The Plan de Emergencia (1956): Housing Shortage in Buenos Aires Then and Now
This article examines the first urban plan in Argentina to address informal settlements. It will be argued that this plan served as a template for later proposals and encouraged a particular approach towards the informal city that is still present in contemporary debates. The plan is composed of two complementary documents, the Plan de Emergencia (PE) and the Plan Integral (PI), which translate quite literally as ‘Emergency Plan’ and ‘Integral Plan’, respectively. The plans embody the process in which existing ideas were recast and new proposals were tested. The PE was in charge of proposing short-term actions, and led to the construction of the social housing neighbourhoods analysed in this paper, while the PI dealt with urban planning and housing in the long-term. Neither of these plans have been discussed at length because they were conceived between 1955 and 1958—an interval that is typically considered transitional and studied only as part of longer spans of time.1 However, it is precisely the transitional quality of the 1955-1958 juncture that makes it such a rich and exciting moment in the urban history of Buenos Aires. Interestingly, the limited scholarship that does exist only addresses the PE while the PI remains overlooked. This paper will concentrate on the way these plans have influenced and continue to influence approaches to informal settlements in Buenos Aires.
Citation : Massidda, A. L. (2012) The Plan de Emergencia (1956): Housing Shortage in Buenos Aires Then and Now. Scroope: The Cambridge Architecture Journal, 21, pp.42–51.
Research Institute : Institute of Architecture
Peer Reviewed : Yes