15 October

Maré-City Competition: Prize-winning entries highlight cultural appreciation and community participation

It wasn’t an easy choice: out of 180 entries submitted […]

It wasn’t an easy choice: out of 180 entries submitted from places as different as Germany, China, Egypt, Brazil, Russia, Poland, Turkey, Colombia, France, Portugal, Oman and Ukraine, the adjudication panel for the Maré-City International Ideas Competition shortlisted 28 finalists, from which they selected the three winners and the three honourable mentions. The main winner was China, taking first and second place, as well as honourable mentions paying tribute to Roberto Burle Marx and Demetre Anastassakis. Third place went to a design submitted by Brazilian students in São Paulo, while the honourable mention named after Luiz Paulo Conde went to students from Bogotá, Colombia.

The common characteristic of these entries was a focus on local activities, encouraging community participation in the proposed revitalisation projects. The winning design suggested the development of Small Industry & Home Industry (SIHI) activities in underserved favelas at the family and community levels, which its designers believe could be replicated worldwide.

The runner-up suggested that five access routes be established with convergent points that would foster integration among the favela communities, and between them and the city. Old factories could be used as culture centres, with new public areas opened up.

This was also the approach pursued by the design taking third place: open areas – streets and public spaces – underpin the suggested intervention. This design includes broader pavements, new urban amenities, bicycle paths and better infrastructure.

Transforming the gap separating the Maré complex from the rest of the city into a zipper that unites and integrates them is the idea behind the design awarded the honourable mention paying tribute to Demetre Anastassakis, who is one of the leading names in Brazil for architecture furthering social interest.

The design awarded the honourable mention memorialising former Rio Mayor, architect Luiz Paulo Conde, strives to heighten awareness and enhance cultural values among the residents of the Maré complex, as a way of surmounting barriers.

The honourable mention celebrating landscape designer Roberto Burle Marx – which focuses on landscaping aspects – was awarded to an innovative entry submitted in the form of a graphic novel. Mapping out the cultural activities of the Maré Complex, it also suggests that ‘local creators’ should be actively engaged in urban solutions.

Open to architecture and urban planning students from all over the world, the Maré-City International Ideas Competition is part of the 27th World Congress of Architects – UIA2021RIO. Hosted by the International Union of Architects (UIA) and the Brazilian Institute of Architects (IAB), it is supported by UN-Habitat.

The entrants submitted upgrade proposals for an area between the Maré Slum Complex and Avenida Brasil, which is one of the largest and busiest thoroughfares in Rio de Janeiro State. Filled with abandoned industrial buildings, most of these factories and warehouses are now derelict

“Some 22% of the population of Rio de Janeiro live in its favela slums. Addressing issues related to their urbanisation and acknowledging their potential is a key factor for ironing out inequalities, while fostering sustainable development and enhancing the quality of urban life. We hope that these young minds will offer fresh and innovative views on how to handle this issue, which dates back over a hundred years,” says competition coordinator Fabiana Izaga, who also sits on the Executive Committee of the 27th World Congress of Architects.

In order to define the structure for the Maré-City upgrade competition, the UIA2020RIO Executive Committee was supported by the Observatório de Favelas, a civil society organisation specialising in research, consulting and public actions designed to lessen social inequalities.

The adjudication panel included renowned international practitioners, including the Regional Director of UN-Habitat in Latin America and the Caribbean, Colombia’s Elkin Velasquez Monsalve; the Director of y UIA Work Programme for Community Architecture and Human Rights, South Africa’s Nadia Tromp; the Medellin Urban Development Secretary (2004 – 2008) Alejandro Echeverri; Verena Andreatta, the author of Cidades Quadradas, Paraísos Circulares; and Gustavo Utrabo from the Aleph Zero architecture firm, who designed the prize-winning Moradas Infantis project in Tocantins State.

Click to check out the prize-winning entries, their designers and the architecture schools where they are studying!


First Prize – Small Industry & Home Industry

Second Prize – Let Convection Begin

Third Prize – Bridging Borders

Honorable Mention – GAP—ZIP

Honorable Mention – We Are One

Honorable Mention – Leverage Maré With Art

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