- Compacting Porto Alegre: The new ‘City Gates’ Project    click here to open paper content1344 kb
by    Castello, Iara Regina & Castello, Lineu | lincastello@terra.com.br   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The paper deals with the more down-to-earth situation of a medium sized Brazilian metropolis (1,5 million), where urban sprawl is still governable. It portrays a gallery of sprawl deterrence concepts in practice and shows continued planning policies achievements.
Addressing cases of compact cities is a rather temerarious endeavor, since this goal sometimes is not more than a wishful thinking exercise. Even so, it seems that Porto Alegre, the southernmost Brazilian metropolis, is obtaining some useful planning achievements. Known for the persistence of the continuous efforts of its planning system, the city has recently engaged in a Project that reflects concepts and policies usually associated to urban sprawl prevention. There are some indications that they will succeed and, consequently, deserve a more accurate attention.
The Project addresses predominantly a sort of “internal expansion” as a strategy to prevent outward sprawl, and involves the following topics: (i) Urban re-development: in an area of old occupation, comprising both urbanized parcels and undeveloped land (formerly the city’s garbage sanitary dumping). (ii) Brownfield development: an experience in preserving the city’s industrial heritage, attributing new functions to former industrial buildings and re-urbanizing the industrial area. (iii) Densification: involving twofold actions, compactness through public policies (the Project deals with providing new social housing areas); and through private investments (the entrepreneurial sector built residential units, employing either the typologies of gated communities and higher-density towers). (iv) Regeneration concepts: overall programmes aiming at the preservation of specific historic areas and urban landmarks (e.g.: an old railway station and its surrounding area formerly destined to house the railway workforce). The research area includes three districts, partially cut off by physical barriers, and comprises over 600 hectares, along the river border, inside the metropolitan region and centrally located. Also in the area are the road transport ‘doorways’ of the city, the metropolitan over ground train line, and fluvial dockyards. Some road connections and ameliorations in the network system are also forecast.
urban internal expansion; densification; urban re-development
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