This paper addresses Atucucho, a post-informal neighborhood of Quito outstanding for its self-management, social organization and cohesion.
Since the first land invasions in the late 80’s, bound under strong housing need and a sense of cooperation and solidarity, its inhabitants have been fighting and actively shaping, incrementally, their territory and built environment. Atucucho’s internal management is regulated, still nowadays, by committees and associations based on principles of direct democracy. Multiples have been the external actors, like NGOs and intergovernmental organizations, which have supported many aspects of its development.
This paper stresses the administrative and spatial ability of Atucucho’s selfmanagement through time: from its long period of illegality, up to the recent formulation of its own Neighborhood Government (Gobierno Barrial) and bank. Particular attention is paid to what perhaps is its greater merit: the latent proposition of an alternative to neoliberal urban regime, which has grown over time; an aspect not easily verifiable in other post-informal settlements in Quito.
Finally this neighborhood from the northwest of Quito, is seen as a desirable case to be reread under the light of the actual Ecuadorian socio-political situation. It will be by referring to some specific aspects of the Constitution of the Buen Vivir, such as the ‘right to the city’ (art.31) and the existence of ‘Basic Participation Units’ Unidades basicas de participacion (art. 248), that this contribution attempts to depict Atucucho as a reference to a desirable urban alternative.