With the tools available in the 21st century, urbanism and architecture can contribute a lot to the development of modern cities, as long as the public Power do not insist on being the protagonist of this evolution. The keynote of the debate on the importance of architecture for the real estate market, during the Real Estate Summit 2020, indicates that government spheres need to play another role, with fewer strings attached.
“We are partners in something bigger, which is the city of São Paulo. The government does not have to be a protagonist, but it has to seek to balance the needs of society, businessmen and academics ”says Otávio Zarvos, founder and president of Idea! Zarvos, a developer known for projects that improve the quality of life of its clients and surrounding the property.
According to the developer, a business administrator by training, the fact that Sao Paulo being a megalopolis for a short time in historical terms, means that there is space for everyone to think about improving the city. “I am optimistic, but a passive stance is not going to get us anywhere. We need the organization of resources to build something ”, he says.
According to him, for example, in regions like Berrini, in the south of the capital, where the event that followed all protocols for the protection of participants took place, another city could have been thought of. “There was no lack of infrastructure or economic resources here. But the neighborhood lacked a different way of thinking, ”he says.
Looking at all the scales in the city is also essential, evaluates the president of Magik JC Empreendimentos Imobiliários, André Czitrom. “Much more relevant than architecture is urbanism. We have to think about good projects for the street, for the neighborhood and for the city ”, says the executive, who also manages projects in the city center of São Paulo, aimed at the low-income population.
He says that one of the mistakes of the city, in recent years, has been to always think about plans, which follow very large scales. “In the specific case of downtown São Paulo, we need to go from point to point and attack them. There is, for example, no specific legislation for listed assets. ”
Without being able to act in an uncomplicated way in retrofit projects, for example, opportunities are lost and the removal of the entrepreneur becomes more frequent, says the businessman. “In Portugal, for example, only the façades of the listed areas need to be maintained. Inside, it can change everything. With this autonomy, you increase entrepreneurship ”, says Czitrom.
Also present at the discussion, Flavio Amary, Secretary of State for Housing in São Paulo and former president of the Secovi-SP, agreed with the thesis presented by some representatives of the private sector. According to him, the role of the State should not be that of interference, but that of being a facilitator. “It is important to let things go.”
The case of PPP da Luz, for example, which creeps in the center of the capital without showing great urban results, is one of the paths that should not be followed, according to the secretary. “We need to bring life to the center, but we are on the opposite path,” he said. “Which does not mean that we also don’t have to be persistent to change this situation.
3 questions for Ricardo Birmann, from Urbanizadora Paranoazinho
Mr. is it against the Brasilia project?
I have great admiration for the work of Niemeyer, the most important architect in Brazil. The problem of modernism, which produced great works, is less in architecture and more in urbanism. Although we must be careful not to make an anachronistic criticism, based on 21st century values. In the 20th century, it was necessary to face the superurbanization of cities, which became protagonists for the first time. Modernists gave solutions based on their ideas. There was an anti-urban view, that the center was something dirty, polluted and dangerous. Today, we have a lot of criticism of the car, as it is an inefficient means of transportation from an energy point of view. Something that did not happen at that time. On the contrary, it was becoming more popular. The phenomenon of American suburbs illustrates this well. They were the tools you had at the time. Brasília is the result of that. USP, in São Paulo, too.
Are these ideas no longer suitable for 21st century cities?
Brazil needs to overcome certain issues and not take those premises of a century ago as true. Density is a fundamental tool, perhaps the main one to generate sustainability not only in the use of the environment, but also to avoid the spread of cities. Densifying cities is an opportunity to create social mobility, diverse and inclusive urban environments.
Does regulation hinder urban development?
This debate is not philosophical. It is an empirical question. How does low-income housing work? Most would respond with Minha Casa Minha Vida. That is a part. The other, much larger, is the informal market. There is demand for affordable housing, but people are having to resort to the illegal market to gain access to housing. Why can’t the formal market offer? Because often the regulatory cost to approve the project is greater than the population’s purchasing power.