Almost 80 % of the population in Maputo lives in unconsolidated suburbs; "Maxaquene A" is one of them. Illegal settlements without quality, where every family struggles to have a piece of land to self-build home. Beyond the poor materials used, other deficiencies are the lack of access to the infrastructure, the high density, and the remoteness of facilities, which together with other socioeconomic aspects like the high unemployment rate, generate the high sense of marginalization.
The goal of the project was to eliminate the "city's deficit" in the neighborhood, without touching the residential aspect. Viewing urbanity and public spaces as a public good of a high value, we understand that building better conditions of urbanity can help citizens physically and psychologically. It may change the way the neighbors feel about how the society considerate them and therefore ease off their feeling of community exclusion. Keeping this in mind, the conclusion was that the primary deficit of this neighborhood was the lack of consistent public spaces and facilities, which would increase the internal value of the neighborhood. That is where was decided to concentrate the intervention.
To start it was necessary to read carefully the local conditions and understand the "internal property laws" of the neighbors. Later on, to identify the inflection points and parts that could be designated as public spaces, where some facilities could be constructed. As a result, we obtained several small spaces, spread all over the neighborhood, so we were dealing with a kind of "urban acupuncture". On the other hand, the internal street communication web had no concept, making it very easy to get lost, so all activities were happening outside the neighborhood, on the adjoining mayor streets.
Our final proposal was a construction of small public facilities as "urban acupuncture", which would be connected between them without damaging any owner, generating a new internal circuit of activities for the neighborhood. As a result, it was obtained the circuit of small interventions, capable to articulate the relationships between formal-informal, public-private, individual-collective.
Project for the NGO Engineers Without Borders (2010)