Catalytic Communities’ mission is to generate models for effective community-led and people-centered development of informal settlements in cities across the globe, based on the experience of Rio de Janeiro, with the city’s favelas achieving recognition of their heritage status and residents being served as equal citizens. This is done through a combination of education, research, training, networking exchanges, strategic communications, technology, mapping, advocacy, and participatory planning.

Strategy & Vision

Rio de Janeiro has some of the oldest urban informal settlements in the world today. As such their accomplishments–and existing challenges–serve as an opportunity for learning and forming creative solutions that can be applied around the world in the decades ahead, as the UN predicts informal urban settlements will be home to nearly a third of the global population by 2050.

We leverage social media, provide community training, and advocate for participatory planning and pro-favela policies with the long term goal of realizing the potential of Rio de Janeiro as a true example of inclusive urban integration.

Strategic Projects

Programs include strategic trainings for favela organizers; developing forums and networks to bring support and visibility to community struggles, solutions and perspectives; developing and testing policy recommendations for favela development; conducting educational community visits and public speaking on topics related to favela development; conducting opinion and impact research; and the extensive use of social media, educational publications, and advocacy campaigns.