Returning the city to its inhabitants
The set object of this proposal consists on three parts of a notably differentiated character: the first corresponds to the Civic Square, a permanence space with remarkable spatial characteristics; the second, the Worker’s Square, which characterizes one of the last and certainly the most important urban void in the central sector, with great potential for articulating the various urban connections between parts of the city; and the third, the very axis of the Goiás Avenue, with an accentuated route direction, promoting the connection between said squares. The entire set is articulated around two focal points that complete the view of Goiás Av.: On one hand, the Emerald Palace, the center of State Power elevated in the Civic Square, and on the other, the Railway Station, in the Worker’s Square. Such characteristics are confirmed by the existing landscaping: in the Civic Square, the large trees – Ficus, from the initial implantation of the urban nucleus – provide the necessary closure of the place, while the palm trees of the Goiás Av. axis reinforce its vocation as a path, and the great visual opening grants the Worker’s Square an esplanade characterization.
Understanding this avenue as a connecting element between the Civic and Workers squares, we seek to consider it as an integral part of the large urban complex that brings together the three objects set for the competition, avoiding an excessive compartmentalization of the urban fabric analyzed and, consequently, of the proposed project, a scenario which wouldn’t contribute to reinforce the unity presented by this important initial urban nucleus of Goiânia city. The study for the redesign of Goiás Avenue is based on the verification of the need for a wide requalification of public spaces in the city. Thus, seeking to recover the importance of the city and its architecture as instruments that contribute to bringing quality of life to its inhabitants, our project for Goiás Avenue is based on the following aspects:
- Careful urban redesign, capable of reinforcing the importance of pedestrians and minimizing pedestrian-vehicle conflicts, therefore defining the necessary supports for the healthy and balanced use of urban space;
- The re-proposition possible land occupancy and use, in order to increase the presence of citizens throughout the day and especially at night and on public holidays, in order to make the center more inhabited and, therefore, providing greater security for citizens;
- The creation of urban facilities that promote a more intense use of the avenue’s median as a great leisure facility for citizens. Such equipment is proposed through an integration with the support equipment for parking, public restrooms and transport, and the subway, already proposed by the State’s administration, and local transport between the Civic and Workers Squares.
- The enhancement of the occupancy of blocks bordering Goiás Av. with activities that contribute to public use, including the alleys and half blocks currently used as service accesses. This strategy aims to increase the presence of pedestrians, especially in periods of greater emptiness of the central sector, through tax incentives for formal leisure and cultural activities, associated with a greater occupation of the upper floors of residential buildings.
- The clear differentiation of three portions with characteristics related to different land use and occupancy, emphasizing differentiated uses of the land depending on the greater or lesser density that corresponds to the difference between the area close to the Civic Square and next to Popular Neighborhood, respectively.
This project seeks to recover the relevance of the city’s complex based on the urban redesign of the area, associating changes in the road layout with the redefinition of uses based on the identification of activities/events in the vicinity that open up new possibilities for appropriating public space.
About the redesign of the section in question
Recovering the importance of pedestrians in the city –
The redesign proposal seeks to visualize and enhance existing features in the urban scenery, emphasizing the differences between the previously mentioned three parts and, at the same time, enabling a better articulation between them.
One of the main aspects in defining the new proposed urban layout was the intense appreciation of pedestrians, through the creation of routes that allow full enjoyment of the complex while also creating places to rest and stay for a long time.
To achieve so, we seek to differentiate the nodes configured by the intersections of Goiás Avenue with other streets and avenues through the use of “traffic calming” procedures, which modify the perception of those who pass through the area by changing the paving, reducing the speed of cars and minimizing their conflicts with pedestrians.
In order to allow continuity of the pedestrian route along the central sidewalk’s axis, we defined two different strategies: the first, with lesser impact and of more immediate implantation, makes use of another “traffic calming” resource, elevating and differentiating paving at the intersection of the sidewalk with the cross public road, emphasizing the prevalence of pedestrian traffic; the second, more impactful and defining of the great route that the central promenade configures, seeks to separate the pedestrian space from congested traffic at three different points: at the intersections with Civic Avenue, with Anhangüera Avenue and with Paranaíba Avenue. In these places, due to the future presence of Metro stations, the central sidewalk promotes a smooth ramp descent that dives under the crossroads, creating a lowered and covered square with commerce and fast services, which promotes the necessary transitions with the proposed urban equipment proposed: subway stations and parking lots. This recess in the route at the main intersections integrates the new means of transport into the public space and reinforces the prevalence of pedestrians in the central sector.
In this sense, the emphasis on pedestrians also reinforces the intended change in relation to public transport, removing bus traffic from the avenue and transferring it to a primary ring that preserves the initial urban core. As an alternative to local transport, we propose the implementation of a double-decker panoramic bus line connecting the Civic Square with Workers’ Square, with bus stops along Goiás Avenue, counting on a specially designed structure to compose the set of street furniture on the avenue. Another important aspect of the intervention, which begins with the understanding of the existing urban structure, seeks to transform the use of alleys and voids in the middle of the city blocks, using part of their areas for exclusive pedestrian access, while also encouraging nighttime leisure uses, especially various restaurants. This recovery use on the blocks’ internal voids seeks to reinforce its characterization as an enclosure independent of the avenue’s noise and hurried pace, emphasizing its differentiated scale and its characteristic of place, in opposition to the route that the avenue configures. It also tries to integrate the various elements scattered through the avenue’s urban space and its surroundings, defining, through paving, links, connections and continuities that enhance the public, varied and multiple use of the urban space, at the same time in that subtly differentiate the diverse parts that constitute the whole.
Continuity and integration: the bike lane, the parking lots and subway stations –
The appreciation of pedestrians and the creation of spaces for public use linked to leisure, civic and cultural activities contribute to the preservation of elements of historical and artistic importance on the site. A common attitude in European urban centers is the closing of historic centers to vehicle traffic. What we propose is a less radical attitude, which reconciles the pedestrian and the vehicle, based on the reduction of the roads’ width, allowed by the reduction in car and bus traffic proposed by the new road plan, associated with the creation of parking lots at underground level. The possibility of creating a large route on the existing axis repeats the notorious urban fact of Rambla in Barcelona: a large central walkway in which the pedestrian is the main character in such urban event.
Along with valuing the pedestrian route, we propose the creation of a bike lane along the avenue, allowing a continuous route from the Buritis forest, passing through the Civic Square and leading to the Workers’ Square. This desired continuity between complementary urban spaces, associated with the favorable topography that the city presents, reinforces the importance of creating this alternative possibility of non-polluting transport configured by the cycleway.
In the pedestrian paths under the crossroads of greater vehicle traffic, small shops for trade and quick services are allocated, suitable for the roaming characteristics of a public sidewalk, with access to complementary infrastructure equipment, such as underground parking and north-south subway stations already proposed by the State Government. The integration and continuity between these various complementary urban facilities ensures the diversity of urban life, associating different uses and events that increase public safety as they promote a more heterogeneous and more permanent occupation of the urban space.
About urban equipment
The proposed urban equipment foresees new urban furniture, consistent with the proposed new uses – benches, trash cans, low lighting – with larger interventions, which are integrated into the infrastructure planned for the Metro.
Larger metallic kiosks located at the ends of the sidewalks in the underground crossings serve commercial activities that function as leisure support, such as snack bars, typical beer and skewer bars, pamonha shops, ice cream parlors, and others. These kiosks also incorporate in their design spaces destined to the installation of public telephones and special garbage cans, integrating urban equipment in order to minimize excessive interference in the urban landscape, and at the same time responding to the greater demand for containers for the large volume of waste that results from the activity of the kiosks themselves.
At the ends of the sidewalk where the crossing takes place at street level, raised landings occur on both sides of the main pedestrian path, with smaller kiosks, also made of metal, housing different uses that alternate services specific to the city and region with others of more generic uses, such as newsstands, flowers and others. In addition to delimiting an area for tables and chairs, suitable for their location in the shade, these levels function as benches, and also define a small elevated platform at one of their ends, which serves as a stage for performances and presentations of bands and street artists.
The following assumptions determined the landscaping proposed for Avenida Goiás:
- The understanding of landscaping as an element that generates shade, and therefore spaces for permanence, responding to the harshness of the city’s hot climate and allowing greater possibility of appropriating public space by passers-by;
- Respect for the original landscaping of the avenue, designed by the Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro, didactically revealing the influence of the English Garden Cities in the landscape definition of the city of Goiânia. In order to emphasize the importance of afforestation as a defining element of the initial urban proposal’s character, we sought to preserve and recompose the damaged sections with the same species and based on the same principles of composition;
- Recognition of the prevalence of pedestrians, avoiding the use of flowerbeds with low coverings or mainly bushy vegetation, of difficult maintenance in areas with a large influx of people, and at the same time, freeing up the public sidewalk for the large influx of pedestrians;
- Lastly, the adoption of materials for paving the sidewalks that are easy to maintain and are also highly resistant, non-slip and with a high cost/benefit ratio, such as solid brick laid with a cleaver and colored concrete, with serrated granite layouts , in order to allow a use without restrictions and barriers, and at the same time, contribute to the expression of the urban space as defining the image of the city.
About urban lighting
For the urban lighting, we propose four different systems, which, combined, help reinforcing the different characteristics of the parts. On one hand, the purpose of the lighting proposal is to qualify public spaces for use, providing greater security for passers-by. On the other hand, it also contributes to organizing the urban landscape, highlighting and valuing important elements in the urban image’s composition, such as the Avenue’s original landscaping and buildings of historical and architectural importance.
Public lighting will therefore be done through the following elements:
- Tall poles on the side sidewalks with metallic vapor lighting, differentiating it from other avenues, which use yellow sodium vapor lamps, with the aim of preserving the general public road lighting, associated with lower lighting directed towards the sidewalk;
- Low lighting directed to the floor throughout the main sidewalk, on the ramps and in the covered squares, eliminating the insecurity caused by the shadows resulting from afforestation;
- Installation of projectors embedded in the floor with metallic vapor lamps that highlight the green color of the vegetation directed towards treetops and palm trees, which increase the general lighting by bouncing the light off the trees, in order to emphasize the quality of the tree-sized landscaping on the Avenue;
- Lastly, special projectors with metal halide lamps installed on the floor or in specific locations as the case may be, illuminating buildings and monuments significant to the city’s historical memory, such as the bandstand, the clock and buildings listed as historical heritage.
About the guidelines on urban landscape interferences regulation: advertisement on facades, infrastructural elements, road signaling, tourist and informative signaling
An urban landscape is a result of various human interventions throughout the emptiness of streets, squares and avenues. The uncontrolled overlapping of information of different natures only contributes to amplifying the chaos and disorder of the urban image, while also compromising the fruition and healthy use of public space, as the elements that constitute the city in this lose their ability to order urban life in this scenario, due to excess of information, and the architectural expression of the buildings ceases to contribute to the urban landscape characterization. Among the various interferences that require standardization and regulation, we list the following:
- Standardization of maximum dimensions for signs and advertisements, related to the commercial activities established in the place, locating them under the marquees and over the doors of such establishments; whenever it’s necessary to use the space over marquees, the signs should preferably be made out of perforated materials, allowing the visualization of any elements at the bottom, and they should not be greater than 80 centimeters in height. Intermittent lights, such as flashing lights, should also be avoided.
- Whenever there is superimposition of signs, advertisements in buildings legally listed as historical heritage or considered of historical interest, a visual communication project must be submitted to the competent historical heritage professionals at the City Hall in order to harmonize such signs with the facades of the buildings they are supported by, avoiding the overlapping of large advertising facades with architectural objects of importance to the memory of the city;
- Prohibition of the installation of advertising equipment such as “billboards” along Goiás Avenue;
- Replacement of all general information and traffic signs with a visual communication standard designed especially for the Central Sector of the city’s urban complex, adding signs containing tourist information that reference locations of important elements for the city’s historical memory. The implementation of the entire set of signs must be implemented in harmony with the urban design proposed for the area.
- Lastly, all elements of urban infrastructure – such as energy cabling and transformers, telephone cabling, television, traffic lights, and others that significantly modify the urban landscape’s characterization – must be transferred to underground galleries under the Avenue’s lateral sidewalks .
About street trade regulation
A typical conflict in contemporary society is the presence of street vendors and their activity’s consequent impact on public pedestrian routes congestion and on legal retail trade. Solutions that sought to take street vendors to confined and distant locations proved to be inefficient, as they are attracted precisely by places with an incessant flow of pedestrians.
Thus, the solution to the street vendors problem on Goiás Avenue points to a strategy that combines public authorities initiatives alongside entities such as the Câmara de Dirigentes Lojistas de Goiânia (Association of Goiânia’s Shopkeepers) and Associação Centro Vivo (Living Center Association). In order to seek the gradual insertion of street vendors in formal trade, removing them from clandestinity and respecting the legally established traders who fulfills their social obligations, we proposed the implementation of a trade and services incubator, which will provide the street vendors with adequate training and preparation for legal trade, encouraging and supporting them in their profession. In order to ensure this transition from informal to formal trade, street vendors will be moved from the Avenue to Workers’ Square, taking advantage of the large flow of passers-by that will be presented by its intermodal connection, and will then occupy a specific space, such as a “camelódromo” (a space specifically destined to street trading), plus adequate spaces for education and professional training.
Another space for street vendors is the square on Paranaíba Avenue, whose design has been altered in order to concentrate car traffic in the center, benefiting pedestrians by widening the sidewalks. On this new sidewalk, a large marquee shelters street vendors, and may be appropriated for other uses, as it defines a flexible roof that reinforces the linearity of this large urban space.
The excessive presence of street vendors along public roads compromises the safety and comfort of passers-by, which amplifies environmental and urban landscape degradation. Their transfer to a location with great sales potential and adequate infrastructure for both their work and training contributes, on one hand, to improving the quality of life of the street vendors themselves; and on the other hand, it allows for the environmental rehabilitation of the avenue’s urban axis as a public, leisure and cultural space for the entire population.
About guidelines on land use and occupancy
As for the occupation of the land adjacent to Goiás Avenue, it is desirable to preserve the absence of frontal distances, building new buildings in line with the road and laterally joined to the neighboring buildings, preserving the specific restrictions regarding habitability – ventilation, lighting, thermo-acoustic comfort – , in order to preserve the continuity of the built volumes and reinforce the limits that help to differentiate the urban axis of Goiás Avenue. In addition, it is proposed to vary the heights of the template on the faces of the blocks facing the avenue in three different sections, namely:
- a) the encouragement of vertical constructions with up to 12 floors in section 1 (Civic Square-Anhangüera), which allows the effective characterization of the Avenue’s urban axis, and values the perspective whose focal point is the Emeralds, recovering the importance of the original layout by Attílio Corrêa Lima.
- b) regulation of an average height of 8 floors in section 2 (Anhangüera-Paranaíba), which promotes a gradation between the two different heights at both ends of the avenue, while also allowing greater density.
- c) height limitation of the new buildings in section 3 (Paranaíba- Workes’ Square) of fifteen meters (ground floor + 3 floors), ensuring the preservation of the dominant density and horizontality of the adjacent urban fabric, and avoiding excessive land valuation in this section. Such a strategy ensures the permanence of the current inhabitants of the Popular neighborhood and surroundings, and avoids an undesirable transformation of these spaces by speculative activity.
Regarding the occupation on the back of the same given blocks, lower height and density are proposed, equally variable according to the Avenue’s section. This height reduction seeks to harmonize the greater height of the buildings adjacent to the avenue in relation to the less dense urban fabric of the adjacent blocks, while at the same time reinforcing the presence of Goiás Avenue as the main and dominant axis in structuring the urban fabric of the city’s central sector . The heights in the three indicated sections are as follows:
- a) stretch 1 and stretch 2 (Civic Square/Anhangüera/Paranaíba): height limitation of new buildings of fifteen meters (ground floor + 3 floors).
- b) Section 3 (Paranaíba/Workers Square): height limitation of new buildings of eight meters (ground floor + 1 floor).
In regards to the use legislation for all blocks indicated, we propose to restrict this land’s use to mixed use – commercial ground floor, residential upper floors– for all blocks in the area in question. For the regulation of ground uses of new and existing buildings, it’s necessary to establish restrictions and incentives for specific uses. Regarding incentives, we indicate the need to create total and partial exemptions from IPTU for properties adjacent to Goiás Avenue whenever the user or owner promotes a use in his property at ground level that reinforces the public and leisure character of the urban complex. The proposed incentive must be granted provided that the property and activity meet the following requirements:
- is compatible with the activities listed as potentially favorable, with total or partial exemption depending on the proposed use;
- has its formal characterization and facade treatment consistent with the urban landscape interference regulating guidelines, in regards to advertisements and treatment of facades;
The following activities are considered potentially favorable: 1. leisure and culture – cinemas, small concert halls, museums, gyms, art galleries, small schools: 100% IPTU exemption; 2. institutional – telephone points, banks, support kiosks open 24 hours a day: 70% IPTU exemption. 3. small businesses – tobacconist, jewelry shops, watch shops, cine-photo-sound, bombonière, bookstores, toy shops, greengrocers, handicrafts, flower shops, gift shops: 70% IPTU exemption; 4. food services – cafes, bars, restaurantes, snack bars, ice cream parlors, pamonha shops, food kiosks: 100% IPTU exemption.
For the properties adjacent to the other sections of streets that make up the area foreseen for the competition – except those located on the corner of Goiás Avenue – uses that represent commerce and housing support services are added, such as: laundry, grocery stores, small businesses, beauty salons, fruit and vegetable grocery stores, stationery stores, video rental stores, pharmacies and drugstores, bakeries, with the possibility of 70% IPTU exemption, as long as they meet the requirements presented above.
These restrictions aim to minimize the central area’s night abandonment of the, caused by the strictly commercial occupation. Another aspect that compromises the habitability of central areas is the progressive isolation of internal spaces from the street, generating operating autonomy especially in large shopping centers, which avoid any relationship of continuity with the adjacent urban fabric. As a result, we consider the following activities unfavorable:
- Medium and large-sized institutions – social security agencies, trade unions, large sports entities, health services, education services, public services;
- Commerce – wholesalers, medium and large retailers, warehouses, construction materials, supermarkets, shopping malls;
- Services – credit institutions, banks, large hotels, nightclubs, concert halls, workshops, parking lots, industries of any kind.
For the commercial spaces to be implemented in the recessed squares, we indicate uses that configure commerce and fast services, consistent with the itinerancy character that is typical of this type of space: 1. food: snack bars, small cafés, ice cream parlors, pastry shops; 2. trade: newsstands, bookstore, pharmacy, flower shop, drugstore, music (cd/cassette), handicrafts, lottery shop; 3. services: locksmith, shoemaker, printing, photo development, 24 hour bank.
For the voids in the middle of the blocks and their respective access alleys, we indicate uses on ground floors of buildings also facing these public spaces that configure commercial activities related to leisure that promote prolonged stay and night occupancy, as such: 1. typical restaurants: pamonharia, broth houses, food from Minas Gerais, typical foods from Goiás (rice with pequi, rice made from p. rica, casserole from Goiás); 2. breweries (beer and skewers) and other long-stay and night-time bars; 3. different culinary restaurants: Italian, Japanese, Spanish, French, Arabic, Chinese food. Another aspect that should receive incentives in the form of a partial IPTU reduction is the creation, on land bordering the empty spaces in the center of the block, of shopping malls that promote an alternative pedestrian connection between Goiás Avenue and the empty space, and/or between this and the street parallel to Goiás Av., expanding the route possibilities in the central sector.
About management and feasibility of proposals
The following management strategies allow the viability of the proposals presented in this project:
- To make feasible the interventions built in the urban landscape, such as underground parking, kiosks along the Avenue and the commercial squares at intersections connecting to the subway, the urban instrument of concession of public space to the private sector is proposed, authorizing the construction of such equipment according to the norms and the executive project approved by the Government. The property resulting from the investment will be owned by the City Hall, which allows the concessionaire to operate it for a period to be negotiated according to the cost of implementation x return on fixed investment. After a given concession period, the exploration rights return to the City Hall, which can renegotiate a new concession. The squares are commercially attractive, as they present an spatial design that reproduces the strategies seen in shopping malls, by alternating a diversified public supply, promoted by the ramps that continue the pedestrian route, and creating elements attractive to the public, called “anchors” – the subway and parking lots.
- For these squares at intersections , a partnership with the State’s Government is also suggested, due to its integration with the Metro Stations planned for the city.
- For the requalification of the urban landscape regarding the standardization of advertising and recovery of facades on the blocks bordering Goiás Avenue, the instrument of partnership with the private sector is proposed, such as, for example, the sponsorship of manufacturers of paints and coatings.
- For the requalification of alleys and empty spaces inside city blocks, a partnership with the private sector is once again proposed, encouraging the traders themselves who decide to install restaurants and equipment in these areas with full IPTU exemption for a period to be negotiated, in counterpart to the renovation of the adjacent section of the alley in accordance with a project designated by the City Hall. This space, converted to pedestrian use, would be used as an open extension of the internal spaces of the restaurants, functioning as small food and leisure squares;
- Lastly, the urban requalification of the sidewalks and the central promenade of the Avenue must be done in partnership with large companies from Goiás, which, by signing a contract for the adoption of public spaces in the city, will promote the reform and subsequent maintenance of given sections, ensuring its cleanliness and conservation. On the other hand, companies will have spaces for advertising this gesture of kindness to the city, and will still be able to make use of Culture Incentive Laws at all levels – municipal, state and federal -, to the extent that they establish an implementation project and management of cultural activities in this area for the city’s population.
The constant search for unity in the structuring of urban space is the guiding element of this project. The visualization of an existing structure and the preservation and enhancement of symbolic historical elements’ value for the population, associated with an innovative urban design in the context of the city, guarantees the necessary coherence of the proposal in relation to the city, its people and its memory. The constant concern with technical-economic feasibility is also extremely relevant, avoiding costly and unfeasible proposals and prioritizing interference whose execution always presents an adequate cost/benefit ratio, either due to the simplicity of the intervention, or due to its association with the infrastructures to be installed, complementing them and enhancing their various uses, such as the subway.
Finally, the project re-proposes what already exists, giving new meanings to these spaces, at all levels – from macro to micro -, that is, to the original urban layout, recovering its structuring role for the entire area of the city’s central sector, to the various existing places and routes, and even the icons presented in this urban set, such as the palm trees, the bandstand, the clock and, mainly, the two elements that finalize the perspective of the avenue: the Emeralds Palace and the old Railway Station building.