URBAN DESIGN STRATEGIES for São Benedito
Urban design strategies for community spaces2012-2015 Design, Planing and Realization; ResearchContracting authority:Programa Terra + IgualLocation:Territorio do Bem in São Benedito, Vitória BrazilCooperation:u Lab, HabitatLivingLab, Programa Terra + Igual Labtar Ufes Webpagehttp://labtar.ufes.br/projetos/desafios-para-a-habitacao-de-interesse-social/Global Education for Urban Futures with Miriam PintoUrban Pamphleteer #5 http://urbanpamphleteer.org/global-education-for-urban-futures
São Benedito, Vitória Brazil
While once many favelas where in its souroundings dominated by urban geographies of mono-clusters of poor, middle-class and high-income settlements, today the distinction includes gated-communities and restricted spaces for the upper and middle classes in close vicinity. The results are strong ‘citadelization’ as well as extreme ghettoization and the specific patterns of further development usually representing however the expulsion of the socially disadvantaged population from this areas and literally lossing the ground. This was also the case of Territorio de Bem in Sao Benedito that emerged out of an informal settlement, spontaneously, self-built and in the beginning without collective development concept.
The project evolved based on the conviction that the problems present in Territorio do Bem are complex and single approaches cannot be applied just „effectively" as they need to be interrelated. Therefore collaborative urban design strategies where produced and realized through a series of small-scale in –situ actions and specific social-spatial approaches. In the end, it would be possible to build an integrated system for the common areas and the improvement of the housing stock by the project facilitators the Habitat Living Lab in a close cooperation with residents and in several cycles strategies. Architects, citizens, sociologist, economists and geographers formed the Living Lab composition, by supporting with their expertise, and designing, and facilitating consensus on the construction process. The program Terra + Igual served as an umbrella for the project. One of the first remarks is that this process was possible through the collaboration among actors in the territory was already stable for a long period and served as a vital basis for the further cooperation.
SECURITY & RE-IMAGINING THE PUBLIC REALM
Steps of intervention
An intense Phase 0 was to elaborate on the different needs in the territory and developed in specific spatial typologies to be realized. The interventions ranged in dimensions and structural background from exterior planning, housing and infrastructural improvement, community spaces, economical concepts and environment protection. Through community planning workshops evolved the plan “Plano Bem Maior” with projections until 2020; A powerful tool that should unify the demands and different points of view in the territory and serve as an instrument from where to start the dialogue with the public authorities.
The planed intervention in each neighbourhood required the residents of Território do Bem involvement in the process. Citizens from different parts of the Territory were asked about the current needs. Building process were conceived through a strong co-creation process with the community and partial self-construction, while helping to create a network of knowledge, minimize the overall development costs and enhancing professional experience. The commitment to achieve compromises in the project was an important element to overcome the difficulties that often occur when different organizations are working together. Interventions resulted as the development of playgrounds, a local soccer-area and public spaces around transportation nods.
UPGRADING OF EXISTING HOUSING STOCK
The commitment to achieving compromises established in the projects was an important element in making all the involved overcome the difficulties that often occur when such different organizations are working together on common challenges. Small-scale interventions resulted as the development of playgrounds, a local soccer-area and public spaces around transportation nods.
CONNECTIVITY TO FORMAL CITY
The area around the hill on which Sao Benedito is located is developed along ring streets. The outer ring is accessible by motorized traffic and defines the boarder between the formal, lower part of the city and the informal districts on the hill, the streets are narrow and steep. This situation leads to complex conditions concerning logistic and connectivity which prevents production processes in the area. The base for a positive development of Sao Benedito will be therefore to improve and simplify the connection between the territory and the city of Vitoria.
In the usage of the roofs a high potential developed for new settings: private-, semi private- and public levels to connect neighbours. The project suggest a network of gardens, places and pocket parks along the access line in order to improve the productivity and the quality in the area. The housings along the new path, especial around the communitarian area will be upgraded and gain opportunities to be used as workshops, retail or office area. Actors involved in this project have learned that they have to pay attention to the community’s interests, by helping to solve daily problems but in the same way not lose the vision for the strategic development, such as the livelihood, acquaintanceship and dialogue needs.