A metodologia de intervenção utilizada pela Horizontes Arquitetura e Urbanismo em projetos de habitação social e intervenção em Vilas e Favelas foi citada no trabalho Shifting Power: The Importance of Funding Community Participation, de autoria de Jessica Bremner e Caroline Park.
As pesquisadoras, afiliadas à UCLA-University of California-Los Angeles, desenvolveram o trabalho através de extensa pesquisa de campo que incluiu visita a várias favelas de Belo Horizonte e entrevistas com a equipe da Horizontes, com técnicos da prefeitura, professores universitários (PUC Minas) e membros de associações comunitárias.
Sobre o trabalho da Horizontes elas citam: “(…) private architects from Horizontes Arquitetura were consulted by URBEL in order to efficiently design and activate new open spaces in the vilas. In our interview with the architects, they discussed how any open space within a vila will most likely be invaded by either squatters or drug dealers. Architects, Marcelo Palhares Santiago and Felipe de Farias, shared that as a result of the violence, many residents construct walls as protection from open spaces where drug traffickers are most likely to congregate. Additionally, most houses are built so that entry ways and windows do not face the road. Thus, many residents have are left with little option or encouragement to spend their free time outside their homes.
For this reason, the architects sought to find a way to preserve and protect the newly created open spaces by creating “active parks”. Active parks offer facilities and amenities that encourage physical activity, which could be used throughout the day by users of all ages. They include design elements that discourage excessive stationary activities by omitting tables and benches. In their design, the architects “play” with the hilly landscape in order to create non-traditional forms of seating. Other design concepts the architects supported were the creation of pedestrian paths that would better connect residents to their community, the use of bright colors and local graffiti artists to contribute to constructed recreation areas. (…)”
A conclusão da pesquisa destaca a necessidade de intervenções de qualidade, a importância do trabalho participativo como ferramenta critica de projeto e como estratégia para garantir maior aceitação da comunidade.