Characterization of Spatial Planning in Brazil: The Right to the City in Theory and Practice

Roberto Rocco, Luciana Royer, Fabio Mariz Gonçalves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
281 Downloads (Pure)


This article characterizes spatial planning in Brazil from a normative point of view. Because of Brazil’s vast geography and uneven development, it is not possible to describe how spatial planning is carried out in all quarters of the country. We explore key aspects of spatial planning in the country using policy goals, the legal and administrative structures where planning operates and the attributes of governance in the Brazilian planning system. The interplay between formal and informal urban development is a crucial aspect in Brazilian planning. Despite huge steps towards citizen engagement and inclusion in planning processes, planning remains largely technocratic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-437
Number of pages19
JournalPlanning Practice and Research
Issue number4: Practice Forum Special Theme
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Brazilian planning system
  • progressive urban management tools
  • the right to the city
  • social function of property
  • social movements


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