- Setor Noroeste, Brasília: Can an elite neighborhood be considered green?    click here to open paper content933 kb
by    de Souza Tenorio, Gabriela & Germano dos Santos Júnior, Reinaldo | gabi@unb.br   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The new residential area of Brasilia has been advertised as ''Brazil’s first green neighborhood''. Although 84,5% of the homeless families in the city earn up to 570 USD/month, it was designed for the elite. Does this contribute to a sustainable city?
Brasilia is now building ''Setor Noroeste'' (a new borough northwest of the city center) which has been advertised as ''the first green neighborhood of Brazil'', and aims at receiving the LEED-ND certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - Neighborhood Development). According to the 1987 expansion plan for Brasilia, it was supposed to have economical buildings, in order to supply popular demand, and superblocks, to meet the needs of the middle class, both being articulated by small, dense and mixed-use neighborhood centers. The current design of the neighborhood, however, has left out the economical buildings, and has allocated it to 40 thousand upper class inhabitants, in a density of 48 inhab/ha. The design of the neighborhood, the necessary actions for its certification (which, according to construction companies, brings up the price of the housing units) and the high prices of the land – established by the government's own real state agency – have resulted in a final price for square meter of 4,500 USD. Considering that in Brasilia 89 thousand families (out of the total 105 homeless) earn up to 570 USD a month (data from 2007), it is thus clear that the new neighborhood was never intended to minimize the housing deficit of the city. Studies show that, Setor Noroeste reinforces the undesirable socio-environmental occupancy pattern of the city: urban sprawl, higher density further away from the city center and socio-spatial segregation. The present paper questions the title of Green Neighborhood being attributed to Setor Noroeste. Nevertheless, the situation also represents an excellent opportunity to reconsider the characteristics of a truly sustainable neighborhood. Once Setor Noroeste has been implemented in sections, and therefore has not yet occupied its total area, this paper exploits possibilities of minimizing its upper class ghetto characteristics, complementing its design so as to contribute to social diversity and a more sustainable Brasilia.
Brasilia, green neighborhood, socio-spatial segregation
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