Pedra Branca, south-east Brazil, was a family-owned farm that has been progressively developed into an urban community, including the Universidade de Santa Catarina with 10,000 students.
The next and final stage will be a series of mixed-use vertical developments (80% residential, 20% office and retail) and will be the focal point of the entire Pedra Branca site.
Arup is responsible for providing sustainable urban infrastructure support for the masterplan developed by DPZ Latin America and Jaime Lerner. Arup’s scope includes transportation, waste water, solid waste, energy and IT.
The project has been selected to be part of the Climate+ program under the William J. Clinton Foundation, which supports the development of large-scale urban projects that demonstrate that cities can grow in ways that are ‘climate positive’.
Arup’s transport planning support is aimed at putting the pedestrian first. The firm will recommend a location for a proposed bus terminal, devise measures to reduce the need for driving, and develop circulation, parking and Transport Demand Management strategies to further reduce reliance on the car.
Arup is also proposing an integrated transit and pedestrian mall to link the central plaza of the new development to the heart of the university campus.
Waste management and waste-to-energy
With Arup’s help, Pedra Branca is examining the potential for low-carbon waste management and waste-to-energy opportunities. By incorporating the waste stream from neighbouring favelas, economies of scale can be obtained to increase waste-to-energy feasibility.
As a large number of litter pickers make their living by collecting waste in Brazil, the social impact of new waste management processes is an important part of the plan.
Their participation in waste collection supports their families and helps Brazil achieve impressive rates of recycling. Arup’s waste strategy retains some labour-intensive waste collection and sorting options, mitigating the impact on this informal economy.
Pedra Branca has set a target goal of sending no more than 5-10% of residual waste to landfill. This compares impressively to London’s 50%, Los Angeles’ 34%, or San Francisco’s 27%.