Public space on the banks of the Capibaribe


In the past, the banks of the Capibaribe river were a determining factor for the Pernambucan economy due to the soil being good for growing crops. Within a modern concept, these same banks reappear as a fertile area for another kind of cultivation: that of societal interaction. Little by little, Recife is starting to transform stretches of the banks of its most famous tributary with the aim of occupying and giving more life to these spaces, beyond the natural ecosystem. On such a path, some of the old usage models of these places require reconsideration.

Such is the case of Aurora street, at the intersection of the neighborhoods of Boa Vista and Santo Amaro. After a process of degradation that lasted years, the stretch between the Princesa Isabel and Limoeiro bridges was remodeled by the city government and delivered to the community, with several coexistence areas, however, there was no discussion about the public’s demands questioning old problems. On the other hand, new spaces are appearing with a more daring proposal, such as the private-public partnership at the Cais do Imperador, in the neighborhood of Santo Antônio, and the partnership with UFPE and NGOs in the Jardim do Baobá, in Graças, and on the banks of the Capunga, in Derby, still in the discussion process.

The Cais da Aurora follows the traditional introductory concept of leisure space. The last reform in the area was delivered last January and is already showing signs of deterioration. “Visually it’s a spectacular environment. But it’s not too frequented, it smells bad, and homeless people are taking it over. What’s needed is an increase in security”, says a 21-year old call center operator, Harthur Cezar Feitoza, resident of Paulista.

At the same time new spaces are arising with the idea of overcoming these old complicated disputes. Inaugurating on September 11th, the Jardim do Baobá, near the Ponte d’Uchôa, is the outcome of a demand analysis promoted by the government in partnership with the multidisciplinary team Inciti, from UFPE, which researches urban innovation. The area possesses a 10-meter long table for collective usage, swings and a floating deck pier. “It was a surprise to me. Recife is needing it. When the government proposes to restore these spaces, the people are the winners”, says ex-soccer referee Cid Bezerra, 58, resident of Jangá.

In the last few days, in Derby, an Ativação Capunga movement occurred so that the public could try out one more place and contribute to occupation proposals. “The idea is, through experiences, to get people to relate to the Capibaribe in a new way”, explains one of the Inciti coordinators, Julien Ineichen, 38.

While the Derby project is being discussed, and in addition to the Jardim do Baobá, the public can already visit the new eco-tourist station Caid do Imperador, in front of Praça 17. – Source (PT)


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