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In urban ground, the landlord is holy: urbanization and land tenure in the bishopric Ribeirão Preto Between Brazil empire and the First Republic

Grant number: 13/23859-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2014
Effective date (End): December 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Architecture and Town Planning
Principal Investigator:Ivone Salgado
Grantee:Dirceu Piccinato Junior
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas, Ambientais e de Tecnologias. Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas (PUC-CAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


This research aims to analyze and discuss the ownership of land, structure, shape and the transformations of urban spaces in the northeastern state of São Paulo, based on the urban land ownership under the legal regime of the long lease, tenure or emprazamento . It recurred in Brazil during the colonial period, imperial and republican part of the granting of land to the Catholic Church for the foundation of cities. As these lands were destined to the formation of the property of one saint of devotion, they could not be marketed. Alternatively, the church was used as the tenure source of income through the division of land. The long lease expresses a relationship where there is an owner (the landlord) that has the direct field of urban land, giving the other (the copyholder) the useful field of the same, giving the latter the right to enjoy. This term was used in Portugal from the Middle Ages and was transferred to Brazil by means of Ordinances (Afonsinas, Manuelinas and the Philippines). As this situation had a significant impact on the process of urbanization in the cities that formed the Bishopric of Ribeirao Preto, mainly during the nineteenth century, with permanence of this tenure status of urban land to the present day, this research turns to this analysis, and aims clarification of these complex and unique urban ground appropriation processes in the region under study. We will use as a research method analysis of unpublished primary documents, especially Tombos books and letters or tenure scriptures of the cities studied, these documentation belonging to local parishes and church institutions.