Jorge Mario Jáuregui to discuss informal cities

Nov. 2 lecture sponsored as part of The Divided City

Núcleo Habitacional da Rocinha by Atelier Metropolitano. The project added 144 brightly colored housing units to Rocinha, Brazil’s largest favela, which is located on a steep hillside just south of Rio de Janeiro. (Image: Atelier Metropolitano)

Today, more than 1 billion people live in informal cities — a number expected to double by mid-century. It is the most pressing urban design challenge of our time.

The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts will launch its 2018 Informal Cities Workshop at 12:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, with a free talk by a Brazilian architect taking on that challenge, Jorge Mario Jáuregui.

“Jorge is one of the best practicing architects in the field,” said Matthew Bernstine, lecturer in urban design, who is organizing the event in collaboration with John Hoal, professor and chair of urban design and of architecture, and sustainable urbanism doctoral candidates Andrea Godshalk, Wei Liu and Andrew Wang.

“As founder and project director at Atelier Metropolitano in Rio de Janeiro, his work is at the forefront of upgrading and integrating Rio’s favelas into the city’s broader social, political and economic systems,” Bernstine added. “Not only is he transforming the way we design space, but also the way we invite people to participate in that process.”

Design for a linear park in Morar Carioca, a favela located in the Cordovil region north of Rio. (Image: Atelier Metropolitano)

Atelier Metropolitano

Atelier Metropolitano is a multidisciplinary firm specializing in public-interest projects located in formal and informal urban areas. The firm includes engineers, sociologists, legal specialists and cultural and communication consultants working under the guidance of a design team. Their projects have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and at Documenta 12 in Kassel, Germany, among many others. Honors include the Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design from Harvard University and the Grand Prize at the Bienal Internacional de Arquitetura de São Paulo.

Informal Cities Workshop

Launched in 2014, the Informal Cities Workshop provides students with an intensive, hands-on opportunity to grapple with frictions and interconnections that exist between the informal and the formal aspects of the city. The annual workshop consists of a keynote lecture, which is free and open to the public, followed by a one-credit, weekend-long design charrette. Previous workshops have explored conditions in Lima, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Tijuana.

The Informal Cities Workshop is co-sponsored by the Sam Fox School and the Center for the Humanities in Arts & Sciences as part of The Divided City: An Urban Humanities Initiative. Jáuregui’s talk will take place in Givens Hall’s Kemp Auditorium. For more information, visit

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