Flash flooding has become a serious problem for residents of São Paulo, paralyzing the city, causing considerable damage and even leading to some deaths. The neighborhood of Vila Madalena has had a number of these episodes, but Davis Brody Bond Architects in collaboration with NGO 'Aprendiz' are working on a plan that could help alleviate the flooding with a vibrant new public space that could actually help direct and drain the rain away. Still in its planning and approval phase, the Green Stream Linear Park would create a 1.6 km pedestrian and bike circulation spine that incorporates green building practices and water retention, diversion and filtration systems to move water away from people, their homes and their businesses.
New rain patterns are the cause of the disastrous flash floods of recent years and previous infrastructure is unable to contain the waters. While many neighborhoods have experienced problems, the area around Vila Madelana has even seen deaths as a result of the flooding. Davis Body Bond designed the urban park as a way to help manage the floods, direct them away from people and then help drain the water away. The Green Stream Linear Park is a 60,000 sq meter urban space that traces the path of a canalized stream. The project is being developed through a relationship with local organization, Aprendiz, who cares for some of the left-over alleys after the stream’s canalization.
The 1600 meter long park is foremost a “drainage machine” and would actively work to funnel rain and flooding into safe spaces. A new water retention pool is planned for the area and will be aided by a series of water retention and drainage systems. This includes natively planted swamp areas to hold water, vegetated areas, pools, living wall installations, canals, underground cisterns, filters and more. The project would also showcase sustainable technologies and green building construction methods, including permeable concrete blocks, permeable pigmented asphalt and green walls.
The project would actually create a green link between three different neighborhoods with a metro station on either end and pedestrian and bike paths in between. A variety of public areas are slated for the paths to encourage use of public space, foster a rich cultural environment and strengthen community bonds. Public information boards will be posted along the entire park to educate residents on the area, green building techniques, water drainage methods, sources of water and more. Public art would be installed throughout as well as play areas for children. The goal of the project is to first increase the safety of the area by managing stormwater, but then also to encourage culture, community and the arts.
Images ©Davis Brody Bond