Open Spaces in Informal Settlements in Bogotá, Expressions of Attachment and Identity
Pp. 92-106 (15)
Urban open spaces in informal settlements, the same as housing, are largely produced by
people themselves. Similarly, these spaces are mainly used by the people who live around, with few
‘outsiders’ visiting those places. The product observed is the result of people’s needs, expectations,
possibilities and symbolic constructions. This paper explores the social construction of open space in
the barrios, arguing that it generates attachment and identity. Social practices are transformed to
accommodate new interactions with open spaces and new and changing actors, while places change to
accommodate those new and changing social practices. The research draws on empirical data of open
spaces in barrios of Bogotá collected between 2003 and 2007, from within a further exploration of six
cases was carried out in 2008 and 2009 for the specific purposes. A qualitative methodology was
employed with a multi-method strategy. Major themes are analyzed and discussed with regard to social
and cultural expressions in open spaces.
Appropriation, attachment, identity, open spaces, informal settlements.
School of Architecture and Design, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Carrera 7 No 40-62, Bogotá, Colombia