Mitchell & Pereira da Costa Associate Attorneys coordinated, in partnership with the Atlantic Institute and other government and non-governmental organizations, an unprecedented initiative in the country known as the "Rio Cidade Inteira”. The program pioneered a new approach to the termination of the slumming cycle and the early "neighbourification" process of Rio’s slums.
The Cantagalo favela in Ipanema, in the south zone of Rio de Janeiro, was the first informal community to be legally advised on self-organization and supervision of its buildings and properties through a registration and topographical process of all the 1485 houses of the community.
Through this initiative the residents of Morro do Cantagalo, obtained property deeds, even when their houses were located on state land. Ground-breaking legislative change was agreed and written which for the benefit of thousands of disadvantaged citizens and is creating the chance to break the shackles of poverty for thousands in Rio de Janeiro.
To make this project possible, besides the active participation of Mitchell & Pereira da Costa Associate Attorneys in all stages of the regularization process, the support of the State and Municipal governments of Rio de Janeiro, the umbilical partnership with Gerdau Institute and, of course, the Residents Association of the Morro do Cantagalo favela was fundamental.
The project demanded the slum’s self-transformation and it obtained the necessary active encouragement of the society and its effective participation. The residents performed the survey to register themselves and to specify the informal ownership of the properties. A topographical profile of the occupied area was constructed and a legal study was performed in order to join with the necessary legal measures to guarantee the right of ownership. At the end of these procedures, 40 streets were identified and located in seven sub-regions, and 1485 residential units were registered. The data have been registered in the Residents Association and have since then been regularly updated.
The community, which was informal before, went through an "unslumming" and "neighbourification" process turning into a new formalized neighborhood, with appropriate legislation for every urban and social uniqueness of the locality, self-supervising the disorderly expansion, allowing the government to provide the absolutely necessary services and the application of social and progressive rates, generating tax collection and wealth to the new regulated society.