Organization: Catalytic Communities, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sponsor: International Travel Community Service Fellowship
” Catalytic Communities (Comunidade Catalisadora) is a non-profit organization based in Rio de Janeiro which seeks to create models for effective integration between informal and formal settlements in cities across the globe.
Much of the organization’s work is done through advocacy, writing, research, network-building and trainings, especially around issues of urban planning, which often have enormous impacts on the informal settlements, known as favelas, in Rio de Janeiro.
This past year, since the 2016 Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro has once again garnered international attention for violence perpetrated within its favela communities. Policy initiatives have done little to address the needs of communities. Rather, they have tended to exacerbate existing problems and inequalities.
As part of my role as the Crime x Built Environment Intern, I will explore ways in which the favelas of the city are working to mitigate violence within their communities. In particular, I’m interested in how crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) is occurring naturally in informal settlements.
In the weeks before arriving to Rio de Janeiro, I wrote two articles for CatComm and its news publication arm, RioOnWatch. The articles explained the concept of CPTED and some of the ways it is already being used by residents in favelas, as well as how tactical urbanism can be incorporated into CPTED practices.
In the weeks to come, I will be speaking with community leaders and documenting existing, naturally-occurring CPTED practices in favelas in Rio de Janeiro.”