Urban Park and Institute Sitie | 2015 SEED AWARD WINNER

Location: Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil

Issues addressed: Transformation of Trash Dump into Public Green Space, Control of Disorganized Urban Growth in Informal Area, Entrepreneurship + Meritocracy, Control of Risk of Erosion and Landslides, Agro-forest [reforestation with urban agriculture]

Summary: Over 20 years, a total of 16 tons of garbage accumulated in Favela of Vidigal, Rio de Janeiro. Roughly 25,000 residents live in this informal area, and they came together and started removing the trash over the course of 6 years discovering that the most effective way to recuperate the land and prevent new housing invasions was to plant. With only 0.25 square meters of public space per habitant in an area of extremely steep terrain, the need for a space for leisure, culture, well-being, and participatory democracy was, and remains, an urgent necessity. A process of reforestation has started, including seedlings from the Botanical Garden of Rio, and started an area for urban agriculture, and including the construction of Rio’s first Digital Agora from recycled tires to create a new space for public debates and cultural activities, a space that also serves as a resilience infrastructure.

Team: Pedro Henrique de Cristo, Director; Caroline Shannon de Cristo, Curator; Mauro Petronilho Quintanilha, President; Paulo da Silva; Manoel Alves; Luis Silva; Paulo Cesar de Almeida; Manoel Alves; Paula Cesarino da Costa; Patricia Villela Marino; Marisa Moreira Salles; Caludia Moreira Salles; Tomas Alvim; Carlos Augusto Junqueira; Joshua David (Honorary Member); Community of Biroscao, Vidigal, Rio de Janeiro; +D/Design with Purpose Studio; Instituto PDR; Arq.Futuro; FGV-Direto Rio de Janeiro; CMS Design

Jury Review: This project works at scales of trash dump reclamation, control of landslides, community organization, and a found material system (tires) that can be replicated by others and has been shared with others in the region. The fact that the design team are deeply embedded in the community and investigating durable tools (like property rights, title, financing mechanisms) pushes this beyond just a nice community-built ecologically remediating park.