This project localizes water treatment, cleaning wastewater where it is produced. Rainwater harvesting, septic tanks, and wetlands are introduced in informal settlements to manage the wastewater now flowing through the neighborhood as open sewage. The improvement in public health also reduces CO2 output and stabilizes the ground, helping to prevent landslides. Implementation is envisioned as a fractal approach, from the grouping of several residences, to schools, to whole neighborhoods.
The jury was impressed with the detailed analysis of water flows as an urban “circulatory system” running through the favela. Taking on the pressing challenge of water sanitation in informal areas in Rio de Janeiro with intelligence and playfulness, the proposal challenges the notion that sewage needs to be hidden away underground and introduces innovation into a stigmatized but crucial part of urban infrastructure. By making water treatment local and visible, the proposed scheme creates an active relationship between water management and the community.