Case study of Porto Alegre

The construction of security as a heterogeneous and complex phenomenon is produced at different levels: cultural, psychological, political and normative, among others.
In this perspective, the research carried out in Porto Alegre follows an interdisciplinary approach linking design, urban planning, architecture, law, sociology of law and other social studies.
The evolution of the Brazilian society and democracy does not seem able yet to ensure a kind of citizenship based on the recognition of the State as a definitive guarantee of rights, and the urban space as a place of identification and belonging to community.
In this context, the Latitude research group has focused on a visual narrative of the spaces inhabited by upper-class citizens, among which gated communities.
Public authorities encourage the social control for crime prevention, by associations of citizens denouncing crime to police and private security systems.
This case study has required a comparison between the elements that influence risk perception among middle-upper classes and the data on criminality, and an analysis of the institutional measures adopted in order to face the security problem at a political level, also in terms of design of urban spaces and communication.
With regard to institutional measures, municipalities have no competence in matters of public security, since it belongs only to the State. However, municipalities have the power to legislate upon matters of local interest and intervene regulating public spaces; in the Municipality of Canoas there is a good example of policy of public space regeneration and management to prevent crime.
The analysis of this case study has concerned also tools and forms of communication, as newspapers, radio, social medias used by police, WhatsApp used by individuals to communicate with police, etc.

 
Methodology
• Identification of public and private actors for the public security in Porto Alleger and their interview
• Collecting data on crime and mapping criminality
• Mapping of security systems, among which video surveillance systems
• Collection and analyses of laws, regulations, administrative acts and case law
• Representing living solutions adopted by wealthy citizens with photos
• Representing the issues on public security in Porto Alleger in a video documentary