There are a billion people living in thousands of informal settlements globally, but little is known about how these communities change through formal and informal processes. Creating data about how people make economic, social, and material use of their dwellings – and how those processes are impacted by urban development – is a guiding principle behind the Chapa Civic Data Lab.
We are an international, transdisciplinary team of researchers committed to providing tools and techniques that people may use to participate in urban governance and transformation. Although there are many types of informal settlement to study, we focus specifically on those that have undergone extensive upgrading or redevelopment.
Our data draw from São Paulo, with a focus on two case studies, and three primary sources: public census data, a large-scale household survey undertaken in the context of a National Science Foundation grant, and follow-up studies that target particular themes. Our primary goal is to make these data available to residents of the case study communities, and to share our methods and tools with peer researchers and communities who are also constructing local research infrastructures.