|dc.description.abstract||Physical planning has contributed to perpetuating spatial inequality in Caracas, Venezuela, a dynamic that has many parallelisms with other processes that result in social and economic inequalities in Latin America. The consequence has been the reduction of access to spatial opportunities for people living in Self-Produced Settlements. Working with a historical lens, this thesis aims to identify the reasons why this has happened. The study begins in 1657 with the founding of Caracas and culminates in the government of Hugo Chávez the first decade of the twenty-first century. The research highlights the end of the Guzmán Blanco period at the end of the nineteenth century when the government carried out the first national population census, and the experience of Banco Obrero, a federal institution created in 1928 focused on the subject of housing for underprivileged communities.
To achieve this goal, this thesis proposes an index to measure spatial opportunities, and a methodology that applies the index to the analysis of government sponsored project as well as planning reports by federal agencies since the Venezuela oil-boom to our days.
Self-Produced Neighborhoods are known worldwide as slums. This thesis understands them as a form of urban development that occurs when communities manage the construction of their neighborhoods with no prior planning but through an incremental yet effective system of self-organization. From the analysis of technological, accessibility, and other infrastructural networks for the case of Latin America, we conclude that Self Production is efficient for the progressive construction of housing although fundamentally deficient in its lack of access to networked infrastructure systems. Nevertheless, most planning strategies of divergent ideological approaches have assumed fragmented and localized perspectives in planning Self-Produced Neighborhoods by providing scattered and spatially disarticulated “points of resources,” most often aimed at the construction of housing units.
Instead, this thesis proposes that the framework of Spatial Opportunities, when applied to Self-Produced Environments could result in the integration of these extensive parts of the city by prioritizing networked infrastructural systems over housing units. This instrument is hinged on the right to the city discourse, which posits that cities are environments that either allow or limit the development of the capabilities of their citizens, in which the networked access to the opportunities offered by the city is a fundamental variable.||