Agriculture in São Paulo urban fringe

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Agriculture as a green infrastructure element in São Paulo urban fringe, Brazil by Thelma Hisayasu and Paulo Pellegrino

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Name Agriculture as a green infrastructure element
Location São Paulo/Parelheiros
Country Brazil
Topic please enter the topic here
Office office or planner/designer
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Completion Please enter the date of completion
Project costs Please enter the costs (if known)
Case study author(s) Thelma Hisayasu e Paulo Pellegrino
Pare 1.jpg
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Rationale: Why is this case study interesting?

Parelheiros district, which is part of Sao Paulo Greenbelt and inserted on the Atlantic Forest Biosphere Reserve where considerable forest remnants and natural streams still exist. It is also on the watershed area that produces part of the water consummed by the City’s population. Agriculture is a traditional activity in the greenbelt area and speciffically in Parelheiros with the production of fruits and vegetables for local distribution. The conservation of this land use can be seen as strattegical to maintain areas wiithout urban uses and can be an important way to restrict urban sprawl. This case study has as main objective develop trought a ecological landscape planning process identifying the most suitable areas for organic food production in Parelheiros district, and defining its integration with the existing forest patches, streams and wet areas as well as a way to improve the social and economic conditions of the dwellers.

Author's perspective

The maintenance and development of agricultural land-use in the area is seen as part of the Caulim Creek Neighborshed - Green Infrastructure Plan for Informal Settlement in Watershed Area of São Paulo Metropolitan Region, as shown in the Urban Landscape Seminar 2008. In this way, we realize that agriculture is important to the history of Parelheiros, and at the same time can be seen as one strategy to conserve the metropolitan greenbelt, better exploring its potential uses beyond water, biodiversity and tourism, and adding more social and economic interests in the conservation of the area as buffer zones for the forests core areas.

Landscape and/or urban context

The history of agriculture in Parelheiros is recorded since the XIV century, just after the arrival of the first Europeans conquistadores that interacted with local native inhabitants and its traditional cultures. In 1920 Japanese immigrants arrived to work in the coffee plantations, but after the 29 economical debacle, they acquired lands nearby the City and started to plant orchards and vegetables, introducing new species and diversifying the locals diets. Sao Paulo is the Brazilian financial and economic hub, attracting people from all over the country, part of them disqualified workers, and besides that they had come mostly form other rural areas, they were unused with the requirements of such a environmental sensitive area, as they were forced to the outer fringes of the City by the social exclusion that marked the period.

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Analysis of program/function

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Analysis of design/planning process

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Analysis of use/users

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  • Is the use changing? Are there any issues?

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Cross-cutting questions

How may landscape architecture contribute to the integration of different user groups in the urban fringe?

  • Integration in an urban area
  • Quality of life in rur-urban areas
  • Flexibility of life styles


How can the transformation process be connected with the landscape sub-typologies?

  • where does rural start?
  • Rur-urban
  • Dynamics flows between urban and peri-urban areas
  • Monitoring land-use change


How may landscape planning contribute to quality improvement?

  • Aesthetic quality
  • Environmental quality
  • Social quality


Can the maintenance and development of agricultural land-use in urban fringes be a strategy of a greenbelt?

  • Agriculture in the urban fringe
  • Agriculture as a green infrastructure element
  • Green infrastructure
  • Creating green links for wholeness
  • Greenbelt, agriculture as a part of it


Future development directions

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Peer reviews or critique

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Points of success and limitations

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