Sustainability in the Built Environment

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


The urbanization, as a global process, already achieved a drastic measure, a variety of issue regarding its environmental impacts came to the spotlight. The space in the world already urbanised had direct in the acceleration on the process of global warming, obvious consequences from the its fast growth and the unbalanced consumption of natural resources necessary for that. Facing the actual environment reality, some questions have major importance. How urban planners, private companies and public authorities can contribute to climate mitigation and and reduction of carbon emission ? Can them deal with the urban vulnerability and focus a new development towards a more resilient urban environment? Can them related the existing urban morphology sustainability in the cities? And how the urbanization process should be further driven facing theses challenges. The relationship between urbanization and environment is evident. Wherefore, the further developments to happen in the cities should implement practical methods in order to guide properly the urban growth linked with sustainable environment . Thus, a major question comes out: how can be performed an urban environment and could be it analyzed, retrofitted and optimized in order to achieve a more sustainable model? A sectorial approach can lead in a negligent result when working in an urban environment, composed by mutual dependencies. However, an integrated approach can lead to better comprehension of its different performances.

IMM®, Integrated Modification Methodology, is a multi-stage, iterative process, applied to urban complex systems, for improving the metabolism of the city as well as its energy performance. The method has been depicted through prior publications by the authors; hence, the current paper solely focuses on one stage of the multi-stage IMM method. Most of the future growth will be insisde the urban space, and it will take place within developing countries and its major cities, where 5% of earth population will live on, and that is the reason why this study wish to present a case study of city of Rio de Janeiro.

In spite of its GDP growth by roughly 50 percent in real terms over the last decade, about 20 per cent of the population in Rio de Janeiro lives in informal settlements known as Favelas. These slum areas have very limited access to urban infrastructure, public services and amenities. Electricity distribution is maybe the only exception, but often informally accessed. As a great number of cities around the world Rio de Janeiro is now experiencing preponderance growth in its margin which has been amplified since 1950´s. Since, just the municipality of Rio de Janeiro has added 3.9 million new residents, while the suburbs and exurbs have the addition of 4.8 million people.

The authors objectives is to analyze how a local design area located in the dense core of a city (Porto Maravilha) can affect affects transformation of the entire CAS (the city of Rio de Janeiro) toward more sustainable development and mitigating marginal growth, social exclusion, low environmental performances, growing pollution and social inclusion.