The Urban Plan for Parque D. Pedro II was elaborated based on an urban analysis that sought to cover its geographical characteristics, urban evolution, its physical and functional attributes, the city’s urbanization process and, in particular, the numerous road works incorporated throughout its historical evolution. The research already done for the elaboration of the book – A Leste do Centro – Territórios do urbanismo (2006) is the starting point of this plan.
In the study that originated the book the enormous complexity of D. Pedro II Park and the urban context in which it is inserted was verified. It was quite evident that the park and its surroundings were strongly impacted by the urbanization process of the City and, from the 1950s on, by the consolidation of the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo.
From the methodological point of view, the plan worked with some conditioning factors: demolition of the Diário Popular viaduct, demolition of the São Vito and Mercúrio buildings, as well as the lowering of Avenida do Estado proposed by the municipal government of São Paulo. The realization of this work should create a new possibility of use for the park spaces that are currently sectioned by the avenue. PMSP’s proposal is a metropolitan work, related to the road complex formed by Avenida do Estado between Avenida Mercúrio and Avenida Cruzeiro do Sul (tunnel), presented by the Municipal Secretary of Urban Infrastructure and Works (SIURB) in preliminary meetings.
Since the beginning of the work, it was clear that the lowering of the avenue, targeting the entire road system of Parque D. Pedro II and some of its adjacent areas, would directly impact the analysis and the proposals that would emerge from it. It was assumed that any modification in its layout or progress would imply revisions in the plan itself.
From the urban analysis, incorporating the proposal for the State Avenue, a new perimeter of action was established. The area of analysis and proposal, previously limited to the perimeter of the park itself, was expanded to adjacent areas.
The design of the new perimeter, which resulted in the elaboration of a new physical figure of the park, was born from the verification of the functions that are directly associated with the Park and its main road system, to the high degree of spatial and functional disarticulation caused by works carried out in a contingent manner over many decades. But, above all, by the volume assumed by the random forms of accommodating vehicle flows and equipment associated with public transportation. As a whole, these works ended up removing from Parque D. Pedro II all its urban, landscape and qualified public space attributes that once existed there.
Thus, the Urbanistic Plan started from the understanding of the infrastructure, programmatic and social aspects of D. Pedro II Park consolidated over time, seeking to rearrange them in order to guarantee, with the proper quality, its functions of metropolitan connections, as well as its urban and symbolic character.
The project developed had an attentive look at the population that lives, uses and works in the region, especially the neediest, the homeless, who have in Parque Dom Pedro II an assistance structure, the Jardim da Vida – Dom Luciano Mendes de Almeida Living Space. This program, expanded, was welcomed in the project, with the proposal of a new building that houses the support functions for this population, besides being configured as a living and reference space (see proposal for Specific Sectors – West Arch). We call attention to the social work that must be done throughout the development of the executive project, as well as in the various phases of implementation of the plan, to ensure a positive impact on the lives of all users of the park and its surroundings.
By proposing a new perimeter, going beyond the internal limits of the park, it was sought to work with the objective of irradiating the urban requalification to the surrounding neighborhoods. For the analysis of its current conditions and qualities, a subdivision was made of the areas surrounding the park in 9 sectors that we named: Mercado Municipal, Colina Histórica, Glicério, Igreja Pentecostal, Pátio do Pari, Zona Cerealista, Gasômetro, Brás and Cambuci. This analysis allowed us to direct and gauge the project premises so that it would encompass all the desirable transformation potential, especially of its immediate surroundings, seeking to encourage and support the consolidated particularities and vocations of these areas, as well as to encourage new uses and especially housing densification.
The goal was, above all, to assimilate issues present in these areas associated with the new organization of the park. This is the case of social interest housing, defined as ZEIS 3 in the 2002 Master Plan, and which is present in large numbers in its immediate surroundings. This observation made it possible to establish a first working guideline that has its origin precisely in the evaluation of the impact that the urban and metropolitan growth of São Paulo, associated with its radio-concentric structure, has produced in the main squares of the Center and very intensely in D. Pedro II Park.
The search for a characterization of D. Pedro II Park based on its current physical and functional attributes indicated the elements a high level of urban destructuring caused by sectorial policies, especially transportation and road works, related to the fact that D. Pedro II Park is the arrival/exit door of the East Zone in the Center. The immense expansion of the city towards the eastern zone of the municipality, already treated countless times in seminal texts, is inscribed in Parque D. Pedro in a clear way and at several levels. A incorporação permanente de novas obras associadas ao transporte de massa e a obras viárias foi gradualmente estabelecendo um panorama urbano, funcionalmente e fisicamente, caótico. A ausência de iniciativas concretas para organizar os fluxos que ali chegam, tanto os de passagem quanto os acessos aos transportes criou um longo ciclo de obras sem qualquer compromisso que não fosse o escoamento do tráfego, descomprometidas de qualquer outra consideração urbana.
A broad objective was established from this characterization. The proposals were anchored in the possibility of introducing new urban, spatial, physical and programmatic relations, through the conjugation of strategic aspects focused on the operation and physical reorganization of Parque D. Pedro II.
In view of the recognition of the irrevocable character of the park as an urban mass public transportation pole, the Urbanistic Plan assumed the need to search for proposals aimed at the rationalization of the most important means of transport there: the subway, buses and the Tiradentes Express Line.
The articulation of the terminals with the D. Pedro II subway station created a new functional program: an intermodal station. The station is a response to the primary function of the D. Pedro II Park today.
The location of the Intermodal Station in the eastern sector of the Park is also strategic from the point of view of the spatial reorganization of the whole area. It establishes a new parameter for the articulation of the other equipments, for the new relationships with other spaces in the central area, creates a comfortable route for users who make connections between different modes, creates new paths and, relieves the area of the widespread presence of bus stops.
The physical system that supports public transportation was the target of this proposal, including the road system, Tiradentes Expressway, D. Pedro Terminal, and the D. Pedro station of Metro Line 2. The Terminal located on the so-called Avenida do Exterior, next to Avenida do Estado, is considered the busiest in the city with a daily user count of around 200 thousand people. Since the inauguration of the Tiradentes Express Line (2007), the D. Pedro II Terminal has gained new functions. Its direct relationship with the Market Terminal, the starting point of the Tiradentes Express Line, gives it an even greater degree of complexity today. The inefficient location of this terminal, created in 1966 and provisionally expanded, with demolition scheduled to take place ten years after the end of construction in 1994, is one of the most burning problems of the current urban situation of Parque D. Pedro II.
The recognition of the importance of the intermodal transport “node” as an essential urban element in the qualification of the functions and urban spaces of the area has gained strength. The intermodal station should assume the role of catalyst of the desired transformations for the entire Park and for the equipment located there. Multifunctionality will be the basic principle of the future project. The concentration of transportation infrastructure with urban functions is a successful contemporary practice in that it offers users support for their daily commuting, within an adequate environment of comfort and safety.
For the result we seek to achieve, another aspect became fundamental: the analysis of the primordial elements of the natural site, the urban history, and the historical monuments that make up D. Pedro II Park. The aim was to avoid an automatic substitution of new elements to the detriment of the old ones. As the urban analysis had already clearly pointed out, given the contemporary urban aspects of the area, any attempt to look for answers for the future of the park in old solutions would seem inappropriate. For, despite being a place of strong presence in the imaginary of the city’s inhabitants, the Parque D. Pedro II has not kept since the 1950s any trace of the historic projects of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century.
In this sense, we avoid privileging a vision dictated by the willingness to go back in time and seek its bucolic character, the large urban garden adopted in Joseph Antoine Bouvard’s project inaugurated in 1922.
However, if on one hand seeking the park’s geographical attributes indicated paths for the plan, its actual spatial and functional organization/disorganization was indispensable for the proposals that followed.
Occupying the historically flooded areas of the floodplain of the Tamanduateí River, Dom Pedro Park and its surroundings are subject to frequent flooding, with several flooding points. The drainage solutions in the Urbanistic Plan aim to integrate this infrastructure with the other proposed interventions, enhancing the urban and landscape character of the hydraulic works. It is proposed the construction of a system of retention ponds (surface reservoirs) associated with the landscape reconfiguration of the park spaces. The retention system should intercept the local drainage network of the surrounding area, allowing the control of the flow through a variable volume of buffering that allows the return of runoff in an attenuated and delayed manner to the Tamanduateí channel. This system, associated with the reconfiguration of other infrastructure systems that affect the park, should contribute decisively to its new landscape configuration.
The drainage lagoon plays a restorative role in this plan and seeks to pave the way for a new posture in the elaboration of urban projects in São Paulo. Through the lagoon the plan interprets the park in a contemporary urbanistic key where environmental issues offer an opportunity to reverse damage caused by projects that pay little attention to the relationship between the urbanization process and nature. Through the creation of a coherent infrastructure that is the retention pond, the plan resumes, keeping the contemporary features of the park, the function of the floodplain, creating a unique place for fruition and leisure in the center of the city of São Paulo.
In this same sense, that is, to propose urban repairs, the proposal was born to eliminate two viaducts in the park at different levels in a very predatory way. Different levels of the viaducts designed today are residual spaces at the park level. The traffic reserve of the two viaducts aims at the continuous circulation of pedestrians. Today, Parque D. Pedro II has a paradoxical organization from the point of view of pedestrian circulation. On the one hand, it brings together a huge mass of pedestrians, by public transport users, and, on the other hand, it does not offer any possibility of continuous and safe walking.The qualification of the public spaces seeks to give characteristics to the free areas resulting from the plan: wooded areas, spaces in contact with water, sidewalks and crossings, and an esplanade 50 meters wide and 730 meters long, bordering the lake, which connects the old barracks to the Ragueb Chohfi square.
This question takes us back to the 1950s and 1960s, when the highway concept gained strength in São Paulo urbanism and the expressways invaded the city of São Paulo. A incorporação dos elementos urbanos exigidos pelo processo de metropolização incidiu de forma violenta na estrutura física e funcional do Parque D. Pedro II, assim como em outros espaços públicos centrais, produzindo marcas profundas. As already mentioned, like a boomerang thrown from inside to outside, that is, from the park towards the neighborhoods east of the center, the road structuring rebounded back producing a destructive effect of the central spaces.
It is very important to highlight that this Urbanistic Plan worked with two guidelines pre-established by PMSP. Initially two areas were fixed, called in the plan Northern Sector and Western Sector, which should be analyzed and designed in a specific way. Although the plan covers the entire perimeter established at the beginning of the urban analysis, these two areas should receive more detailed projects. Within a phased implementation perspective, the two previously established sectors will be the precursors of the plan and the works related to it.
The Northern Sector of the Park is characterized by the presence of important historic buildings, such as the Casa das Retortas (1898); the Palácio das Indústrias (1920), and the Municipal Market (1933). However, the urban disarticulation of the complex overlaps with the current uses, and despite the physical proximity of these buildings, the isolation between them is complete.
The planned demolition of the Mercury and São Vito buildings and the integration of their land into the new park opens the possibility of a new articulation between these historic buildings. The opening of new transversal roads that cross the Tamanduateí River will create conditions for a greater articulation between the park and the city.
The Mercado Municipal is one of the most vital points in São Paulo’s old center, receiving a huge number of visitors every day. The building, inaugurated in 1933, although occupying the entire block, is quite constrained in its surroundings, with operational difficulties and a lack of parking. The proposal includes the expropriation of one of the side blocks, enlarging the free space adjacent to the building and integrating it into the park. This option will be reinforced by future actions such as the lowering of Avenida do Estado, the construction of new roads crossing the park transversally, and the construction of the Mercado subway station.
This lack of articulation between the buildings that today make up the Parque D. Pedro II complex is a factor that significantly limits the scope of any intervention in the region. For the areas originally occupied by the Diário Popular Viaduct, the São Vito and Mercúrio buildings and the adjacent small blocks, a new unit for SESC (Social Service for Commerce) and another for SENAC (National Service for Commercial Learning) have been proposed. The creation of these new equipments, besides the increment of a new program of public character, opens the possibility of a new urban articulation, not only between the existing buildings, but of the park itself with the city.
In this sense, the Palácio das Indústrias, which today houses the Catavento Institute, is a building that although it is implanted in the middle of the park, establishes front and back relations, creating situations that are not very desirable for the new park. The implantation of the new equipment, based on the sizes established by the Palácio das Indústrias, implies the transformation of the back of the building into a new front, breaking the logic of self-isolation of these programs. In the same way, these new buildings will articulate with the Municipal Market through a new bridge and two squares bordering the Tamanduateí River.
The new SENAC building articulates with the Industrial Palace through an artificial lake, and its volumetry is structured in two volumes separated by a new street. In the proposed scheme, the two buildings escape the isolation of the park and are presented as something that invites and supports pedestrians to cross the park.
The new equipments seek their expressiveness in the relations they establish with the city and with the existing buildings. They seek an image that ties past and future together, and above all, radiate a new sense of urbanity to this, so divided, region of the city.
The study developed for the West Sector of the park comprises a set of nine blocks located along Rua 25 de Março, between Ladeira General Carneiro and Avenida Rangel Pestana. Based on the observation that an extremely important area of the city is underused, and considering the impact of the actions foreseen in the plan, a strategy for urban transformation structured in public actions for immediate application and complementary short and medium term actions associated with private initiatives was developed.
In general, the proposal sought to recover the landscape and architectural heritage present in the sector, associating it with the increase in commercial activities and the strong residential densification intended. Another determining premise of the project developed was the need to articulate existing public spaces with the public spaces proposed in the plan, through new pedestrian connections.
The proposed complex intends to reconcile the existing daytime vitality of the area with new housing-related programs in order to produce a permanently active urban space that can take advantage of the privileged attributes that the region offers.
It is important to emphasize that the whole plan, in its various aspects, considered the presence of heritage buildings that today are essential to the characterization of Parque Dom Pedro II. The first is the Municipal Market, located in the northern portion of the park, has its importance increased due to its intense use (commercial and gastronomic). The Palácio das Indústrias, which today houses the Catavento Institute, functions as a science museum. The Casa das Retortas, which is being renovated to house the Museu do Estado de São Paulo. It is also important to mention the Gasometer, the Barracks, a group of buildings distributed in the western part of the park and a group of old workers’ residences in the Brás region. The surveys reveal a very expressive group of buildings along the historic hillside and, what is important to note, a strong concentration of ZEPECs along the railroad.
The investment in infrastructure and in the qualification of the public space of Parque Dom Pedro II has, among other things, a strong pertinence anchored in the great concentration around it of Special Social Interest Zones (ZEIS), land stocks delimited by law whose priority is to meet the demand for social housing and also for the popular market, ensuring that this transformation primarily benefits the population that now inhabits this place. The strengthening of the housing use should even correct the contrast of these neighborhoods that have intensive attendance during the day, but empty out completely during the night. The increase in housing in these commercial areas (as in Brás) is an important step in the consolidation of mixed use, in a proportion in which commerce and housing mutually benefit each other and consolidate an urban quality.
São Paulo, SP
Regina Meyer (coordenação geral), Marta Dora Grostein
Cristiane Muniz, Fábio Valentim, Fernanda Barbara, Fernando Viegas
Ana Paula Castro, Carolina Klocker, Eduardo Martorelli, Fabiana W. Cyon, Filipe dos Santos Barrocas, Igor Cortinove, Miguel Muralha, Roberto Galvão Júnior (interns) Bruno Gondo, Enk Te Winkel, Luccas Matos Ramos
Anna Helena Villela, Eduardo Ferroni, Pablo Hereñu
Bruno Nicoliello, Cecília Torres, Liz Arakaki, Renan Kadomoto, Thiago Moretti, Tammy Almeida (interns) Carolina Yamate, Carolina Domshcke, Felipe Chodin, Karina Kohutek, Luisa Fecchio, Natália Tanaka, Nike Grote
(realignment of the drainage system of the dom pedro II Park) Aluísio Canholi (coordinator), Adriano Estevam, Julio Canholi, Gustavo Coelho
(consultant for functional aspects of the public transport system and road system)
Victor Abel Grostein, José Roberto Baptista, Marcela da Silva Costa, Thiago Von Zeidler Gome