Abstract This paper presents a case of urban dispute to show how a new political body has been affectively occupying the spheres of participation since the uprisings that occurred in Brazil in June 2013. Minhocão, the target of this urban dispute, is an elevated highway located in the city of São Paulo. Inaugurated in 1970, it has been informally occupied by the inhabitants of its surroundings since the 1980s. Using the notion of “affective re-territorializations” (Hutta, 2019), the article analyses how the rise of conservative and progressive affective fields are reshaping spaces in the contemporary city and, ultimately, influencing urban projects and public policies. Through the analysis of primary and secondary data, the article demonstrates that this space, which used to be the target of informal appropriations, has become the symbol of an affective dispute, being constantly re--signified, alternating progressive and reactionary ideologies.