Architects Plan to Turn Brazil’s Empty Stadiums Into Housing For Homeless

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For the 2016 Olympic Games and World Cup tournament, Brazil built one heck of a stadium–in fact they built (and remodeled) a few. The stadiums literally cost billions of dollars to build, but they also cost thousands of people their homes.

Years before the World Cup was scheduled to begin, many neighborhood slums were torn down, and residents kicked out in order to bring the stadiums to life. While the stadiums continue getting use today, even after the World Cup has come to an end, the people who once lived on the land remain homeless, and some even hopeless.

Meet “Casa Futebol,” a project proposed by French architects, Axel de Stampa and Sylvain Macaux. Their idea is to keep the stadiums as they are while simulataniously giving back to the community. The idea is to use compact house modules that measure around 105 m ² in size as living quarters within the stadium.

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These homes could be fit around the stadiums, providing homeless people with a place to live. Plus, the plan argues that soccer matches and other tournaments regularly held at these stadiums could still be put on. In fact they would be necessisary in order generate the funds to sustain building maintenance and bills. 

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The idea is not so far-fetched at all. Many countries have been instituting their own similar plans to help solve the problem of homelessness. In Europe a billboard housing program was put together by advertisers and activists.

The program allows homeless people to live in roadside apartments that display billboard ads. The plan works out for everyone as the ads alone fund the associated living costs. If “Casa Futebol” goes through, the same sort of arrangement will be true in Brazil.

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There are 12 different stadiums that could be used to house individuals, all of which are grand in size and distributed nicely throughout Brazil. If this project came to fruition it would benefit a lot of people.

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In order to make the stadiums appropriate for living, the outside facade would have to be slightly changed, as well as some of the seating removed in place of housing.

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Before the World Cup, a whole different setting resided where fancy stadiums built for the World Cup now tower tall and colorful. The Brazilian government kicked out thousands of people from their homes in order to demolish the buildings and put up the stadiums and other tourist attractions.

Around 170,000 people were estimated to be evicted before the World Cup, almost all of which resided in poor slums throughout the country, meaning the people evicted had little to no other resources to depend on.

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Many refused to leave, continuing to live in the area even after the demolition had already started to take place. Living amongst the ruble, these people didn’t know what else to do.

But when the stadiums started going up, they had little other choice but to give up and go. The image below shows the Amazonia stadium being constructed in September 0f 2013.

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There were plans rumored to turn the Amazonia stadium into a new prison, considering the old prison is holding more than double its available occupancy. Local officials are not interested in this plan though, they report there are better ways they can use the stadium as it was intended.

The Mangueira slums still surround the outskirts of the Marcana stadium in the heart of Rio.

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So will the “Casa Futebol” plan beat the odds and actually come to life at one or more of the Brazilian stadiums? Doesn’t seem all that likely, but for the sake of all the Brazilians that have to sleep outside, we sure hope it does! 

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Photo Credits: NY Times, 1Week1Project.orgArenadaamazonia, Ricardo Moraes,