LafargeHolcim Foundation Knowledge Turntable for Sustainable Construction



“An active relationship between water management and the community”

Regional Jury Report – Latin America

10–15 houses, each fitted with a rainwater collection and septic tanks, share a communal …
10–15 houses, each fitted with a rainwater collection and septic tanks, share a communal wetland. The elements are inserted into the existing urban fabric, exploiting under-used space without causing mass disruption. On sloped areas, wetlands can become terraces, alleviating the threat of landslides. Initiated by public funds, the system is implemented and operated collaboratively, bringing together top down strategy with bottom up action. It deliberately engages hard-to-reach, local stakeholders.

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.

Last Updated: June 10, 2017
Article Details
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Related Information
Related Project
Urban Circulatory System in Brazil
Urban Circulatory System in Brazil

Project for blue-green infrastructure that treats wastewater while teaching water stewardship in informal communities in Rio de Janeiro.

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