260.223 Architecture - Construction - Settlement
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2016S, VU, 1.5h, 2.0EC
Quinn ECTS survey


  • Semester hours: 1.5
  • Credits: 2.0
  • Type: VU Lecture and Exercise

Aim of course

The relation between the formal and informal city presents the focus of this class. The focus is on strategies

to improve the living conditions in disadvantaged residential quarters.


General topic in 2016:  

The In_Formal City: Affordable Housing and Neigborhood Upgrading

Practical examples from Latin America.



Latin American city, informal urban development, urban transformation, micro-urbanism approach, informal housing, incremental housing, neighbourhood upgrading.

Subject of course



The informal city often stands as a synonym for a place with high population density. Social exclusion and segregation along with economic marginalisation are all too often existing conditions that frame the real urban life of such an informal city. The term ¿informality¿, however, is by no means synonymous to chaos

or delinquency, or simply something ¿illegal¿. Without dispute, the future of the city depends on the extent to which we are able to synchronise the existing potentials of both the informal and formal city;

it will certainly depend on how fast we learn to plan the unplanned!

By now, there exist various urban regions worldwide, particularly in Latin America, which in their develop-ment trajectory have positively influenced the interface between the informal and the formal city. What all these strategies have in common is that especially existing, grown structures ¿ be they formal or informal ¿ have been integrated in further urban development efforts. These upgrading-projects intend to uplift dis-advantaged informal urban districts and their deficits as opposed to the formal city.

The cities and examples disussed in class mainly attempt to find answers to all those areas where the city authorities still have an ultimate decision taking authority: the public space, the transport sector and education!

Within that context affordable Urban Housing as well as Neigborhood Upgrading are key challenges for the contemporary Latin American City. Thereby the role of architects and planners is of central importance to provide urban housing facilities and a livable neigbourhood environment. It is their responsibility to go beyond the need for creative design and planning in order to create a favourable climate for dialogue and consult other disciplines from social and administrative areas. Affordabl) housing solutions within the urban transformation of the Latin American City and its relevance for social inclusion is the main topic

of this class.

Additional information



¿ 30 students from Architecture and Planning (inscription by TISS: www.tuwien.ac.at)

¿ Other disciplines are welcome: multidisciplinarity is a goal of this class!





¿ The class is English spoken and can be taken as part of the Module ¿International Urban- and Regional

  Development¿ or on its own.


¿ The class will be organized as a block seminar in March/April 2016 with 5 lectures and finalized in May 2016  

  with a short-term design project (practical part). The attendance of all the 5 lectures and the finalization of the

  practical part is required.


¿ The class is part of the Academic Cooperation between the Inter-American Development Bank, the Austrian

  Federal Ministry of Finance and the Vienna University of Technology.







¿ Tue March 8th               9.30-12.00    Kick-off, Introduction.

                           Sem 5              The Latin American City: the challenge of informal urban development                  

¿ Tue March 15th  9.30-13.00  Microurbanism and Upgrading Strategies.

    Sem 5              The Favela Bairro experience from Rio de Janeiro.

                        The Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative by the IDB.


¿ Tue April 5th       9.30-13.00   ¿The Urbanization of the Air¿: mobility as an integral development concept.

    Sem 5             Upgrading North-East Zone / Santo Domingo, Medellín.

                        The Urban Design Lab ¿ Innovative tools for participatory development



¿ Tue April 12th     9.30-13.00 Affordable Housing: genesis and case studies:        

   Sem 5             Metrovivienda, Bogotá; La Providencia, Manizales and others.

                        The Urban Design Lab ¿ practical reports.


¿ Tue April 19th     9.30-13.00  Incremental Housing: Site-and-Service and other tools:

    Sem 5              Ciudad Bolivar, Bogotá; Elemental Chile.

The Urban Design Lab ¿ practical reports.


¿ April / May                             Short-term practical design work;

                                                topic and timetable to be defined !



Each lecture consists of:

¿ a presentation of one or several study cases (about 1 ½ hrs)

¿ a following discussion / group work (about 1 ½ hrs)


The further process of the practical part will take place as of April / May 2016;

the schedule is yet to be defined.



Examination modalities


Course registration

Begin End Deregistration end
12.02.2016 14:00 29.02.2016 09:00 29.02.2016 09:00

Registration modalities

30 students from Architecture and Planning (inscription by TISS: www.tuwien.ac.at)
Other disciplines are welcome: multidisciplinarity is a goal of this class!


Study CodeObligationSemesterPrecon.Info
066 443 Architecture Not specified


No lecture notes are available.