São Paulo - Urban observatory & pocket interventions




Urban Interventions

Sao Paolo



The "pocket interventions" are  
strategic ones that emerge from
the initial concept for the reactivation
of a freely accessible public space.

São Paulo - the capital of the state of São Paulo, the most densely populated Brazilian state. Also it is South America's biggest city with a population of approximately 20 million people in the metropolitan area. Due to the rapid and strong growth of the city, the urban development has overwhelmed the city's infrastructure and therefore affects the quality of life in a negative way. The insufficient supply in the structure of public transport and the exaggerated private transport leads to miles of daily traffic congestion; immense air and water pollution, extensive poverty and high crime rates pose challenges that are reflected in a very unequal, segregated - in social and spatial terms - town. Urban development and urban planning in combination with socio-economic aspects represent the biggest challenges in São Paulo in these days.

The process of the demographic expansion, de-industrialization, expansion of the tertiary sector, development in the periphery combined with the impoverishment of the working class, the procession of the middle and upper classes away from the city center and the widespread fear of crime were reasons for the search of safe residences of all inhabitants of the city. In the context of rising prejudice and fear of social decline, people show less and less tolerance for persons of other social classes, and are also not interested in solutions of their education, health , and housing problem. Furthermore the inhabitants are more interested to invest in technologies for social segregation and the generation of distances. In this way the "fortified enclaves " - the high-rise apartments , the gated communities , the peripheral office complexes and shopping centers – create a new way of segregation, and organize social discrimination and economic restructuring. Due to the mentioned developments, road spaces often stay as a interspace, functional space which only serves the purpose as a movement corridor for residents and service providers - in addition, it remains unnoticed and unused. Public space for residents is gradually getting lost. This work is based on the idea by analyzing a city and drawing up certain conceptual ideas and interventions in the present structures , to develop a design for the promotion of quality of life and identity in this city. In contrast to the large-scale city plan actions which means a micro region should be influenced by a macro change, this work continues through situational, small-scale interventions in the micro – range and visions to influence the city in the macro range. The "Pocket Interventions" are strategic interventions that emerge from the initial concept for the reactivation of a freely accessible public space, here in the São Paulo’s district Baixo Augusta. These public spaces should partly supply non-consumption but also offer those areas with service and trade. Using planning and, subsequently, structurally defined components, materials and surfaces with concomitant zoning and the participation of local networks in the development and implementation will create sustainable spaces for no certain social or age group but for communication and interaction.