Deep in the heart of São Paulo gentrification lies a 4,000 m2 public space. A square. Around it, Avenues São Paulo, an up-scale apartment complex, and a socially vulnerable community, Jardim Panorama, that’s been there for almost a century. And Avenues’ Community Design and Social Innovation students took it upon themselves to bring these agents together and draw out a socially integrative renovation project.
It’s the Pracinha Initiative, an ongoing process that’s already bearing visible fruits. The square is now kept clean and gardened, kids are seen playing on the green, the benches have been restored, there’s a mini-library, 30 native trees have been planted, and volunteer architects already have a blueprint and a mockup of what it will one day look like. Their starting point were 300 drawings of kids’ dreams for that space.
The project is so fabulous and socially relevant that 11th grade students Isabella Gomes and Valentina Liberman, both 16, have showcased it at international conferences. “It’s a mindset transformation, and we acted upon it”, Isabella points out. Needless to say, they’re optimistic and looking forward to getting back to work, social isolation measures permitting. “We now have a social responsibility over that area”, Valentina adds. And this is how revolutions begin.
A student-lead architectural renovation project for a public square located between Avenues São Paulo, an up-scale apartment complex, and community Jardim Panorama. Initiated in mid 2018, it's a working group that meets mostly in the 11th grade Social Innovation elective class.The goal is to find urban solutions to bring the open space to its full social integration potential in bridging the gap between the groups surrounding it.