São Paulo, Brazil

Photo by Luciana Minami/City of São Paulo

Sustainability and Resilience

What efforts have been made to reduce the carbon footprint of the initiative?

Use of the concrete rubble removed and reserved after the excavation to fill the volume and increase the “voids” in the soil, making the process more sustainable.

Use of organic compost from the pruning actions performed by the Municipal Administration to compose the substrate that will receive the planting of specific vegetation, in addition to the use, when feasible, of the soil from the site itself.

How have the anticipated impacts of climate change been considered?

The program promotes the development of actions and projects of urban intervention, green infrastructure and environmental recovery in the city of São Paulo, aiming to increase permeability, biodiversity, afforestation, landscaping, well-being and leisure.

All actions are inspired on Nature-based Solutions, by stimulating natural processes and plants that involve the creation of urban micro-environments such as rain gardens, green spaces, bioswales, infiltration wells, land art and urban conservation woods.

These are components linked to the management of surface and groundwater, as well as the treatment of diffuse pollution, excessive sedimentation and water harvesting from urban drainage lines. In addition, the interventions are intended to reduce events associated with climate change.

The Rain Gardens project act in collaboration with the permeability micro-watersheds created by the urban conservation woodlands, with emphasis on rainwater harvesting and preservation; on increasing vegetation cover; and on creating specific flood environments to test plants of different origins, locations, types, species and varieties, to define the most adapted for such urban conditions, as there is not extensive literature on the subject, especially about tropical regions.

The program uses recycled material (rubble from pavements removed by the Municipal Administration, usually concrete) as the basis for the underground infiltration mattresses, ensuring that the gardens and bioswales are environmentally sustainable, both in their urban function and use of materials.

What processes does the initiative include for it to be considerate in its use of soils and other natural resources?

For the execution of the Rain Gardens, the City of São Paulo reuse the soil coming from the excavation of the place itself with a fertilized addition.

As an attempt to reduce the use of irrigation water, it is applied, in some areas of the gardens, the shredded organic waste from pruning carried out in the city of São Paulo.

The waste has the purpose to reduce the evaporation index of the irrigation water, thus helping to hold humidity and to hinder the growth of weeds next to the ornamental plants.