Chapa is a transdisciplinary team of researchers, citizen scientists, and designers who co-investigate critical concerns in and with communities who are vulnerable to urbanization. Taking a cue from the local meaning of Chapa, an urban guide, we build data resources to prevent displacement from redeveloped informal settlements and improve public participation in how cities are planned and where new communities are created.
The Chapa Civic Data Lab extends the methods of the Latin American Housing Network (LAHN) at the University of Texas at Austin, and shares a focus on local, civic data that are frequently neglected by big data flows that shape urban development. Chapa also maintains a collaboration with UNAS, the União de Núcleos, Associações dos Moradores de Heliópolis e Região in São Paulo. Together, we translate civic datasets into resources that help citizens mobilize around shared issues and create the research infrastructure necessary for actionable change and equitable urban transformation.
To do so, we work with three sub-categories of civic data, defined as data that is created for public benefit and use, including: civic data briefs, interactive civic maps, and the ComuniDADOS public visualization tool, available in data. This research infrastructure is evolving, and we hope it provides citizens, institutions, and governments a resource for investigating and changing how informality shapes cities.
Dr. Kristine Stiphany founded Chapa in the context of a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowship about redevelopment and displacement in Brazilian favelas, where she has worked as an urban practitioner on redevelopment projects and has conducted extensive research. Through this work, she recognized the need for local data to accurately study and represent urban informality, an ambition that has been supported by the Andrea von Braun Foundation and a prior National Science Foundation grants.
Read FAQs about Chapa or contact us for collaboration here.
Note: To expand this website’s reach, we have used an automatic Google translator, and thus some terms may appear illogical. We apologize for this inconvenience and are making small adjustments to ensure the best translation. Thank you for your patience.
Obs: Entendemos que alguns termos nas chamadas das sessões fazem pouco sentido em português e espanhol, e pedimos desculpas por isso. O site foi construído em inglês e a tradução é feita automaticamente pelo browser Google.