Spatial fragmentation and self‑organisation: a negative relation in Brazilian metropolises

  • Igor Tempels Moreno Pessôa TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment


While Brazilian metropolises are spatially fragmented, at the same time they have abundant bottom-up, spontaneous, self-organised initiatives that usually emerge as a response to a weak or neglected public authorities. Both phenomena are influencing Brazilian metropolises, but we do not know how they influence each other. This paper aims to answer the question: To what extent does spatial fragmentation influence self-organised initiatives? The article is based on an analysis of data collected in São Paulo. It first develops a theoretical reflection on both concepts, fragmentation and self-organisation, followed by an outline of the methods and analysis. The results show that the spatial fragmentation pattern observed in São Paulo is defined by a strongly polarised urban structure that heavily influences the operation of self-organised initiatives. This imposes a limitation on the work area of self-organised initiatives. The study indicates that the relationship between spatial fragmentation and self-organised initiatives, however, is not straightforward and that spatial fragmentation hinders the expansion of the work self-organised initiatives.


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How to Cite
MORENO PESSÔA, Igor Tempels. Spatial fragmentation and self‑organisation. A+BE | Architecture and the Built Environment, [S.l.], n. 4, p. 79-100, may 2019. ISSN 2214-7233. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 06 july 2020.