Ocupação Anchieta Avança!

Student lead: Charisma Thapa

Student major: Masters in urban planning

Ocupação Anchieta, a four-year old land occupation in the periphery of São Paulo City, Brazil, represents a pattern of urbanization characteristic of developing countries, where the lack of centrally located land for low-income housing pushes population growth to informal land occupations in the periphery. This student project focuses on the conflicts between environmental protection and the right to housing of informal settlers. Land occupations of environmentally protected areas at the peripheries of major cities is one the major problems of the Global South.

During the 2017 Spring break, students traveled to meet partners and collect data. The students then developed an action plan, including: 1) small, educational green infrastructure prototypes to clean the water and reforest the creek and spring areas; 2) alternate housing prototypes and decentralized, communal sewage infrastructure; 3) creation of a cultural hub with environmental programming; 4) a waste management plan.

Of the 64 surveys, 54 selected a playground for their kids as their top priority for facility construction. The playground will serve about 1,000 kids who live in the occupation. The enclosed cultural center for existing NGO programming that happens in open space will also serve 1,000 children.

The team plans to build an online platform showcasing the design and implementation processes for a green and sustainable land occupation. Ocupação Anchieta association will disseminate the manual through their networks of housing movements.


  • Ocupação Anchieta Association
  • Instituto Anchieta Grajaú-IAG