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Participation is Power: Launch of an Interim Intervention in Penha

By Najwa Doughman


Over the past year, the borough of Penha in São Paulo has worked in partnership with NACTO-GDCI, the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) towards the launch of the Conviver Penha project on Dr Campos Moura Street, near Artur Alvim Station. In 2018, there were 849 traffic fatalities in São Paulo; as part of the larger efforts the city has taken over the past five years, the project focuses on increasing road safety at a crash hotspot and redistributing street space to prioritize pedestrians. The design uses low-cost materials such as paint and planters to widen sidewalks and add nine new pedestrian crossings and a new public plaza. This design is the result of a participatory process that included several workshops with the local community. Read more about the beginnings of this project below.

On August 17, 2019, the interim intervention was launched with programmed activities throughout the day. The team led a walk-through of the site, hosted an outdoor Zumba class in the newly created plaza, and invited a local music school to perform. Passersby of all ages stopped by to learn about the design process and spend time in the former crash hotspot. Children enjoyed playing hopscotch and other games Adults played ping pong and voted using stickers to indicate whether they preferred the space before or after the intervention. Local shops placed furniture and plants outside to utilize the newly extended sidewalk space.  

The intervention is planned to last for a period of two months and will be observed for potential refinements to include before beginning capital construction. The Borough mayor intends to make the intervention permanent by the end of this year.


Read more about the beginning stages of this project:

Participation is Power: Design Defined by Community Priorities

Participation is Power: Outer boroughs in São Paulo compete to transform their streets

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