Carefully managing growth – preserving the necessary flexibility and developing a robust fundamental structure with clear rules.
Prefeitura de São Paulo / Secretaria Municipal de Desenvolvimento Urbano
VIGLIECCA&ASSOC, São Paulo
ASTOC / PLAY-TIME, Barcelona
In the last 160 years, São Paulo has grown to become the largest town in Brazil with twelve million residents. The 1,600 hectare project area with many industrial plants encompasses the valley depression of the Tamanduatei river. Its banks are lined by an express bus route, railway lines and broad urban motorways with up to twelve lanes which cut through the area of the town as barriers. With a “low rise / high density” counter-model, the development concept defies the demarcation logic of the booming property market and the usual retrospective densification approaches which often shut themselves off from their urban environment as a jumbled collection of high-rises and gated communities. A few clear rules and flexible organisation principles are steering the change and the gradual transformation of the area.
One new and three existing local train stations which are being developed into urban centres, form the starting point for this renovation. Bridges link the stations across the traffic routes to the neighbouring districts. The hubs stretch far into the urban areas with pedestrianised zones. Besides residential and working areas, the usage mix also comprises shops, restaurants, schools and culture. Active ground floor zones create space for a social infrastructure with kindergartens, libraries, practices and manual trades. In this way, a vibrant urban space will be created. A height limitation of six floors protects the local character with low workers’ estates and flat factory buildings. The master plan Mooca - Vila Carioca serves as a model project and can be transferred to many other districts of São Paulo.