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Adriana Laura Massidda



King's College

Shantytowns, residents and State plans of "eradication": urban transformations in Buenos Aires during 1959-1976

Started October 2012

Felipe Hernández


Research Interests

The PhD thesis's focus on urban shantytowns stems from the interest in exploring key, unrevised issues to improve the urban environment of Third-World cities. Urban poverty thus emerges as one of the most pressing issues, which shantytowns not only embody but also intertwine with other urgent problems - such as stigmatisation, isolation, pollution or violence. In addition, due to the way in which they concentrate material and social problems, shantytowns have been in Argentina a key target of government’s action throughout the second half of the twentieth century, and a privileged object of attention by the social sciences. Housing shortage, meanwhile, attracted interest and provoked debate in the architectural profession up until the late 1970s. However, a deep understanding of the current problems of shantytowns is not possible without a comprehensive knowledge of their past transformations and struggles, which has not been studied in depth yet for the Argentine case. With this in mind, the PhD thesis proposes to undertake a critical analysis of the history of Buenos Aires shantytowns to read crucial problems of the time under a new light and to inform future action.

Key Publications

'Mapping the Suburbs: Cartographic Representation of Villa Celina, Buenos Aires, 1955-2011', in New Suburban Stories, edited by Martin Dines and Timotheus Vermeulen (London: Bloomsbury, 2013)

'The Plan de Emergencia (1956):  Housing Shortage in Buenos Aires then and now', Scroope Journal Nr.21. June 2012. University of Cambridge - Department of Architecture.

'Apuntes para una lectura urbana de Las ciudades imaginarias en la literatura latinoamericana'
Book review. Revista de Crítica Literaria Latinoamericana Nr.74. Lima-Boston. 2011.

'Feria La Salada: una centralidad periférica intermitente en el Gran Buenos Aires'
Centralidades Urbanas e Históricas en la Argentina, ed. by Margarita Gutman. Quito, Olacchi-Flacso Ecuador, 2010. With Di Peco and others.