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Transformations in territories of LGBT sociability: revisiting Collins' model on Largo do Arouche in São Paulo

Grant number: 20/08911-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2020
Effective date (End): March 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Architecture and Town Planning
Principal researcher:Paula Freire Santoro
Grantee:Miguel da Cruz Mermejo
Home Institution: Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo (FAU). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The research aims to study LGBT sociability in Largo do Arouche, downtown São Paulo, articulating different urban scales (metropolitan, municipal and local) and understanding the different levels of reflection on urban interventions, which involve disputes of interest between the regulatory and propositional power of the State, real estate capital and LGBT sociability in Arouche, in view of the already initiated urban renewal of Largo. There is a vast field of research on LGBT territorial studies and the gay-friendly consumer market, which start from Castells' pioneering studies (1983) on the evolution of the Castro neighborhood, a gay territory in San Francisco in the United States (USA). However, few Brazilian studies focus on how such sociability occurs in the territory, through the analysis of its dynamics and urban intervention projects, prevailing, in reality, studies of the fields of anthropology and geography. Thus, the research has the unprecedented character when seeking to revisit the evolutionary model of a gay territory of Collins (2004) in a Brazilian case. Collins developed, through the study of Soho Village, a gay territory in London, a four-step evolutionary model on the development of English gay-owned districts. The work suggests that even with diverse historical roots and different levels and forms of support from the public authorities, a pattern of recurrent transformation of such territories of gay and lesbian living and housing is observed, having even been revisited in other contexts, such as the evolution of Oxford Street in Sydney (Ruting, 2008). The research seeks to understand whether the historical successions of proposals and implementation of restructuring interventions in the Arouche area correspond to the same evolutionary steps proposed by Collins (2004).

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