Formalizing the Informal City: Designing for Development in a Peruvian Shantytown

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Resources for urban development in Third World countries are usually very limited, while population demands are increasingly higher, resulting in informal urbanism. According to recent projections, nearly 75% of the growth of Lima over the past three decades has been due to the expansion of informal settlements approximately 50% of the country's population lives in shantytowns.

This thesis maintains that urban and architectural design can promote sustainable social, economic, urban and human development. The project is located in Villa el Salvador (VES) a planned shantytown in southern Lima and is part of a proposed network of infill development for the 144 vacant urban spaces in the district. Each space is considered as a "core" containing mid-density infill housing, a public plaza, urban park space and an institutional/community building.

A progressive housing scheme is proposed which provides an initial basic core that is designed to support future expansion through self-help construction. The challenge is to provide a higher density model for self-help construction that replaces the predominant scheme of the single house per lot.