Visual methodologies and the study of daily life microgeographies of immigrants in public space
Social Ecology Division (NESO) - Buildings Department National Laboratory for Civil Engineering (LNEC) Lisbon, Portugal
School of Architecture and the Built Environment University of Westminster London, England
Science and Environmental Engineering Department (DCEA), Science Technology Faculty (FCT) New University of Lisbon (UNL) Caparica, Portugal
Immigrants are important in the transformation of urban space and cultural landscape. This creates new challenges to the cities. Among these challenges the question of social, urban and environmental management is relevant, namely for what concerns the processes of integration. But the complexity and the multidimensionality of these questions also place new challenges for the researchers. These challenges contribute to the development of theoretical and methodological approaches that are innovative and interdisciplinary. Aiming to understand how immigrants contribute to the construction and definition of urban ambiences and landscape, an exploratory research was developed that we intend to present. This research took place in Praça da República (Ericeira) - situated in the Lisbon metropolitan area. In this study, we explore a protocol for interdisciplinary work involving innovative methodological approaches to the migratory phenomena, particularly in what it respects the practices of use and appropriation of the square by brazilian immigrants. The methodologies and visual techniques of approach were central in the work developed. This communication intends to argue about the advantages of using visual methodologies: 1) to collect and register information; 2) to benefit from the inter and multidisciplinary potential underlying in those methodologies of work; 3) to improve the capability to understand the diversity and the urban social complexity; 4) to the mapping of social practices by the immigrants. The work was developed with the support of the Treaty of Windsor Anglo-Portuguese Joint Research Programme.