Centro Aberto

The initiative, coordinated by the Municipality of São Paulo, started in April 2013 and promoted the debate on the central area of the city and its public spaces. Largo São Francisco and Largo Paissandu were the first squares to receive physical interventions; including decking installation, cycle parking, crosswalks with pedestrian protection, playground, portable furniture, benches; temporary activities such as bands, artistic performances, films; and activities for children.

Largo de São Francisco before and after the intervention.
Credit: São Paulo City Hall

In order to evaluate the impact of these interventions contemplated in the project and to analyze the effectiveness of the strategies, Cidade Ativa was working on site during the two months of project,collecting data and information on the use of space. We evaluated the suitability of the installed furniture, the activities proposed according to the users’ profile, their wishes and needs, and confirmed that the characteristics of the environment of the broad changed during the period.

We compared the data collected between September and November 2014 with those collected at the beginning of the project in 2013 and used it to analyze the transformation of the use of these spaces, with the support of the Gehl Architects office, involved in the project first phase. The study compared pre and post occupancy in relation to stationary uses and pedestrians and vehicles counts at different times and situations. In addition, it included analysis of the profile of the interviewees, survey of the users’ perception of the space and their evaluation on the interventions proposed.

By the end of the process, the team evaluated the “quality criteria of public spaces”, a methodology used in 2013 by the Gehl Architects team. The work also highlighted the key opportunities and challenges that still need to be addressed in order to achieve the project goals. Concluding the analysis of each criterion for success, we suggested recommendations to be used as the basis for new interventions in these spaces or for the implementation of similar projects in other places of the city.