or previously known as (IplanRio). As stated by Lin and Shih (2018), this classification enabled SMH to actually calculate the amount required for an investment for this project. Like that there were many housing projects that were undertaken by Rio municipality that was famous in Rio de Janeiro.

Informal housing: Group of habitat constructed over any land where the occupant has no legal right over the land. This is a definition of informal housing. In local language, it is known as Favelas or informal settlements. Rio de Janeiro has more than 1000 Favelas which host almost one-third of the cities total population that is around 63% of people's lives in these Favelas (Levy, 2016).

Informal settlement coexisted with planed development: Urbanization process of Brazil started in 1930's and was at its peak in 1960's. There were changes in the point of view of the municipal corporation of Rio where they gauged some points. These points were deliberated towards urban development. As stated by Melchiors and Wagner (2016), initially providing shelter was their prime objective but it changed and they shifted their focus to developing informal settlements. The approach of providing new housing to people required a huge amount of investments. On the contrary, developing Favelas are comparatively low-cost based project.

Land policies and planning strategy dealing with informal housing: Rio de Janeiro is most talked about city in Brazil with respect to its informal settlements the first census of slums in Brazil was held in 1948. At that time it was seen that about 6 % of total population of Brazil is living in this type of informal settlements. In today's context, the population has increased to about 22% of total populations who are living in slums of Brazil. Rio was first in Brazil where urbanization work by development of the slums started in 1981. As stated by Reis and de Araújo (2018), project Mutirão, then programmer of Favelas Bairro these all were initiatives in Rio to incorporate informal settlements in the mainstream. Informal settlements are an integral part of urbanization more urbanization will lead to more people shifting towards town and it will create more informal settlements.

Reasons for existence and persistence of informal housing: An informal settlement, Squatter settlement or slums all these adjectives can be used for this type of settlements. Building houses without government permission or any legal permit, these settlements can be easily characterized with low quality of houses. Mainly there are three reasons that cause the increase of informal settlement that is lack of resources, Urbanization and Poverty. Lack of resources is a cause that increases informal housing. As opined by Rocha et al. (2016), this increases the rate of poverty also for any country. Countries cannot afford to use their financial resources as those are in scarcity. Urbanization also causes an increase in informal settlements due to increasing number of migrant people. Since these people need some kind of shelter to spend their day so they indulge in creating informal housings.

The creation of informal housing is huge in developing countries. This is because people tend to shift towards cities in search of work in developing countries. This shift of people can be regarded as the fact of poverty among a different class of people inhabiting the area. This movement creates demand for good housing. As opined by Souza (2016), in developing countries Government are not so well of or rich that it can provide good housing facility to a huge number of migrants. This drawback leads to development of slums.

Improving quality and liveability of informal housing: Brazil has taken effective measures for improving living quality in informal housing system in its nation. Brazil government took up number of developmental programs which includes various social components. The poor health and housing condition was solved and social capita of community served was strengthened. Continuous services were also provided for beneficiary of the population who were living in those areas. regulatory factors for informal housing was also strengthen as well and services like self-help was encouraged among dwellers of informal housing sector (Haddad, 2015).

Recommendation and Conclusion: Policies are made they are implemented but then also there is a gap between demand and supply. All the housing policies placed are not sufficient for the people of Rio de Janeiro. City Statues Master plans all sorts of policies have been implemented but still there is ever increasing demand for providing housing facility to its peoples. The policy analysis is required immediately to identify its positive potential for serving people of Rio de Janeiro in effective manner.

The urban development policies of Rio are in right direction. Rio is the first city in Brazil to undertake Favelas development program. There are laws and enactments that are truly focused on the urban development of Rio. Rio Municipal Corporation had played an important role in the development of urban development policies of Rio. Rio had started to develop its Favelas and legalizing them and helping them to built proper houses of building complexes for them this has opened a new path of urban development in Rio as housing projects cater to upper layer of the society but to cater to the lower layer of society this initiative was good.

Reference List
Frank, A. G. (2018). The development of underdevelopment. In Promise of development (pp. 111-123). Abingdon: Routledge.

Fuller, M. and Moore, R., 2017. The death and life of great American cities. Abingdon U.K; Macat Library.

Levy, J.M., 2016. Contemporary urban planning. Abingdon: Taylor & Francis.

Albrechts, L., 2015. Ingredients for a more radical strategic spatial planning. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 42(3), pp.510-525.

Buckley, R.M., Kallergis, A. and Wainer, L., 2016. Addressing the housing challenge: avoiding the Ozymandias syndrome. Environment and Urbanization, 28(1), pp.119-138.

Caldeira, T. and Holston, J., 2015. Participatory urban planning in Brazil. Urban Studies, 52(11), pp.2001-2017.

Cummings, J., 2015. Confronting favela chic: The gentrification of informal settlements in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Global gentrifications: Uneven development and displacement, pp.81-99.

Haddad, M.A., 2015. A Framework for Urban Environmental Planning in Brazil. European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies/Revista Europea de Estudios Latinoamericanos y del Caribe, pp.113-125.

Huchzermeyer, M. and Misselwitz, P., 2016. Coproducing inclusive cities? Addressing knowledge gaps and conflicting rationalities between self-provisioned housing and state-led housing programmes. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 20, pp.73-79.

Klink, J. and Denaldi, R., 2016. On urban reform, rights and planning challenges in the Brazilian metropolis. Planning Theory, 15(4), pp.402-417.

Lin, K.W. and Shih, C.M., 2018. The comparative analysis of neighborhood sustainability assessment tool. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, p.0265813516667299.

Melchiors, L.C. and Wagner, C., 2016. The Brazilian metropolitan regions in the context of the statute of metropolis: the importance of collaborative governance.

Murray, C. and Clapham, D., 2015. Housing policies in Latin America: overview of the four largest economies. International Journal of Housing Policy, 15(3), pp.347-364.

Reis, D.C. and de Araújo, J.G., 2018. A repercussão das políticas habitacionais no Brasil: algumas contribuições a partir do conjunto habitacional Vivendas da Lagoa, Jacobina-BA/The repercussion of housing policies in Brazil: some contributions from the housing estate Vivendas da Lagoa, Jacobina-BA. Brazilian Journal of Development, 4(3), pp.828-848.

Rocha, V.T., Brandli, L.L., Kalil, R.M. and Tiepo, C., 2018. The Urban Planning Guided by Indicators and Best Practices: Three Case Studies in the South of Brazil. In Lifelong Learning and Education in Healthy and Sustainable Cities (pp. 87-101). Springer, Cham.

Serra, M.V., Dowall, D.E., Motta, D. and Donovan, M., 2015. Urban land markets and urban land development: An examination of three Brazilian cities: Brasília, Curitiba and Recife.

Souza, C.D., 2016. Capital Accumulation Process and Resilience: urban planning and redevelopment of port areas, a case study of Santos (Brazil). International Planning History Society Proceedings, 17(3), pp.163-173.

Websites, 2018, Primary Housing and property Laws in Brazil- Rio de Janerio Favela’s. Viewed on 28th May 2018 from:, 2018, Selected indicators for Brazil. Viewed on 28th May 2018 from:

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