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Chapa means urban guide in Portuguese. It is an interdisciplinary urban lab that was established by Kristine Stiphany in the context of a National Science Foundation SBE Postdoctoral Fellowship (#1513395, 2015 - 2017) at The University of Texas at Austin. CHAPA’s primary objective is to complete new connections between data, participation, and urban design in the Latin Global South.

The purpose of CHAPA’s primary study is to measure the impacts of redevelopment (upgrading) on established informal settlements in São Paulo, Brazil. Its goal is to expand redevelopment’s scope to encompass technologies that assimilate urban design, social mobility, and physical transformation within informal settlements across the globe. To these ends, the study is guided by the following major goals:

1 Expand understanding about how historical patterns of redevelopment impact future growth alternatives in established informal settlements.

2 Establish new methods for synthesizing data collection, analysis, and visualization of housing production processes into urban design strategies for adaptive reuse.

3 Promote IT planning tools that enhance civic decision making and participation in urban development, align policy goals with contemporary conditions of informality, and model scenarios for structuring the future of informal settlements.

CHAPA’s approach to research builds off of the Latin American Housing Network at The University of Texas at Austin.

Scroll down for RESEARCH TOOLS, including the survey instrument and study protocols.

Visualize some of the data collected through a large-scale household survey in São Paulo here, or by clicking on COMUNIDADOS VISUAL DATABASE, above. 

See PUBLICATIONS for research outcomes and notable news.

Once again, welcome!

Kristine Stiphany, PhD, AIA, APA

For questions, please contact Kristine Stiphany at kstiphany@utexas.edu.


CASE STUDIES Heliopolis and São Francisco / São Paulo, Brazil

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Case Studies: Heliopolis and Sao Francisco Communities

Case Studies: Heliopolis and Sao Francisco Communities

DEVELOPMENT TYPES Autoconstrução, Muitrão, Cingapura, Urbanização de Favela

  São Francisco  Autoconstrução

São Francisco Autoconstrução

  São Francisco  Mutirão

São Francisco Mutirão

  São Francisco  Cingapura

São Francisco Cingapura

  Heliópolis  Urbanização de Favelas

Heliópolis Urbanização de Favelas




Learn about the project approach and methodology though this film presented at the United Nations Habitat III Conference (2016)