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New Bill Places Public Open Spaces at Risk of Developmen...

New Bill Places Public Open Spaces at Risk of Development in São Paulo, Brazil

The environmental working group of the Our São Paulo Network and the Institute of Health and Sustainability have released a manifesto in defense of green urban spaces. The document critiques certain articles of the city’s new zoning law, which opens the possibility of using the city’s green spaces for installation of public facilities. The manifesto

Parque Dom Pedro II, São Paulo, Brazil

The environmental working group of the Our São Paulo Network and the Institute of Health and Sustainability have released a manifesto in defense of green urban spaces. The document critiques certain articles of the city's new zoning law, which opens the possibility of using the city's green spaces for installation of public facilities.

The manifesto is open and accessible to other organizations in the civil society. Entities and organizations in support of the manifesto should fill out the form here: Manifesto in Defense of Green Spaces in São Paulo.

Listen to the interview on this topic (in Portuguese), conducted by Radio CBN with Mauricio Broinizi, Executive Coordinator of the Our São Paulo Network. According to Broinizi, "we must unconditionally defend São Paulo's green spaces."

The full document is reproduced below. A list of the organizations in support of the manifesto is at the bottom of the original article, here.

Manifesto in Defense of the Green Spaces of São Paulo

For the revision of articles 27 to 34 of the parceling bill on land use and occupation.

On June 2nd, Mayor Fernando Haddad sent Bill 272/2015 to the Municipal House of São Paulo, which complements the Master Plan and concerns land use and occupation. In accordance with articles 27 to 34, the bill opens the possibility to use the City’s green areas for the installation of public facilities.

The City’s shortage of parks, squares and plantings is visible to everyone -- of the 32 boroughs, 23 of them have green areas under the minimum recommendation of 12 square meters (roughly 129 square feet) per inhabitant, and the new boroughs that do exceed the recommendation are on the outskirts of the city. Even so, the Mayor makes the mistake of intending to utilize these public green spaces for other means, including the possibility of clearing them entirely.

Youth park in Santana, North Zone of São Paulo, Brazil

In place of this dangerous and unacceptable loophole in the law, the people need the unconditional defense of the little that remains of the green areas in the city, considering them inalienable, as well as proposals and plans for them to be expanded and properly secured.

Green areas are fundamental to urban spaces, providing innumerable services to the environment and public health, such as air humidification, reducing temperature, maintaining a balanced microclimate, reducing storms and flooding, absorbing noise, removing particulate matter, retaining harmful substances such as sulfur, cadmium, and manganese, as well as playing a part in social life, leisure and physical activity.

São Paulo needs, urgently, to conclude its Mata Atlântica Master Plan and to elaborate a municipal forestation plan, expand its parks and squares, as well as incentivize the installation of green roofs, vertical gardens and mini-squares. The main objective should be to enhance the benefits of green spaces for the population.

Praça Victor Civita, São Paulo, Brazil

The political authorities of São Paulo have the obligation to find solutions to the alleged lack of land for building public facilities and public housing. They should enforce the social function of the City and property, among other legal instruments at their disposal, and never put at risk the minimal amount of green space that the city does have. It must be clear that it is totally unacceptable to propose environmental compensation, as in bill 272, for the clearing of parks, squares and areas of environmental protection.

Thus, the organizations of the civil society invite the Mayor to substantially modify articles 27 through 34, returning these green areas of the City to be properly protected from risk of removal or any other end than their unconditional preservation. Additionally they invite the council members of the Municipal House of São Paulo to act in the same way, rejecting any risk to the city’s green spaces under bill 272/2015.

Does your city satisfy these cited recommendations for green space per inhabitant? Who is responsible for defending the green space in your city? Share your city's stories and thoughts in the comments area below.

Original article, originally published in Portuguese, here.

Credits: Data and images linked to sources.

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