Rio de Janeiro is making the first digital map of one of Brazil’s largest favelas

by

These scans could also be used to create property records, which could be managed and traded on a blockchain to avoid bureaucracy and reduce the cost of transferring titles. We acknowledge that building such a system from 3D scans may raise concerns about data privacy. If we’re able to address those, though, favela residents could buy and sell property more easily than on any formal property registry systems.

Having better knowledge of the favelas’ physical layout could also improve living conditions. Urban designers could use this data to decide where to install stairs, or what structures to remove to allow in more air, sun, or light.

It’s worth recalling that most cities were born from informality.

Clearly, the long-term solution to the most pressing problems favela residents face is to address the social issues that lead these settlements to be built in the first place. Every nation has its own challenges. Brazil must reduce social inequality, Western Europe must rethink immigration from its former colonies, and nations everywhere should prepare for an uptick in climate-related migration.