Housing informality in Buenos Aires: Past, present and future?

Jean Louis van Gelder*, Maria Cristina Cravino, Fernando Ostuni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


As in most other Latin American cities, a principal way of accessing housing for the urban poor in Buenos Aires has been through the illegal occupation of land. Over a period of roughly eight decades, this has led to the formation of hundreds of informal settlements in the city. This article traces the historical development of informality in Argentina’s capital. It shows that different phases in this development, each with particular characteristics, can be discerned. Currently, the contours of a new phase, different from all previous ones, are taking shape. It will be argued that without an adequate understanding of the different conditioning factors of this new phase and an integrated approach to address them, informality in the city is bound to persist and even to increase in size, in spite of the country’s impressive recent economic growth and high government expenditure on social housing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1958-1975
Number of pages18
JournalUrban studies
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Argentina
  • Buenos Aires
  • housing
  • informality
  • slums
  • South America
  • urbanisation and developing countries
  • villas miseria


Dive into the research topics of 'Housing informality in Buenos Aires: Past, present and future?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this