Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Geography and Anthropology

Document Type



Amid the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, strategic policy reforms at the federal, state, and municipal levels have reordered and re-purposed the social space of Rio’s favelas through the implementation of social and physical infrastructure. This research project contributes a geographical perspective to the ways in which fast-paced urbanization transforms and produces social space in Rio’s oldest favela, Morro da Providência. Based on Henri Lefebvre’s conceptual triad concerning the production of social space, this research uses mental mapping to understand the disparity between representations of conceived space and representational lived space. It also contributes to perceived social space through participant observations and discussions. The five-month long mental mapping project designed to assess the transformation of social space yielded several results. Methodologically, this research contributes to the literature on mental mapping by identifying three types of mental maps produced by my participants. Practically, this research contributes to the discourse concerning social and political integration within the favela-city binary. Ultimately, this project contributes a geographical perspective and methodology to the ways in which fast-paced urbanization can be successfully implemented as long-term solutions in the low-income and irregular communities in Rio de Janeiro.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Sluyter, Andrew