The Cantagalo Project: Judicial and Administrative Land Titling in the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro

Adam Smith


ABSTRACT: The following examines the Cantagalo Project, an ongoing land titling effort in Rio de Janeiro that seeks to provide formal title to residents of an informal urban settlement, the favela, or shanty town, of Cantagalo, through judicial and administrative mechanisms. Background information on the current economic and social development of Brazil and the persistent problems of informality and informal housing is presented. A history of informal settlements in the city of Rio de Janeiro and government policy toward them is offered, specifically highlighting the traditionally limited role of land titling in such efforts. The Cantagalo Project is detailed including a discussion of the legal instruments of usucapião (a device roughly equivalent to adverse possession in the Anglo-American tradition) and recent changes to state law which seek to regularize favelas through the donation of public land. The project is evaluated as a workable model for other favelas. Observations are offered on likely trends of public policy towards favelas in Rio de Janeiro over the next ten years.

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Diversitates International Journal - ISSN 1984-5073
Pro-Reitoria de Extensão - Universidade Federal Fluminense
Rua Miguel de Frias, nº 9, 6º andar, Icaraí, Niterói - RJ CEP:24220 900
   Creative Commons BY 4.0.
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