The lost and hidden water of São Paulo

The strategic value of landscape-based green-blue infrastructure

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explosive growth of the city of São Paulo starting in the 1940s resulted in
vast expansion with little attention to the characteristics of the natural
landscape. This resulted in extreme modification of the water system, including
canalization, piping and covering of streams. Due to these modifications and
the related urban structure, São Paulo’s faces multiple difficulties regarding
climate change adaptation. Therefore, this thesis aims to develop an urban
regeneration strategy based around the lost natural systems in order to counter
the effects of climate change and simultaneously improve the living environment
within the city. From literature it appears that green-blue infrastructure can
potentially be a strong tool in adapting a city to the effects of climate
change, while providing multiple other benefits. As within the city the water
system is closely related to the infrastructural system and because there is
constant threat of informal settlements next to valuable landscape areas

the streams, there are several difficulties in developing a strategy based
around the natural system. The strategy provides an holistic approach in which
a multi-functional ecological axis is developed alongside the natural course of
a stream as backbone of a green-blue network. Together with the implementation
of infrastructural axes and several smaller interventions within the public
realm, the strategy provides an answer to the problems São Paulo is facing.