7 Sep

Manaus:reference of urbanization in irregular squatter settlement

In the Amazon, the existence of people in flooded areas located in the larges cities, is one of the greatest challenges for urban development and well being of communities. In 2003 the State of Amazonas has created the program PROSAMIM (Social and Environmental Program of the streams of Manaus). The PROSAMIM, it is the largest urban program, environmental and social development of Brazil, established in the city of Manaus, capital of Amazonas, the largest state of Brazil in length and where the largest watershed in the world is located.

Moradias do projeto PROSAMIM

Housing project by PROSAMIM

The objective of the government of Amazonas was to improve the quality of life of poor people that was living in flooded areas in the city of Manaus. The reality found in the capital of the Amazon is common throughout the region: thousands of families living in subhuman conditions on stilts connected by wooden bridges. Hepatitis, malaria and dengue fever are diseases that affect in large-scale theses communities. In this sense, the PROSAMIM is now a national reference for urbanization of irregular areas.



The Social and Environmental Program of the streams of Manaus(PROSAMIM) was prepared by technical studies that aims to “promote the maintenance of the development that is socially integrated and environmentally sustainable economic growth and urban development, ensuring the preservation of environmental heritage of Manaus and the State of Amazonas” (Rossin, Antonio Carlos).

Parque Senador Jefferson Peres

Senator Jefferson Peres Park

The program started in 2003, today is a successful experience in the landscape of Manaus, funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The strategy of the program is guided by four elements, two of them are corrective in nature and the other two are of a preventive nature:

“1) the works of macro and micro drainage to regulate the impact of heavy rains and flooding of the Rio Negro;

2) resettlement of population occupying the streams on land suitable for residential uses provided with basic services;

3) construction of boulevards and parks in the most vulnerable areas and to prevent their illegal invasion occupation;

4) the increased supply of land equipped for residential use cheaper and more control and surveillance of occupation and land use under the provisions of the Master Plan “(Rossini, Antonio Carlos).

Among the actions taken by the government, through the PROSAMIM, include:

1) Improvement of environmental conditions and health in irregular areas, through restoration and / or implantation of drainage systems, drinking water supply, collection and disposal of sewage and garbage.

2) Environmental restoration in headwater areas and environmental education of the population;

3) improve the living conditions of local population through urban planning, land regularization and appropriate housing solutions;

4) participatory planning, recovery of local communities through discussions between experts and the desires of the community.

The houses are built of brick, following the rules regarding the number and size of rooms: two bedrooms, living room, kitchen and bathroom with a floor area of ​​54 m2, forming building blocks of 6, 12 and 24 being all 3 floors.

Parque Senador Jefferson Peres

Parque Senador Jefferson Peres

The properties near the streams are regulated, provided with basic services and urban infrastructure. Additionally, resettled families are supported by a program of adaptation to the new environment.

Obras em andamento

Work in progress

The PROSAMIM, as previously mentioned, is a reference to the country, because it transformed the urban landscape in Manaus, improving the quality of life, using the architecture and urbanism as a means of articulating space. Today people from different places in Brazil are going to Manaus to visit the experience, as an example we mention the Federal University of Amapá(UNIFAP), which through the program ASPAMNS-Assentamentos Precários na Amazônia Setentrional-(Precarious Settlements in the Northern Amazon Region), funded by the Ministry of Cities, visited the project. According to Unifap students’s “the experience was enriching, because one of the biggest problems of Amapá are the slums built in wetlands zones locally known as Ressacas. The team responsible for PROSAMIM lectured at the Federal University of Amazonas and showed students and teachers the works completed and those that are underway, through monitored visits by technicians. ” The program PROSAMIM is a public policy model, which can be followed on a regional scale, enabling better living conditions for many communities in the Amazon who now live in slums without basic sanitation and decent housing.

Bibliographic Reference

Rossim, Antonio Carlos. A program of environmental improvement and social inclusion at the heart of the Amazon. Manaus, 2008.

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