Transforming social inequality in Buenos Aires

05/04/2016 — 1 kommentar

Martin Vysoky are one of the winners of STs scholarships for field studies abroad. In his journey to Buenos Aires he will investigate issues related to social inequality. The aim is to create new insights in how we can secure our most basic needs, like access to clean water and other essentials which many of us take for granted.

What is your master thesis about?

I am currently writing my master thesis in which I want to tackle issues related to slum areas where almost one billion of people is living today. It’s mostly places where living conditions are very poor and basic human needs are neglected.

My main aim is to emphasize the current situation and then figure out what approach is needed to overthrow the forces that upholds privileged individual gain over collective benefit. A structure that produces dysfunctional and fragmented societies.

Further I want to come up with strategies and tactics that will reverse this status-quo, and transform it into new qualities which can regain social equality, vitality, identity but also local economical resiliency and climate change adaptability.

How come you chose this subject matter?

I think that one billion of people that are facing constant inequality in their daily life is a pretty high number. During my studies I realized how extremely high potential my profession has to change this status-quo, as its main overall goal is to create more liveable environments.

When all is well integrated, a synergetic effect will follow, and that usually brings a chain of new benefits. For example people who don’t have access to clean drinking water will always feel less equal compared to people who have it. Especially when water in these areas are perceived as a destructive force in terms of floods, which are very common.

Furthermore this creates a problematic situation because it´s also a source of many life threatening diseases. This can be reversed if water is embraced in a more constructive way. That is, by giving it space to flood naturally in places where it´s not threatening people’s lives.

This usually requires space, but this space can be further used for recreational activities to stimulate public life as well as cleaning processes of water. This can be managed by plants which are part of a public green space.

Why did you choose Buenos Aires specifically?

I got this amazing chance to do fieldwork for two months in Buenos Aires, Argentina in and get directly to the places where biggest crisis is. I will collaborate with local government, NGOs and architect Flavio Janches, who is focusing on slum upgrading and can guide me during my first steps.

All the insights will be integrated into a plan which will secure most fundamental human needs, like access to clean water, sanitation, safe public space where people can build healthy relationships and other essentials which is taken for granted here in Europe.

What challenges and obstacles do you expect to face during your field studies?

The biggest challenge will be to make move freely during my stay in Buenos Aires. I will have to meet the right people who can provide safety for me when I walk in the areas where I´ll be doing my fieldwork.

Another challenge will probably be to stay alert and not get in any dangerous, unsafe situations since there are many places that can be very dangerous after dark.

/Martin Vysoky
Master programme of Landscape Architecture
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

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  1. Scholarship winner investigates social inequality in Buenos Aires « Fackförbundet ST - oktober 3, 2016

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