Within the concrete wilderness of the biggest city of the Southern Hemisphere, the city makers of São Paulo are working hard to turn their car-centric city into a more sustainable, inclusive and humane city. But while faced with economical and political instability on a national level, they are also challenged on a local level by a population that fears the public sphere and a newly elected mayor, who -unlike his predecessor- seems to show little interest in city making and the development of new kinds of urban living. How can these Brazilian city makers rethink, co-create and hack their own city in order to obtain long-term and impactful change? An evening with and for (Brazilian) city makers, on the challenges of change.
Cities in transition: São Paulo, Brazil.
In the last couple of years, Pakhuis de Zwijger has been building a network of so-called City Embassies, connecting city makers and bottom-up movements throughout the Netherlands (Nieuw Nederland: Steden in transitie) and Europe (New Europe: Cities in transition). Last summer, Pakhuis de Zwijger broadened its horizons by opening two City Embassies outside of Europe: through its own start-up, Fabrica Ciudad, in Quito (Ecuador), and by joining forces with the organization Cidades para pessoas, in São Paulo (Brazil).
From cars to people
Cidades para pessoas (“Cities for people”) is run by four women: Natália Garcia (journalist), Juliana Russo (visual artist), Marcella Arruda (architect/urban planning) and Raffaela Pastore (production), who aim to resolve complex urban challenges by investigating, interpreting and experimenting with ideas for more humane cities. During this event, Natália Garcia will join us on Skype, to share her perspective on the development of the bottom-up movement in São Paulo, and on how Cidades para pessoas tries to change São Paolo from a car- to a people-centered city.
Interacting with the city
The Brazilian city maker Vitor Freire is currently residing in Amsterdam for a three months creative residency. He describes himself as a “choreographer of human interactions, creating content and experiences that can reveal and/or unlock something truthful and joyful about our lives”. In a city as São Paulo, where many people have long felt fear for public spaces, Vitor tries to make people interact and (re)connect with their cities through projects as IJO. He will give a short presentation of real and/or imaginary ways in which people can interact with their city.