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Mind the Step returns to Jardim Angela, São Paulo

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Mind the Step returns to Jardim Angela, São Paulo


Photo Credit: Cidade Ativa, 2018.

A Mind the Step project launched in Jardim Angela, São Paulo, Brazil in 2018. The project aimed to transform a well-used public staircase into a safer, more accessible public space. Cidade Ativa led the project with the support of HealthBridge Foundation of Canada and UN-Habitat.

Cidade Ativa worked with local artists, a nearby school and community association to transform the staircase into a better public space for everyone. The staircase, located close to a commercial street in Jardim Nakamura, a district in southern São Paulo, is used by many people all day long but did not have proper lighting nor seating for people that may need rest. There was also often a lot of garbage on the staircase.

Cidade Ativa selected the location for the project in March 2018. This was the fifth installment in the Mind the Step project. Community engagement, capacity building and infrastructure change strategies were used to achieve the objectives. There were 60 community members participating in painting murals and transforming the staircase including 18 children, 17 youth, 14 adult men and 11 adult women. This resulted in over 660 hours of volunteer time. In addition, a paint company (Akzo Nobel) donated $1300 worth of paint to the project and the furniture was designed and built by a partner architecture and design firm called ZOOM. Novas Árvores por Aí, a group of urban gardeners, helped fill the new planters with plants and trees

Work on staircase
Community helping to work on staircase
Community helping to work on staircase

The most important result of the work is that Cidade Ativa created a place where more residents are interested and able to stay and it has created an important community gathering place in the neighbourhood. By building their existing relationships, Cidade Ativa were able to garner significant community in-kind contributions. This important work in the neighbourhood will continue to foster their relationships with both the community and the local government.

Cidade Ativa is one of eight organizations working with HealthBridge to build better public spaces through the support of the Block by Block Foundation.

Brazil girls slide
Enjoying the finished slide
Enjoying the space
Enjoying the finished staircase
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Malnutrition, infectious diseases and emerging epidemics have devastating effects on communities where people have little or no access to health services, public spaces or good nutrition.

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