Challenges of the urban peripheral landscapes

Catharina Pinheiro Cordeiro dos Santos Lima, Caio Boucinhas


The peripheral regions of Sao Paulo reveal a profound contradiction in their landscapes – on the one hand, remnants of their original biophysical basis and, on the other, increasing pressure for the territory’s occupation. The northwest sector of the periphery, for example, presents environmentally sensitive areas which are at the same time under great pressure for occupation by those who do so by choice (the property market) and those who have none (irregular and high-risk occupation). The poor inhabitants of these regions have increasingly organized themselves to achieve basic rights through community associations, social movements, and cultural groups ever since the recent re-democratization process in Brazil. It is precisely in these urban spaces, which are precarious in many ways, that significant subjectivities have emerged in participatory
processes, expressing an awareness of environmental issues with an implicit desire for more humanized landscapes. These processes often include children and their teachers as protagonists. For thirteen years, the Landscape, Art and Culture Laboratory (LABPARC) of the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism (FAU)
at USP has been working with educators and children from municipal public schools, developing projects, research, and university extension work in the region. This article aims to discuss this experience with the objective of showing the gains achieved and the challenges that may arise within the perspective of a collective construction of the city, where urban interventions can be harmonized with water sources, streams, steep slopes, forests, and fauna.


Landscape pedagogy; Peripheral landscapes; Participatory process; Public parks

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