Placemaking in Cajamar, São Paulo,Brazil.

Cajamar is a major industrial center located in the state of São Paulo, with a large number of companies installed. However, one of the great challenges of the city, is the low social indexes, such as the low basic education, few skilled people, which results in low economic insertion in the local companies, among several other social issues that affect the municipality.

Added to this, in the last two years Cajamar have faced several changes in the political scenario, which has created a strong sense of insecurity and disbelief in the local population.

Therefore, as soon as we started the project we realized that one of the biggest challenges of our work is to try to improve the low self-esteem of the population.

Inova Cajamar was born as a social initiative of people and organizations that live and work in the city of Cajamar. Is an autonomous, democratic and nonpartisan movement. The group is open to the participation of all those who wish to contribute with their goals, proposals and dreams in the search of the construction of a better city for all.

Inova Cajamar was born in 2015, promoted by the Company Natura, and since its formation already counted on the participation of several institutions from the public and private spheres. The UN Sustainable Cities Program, was one of the goal the led the creation of the initiative.

One of the project inside Inova Cajamar, was the Cultural Circuit, an urban, cultural and social project that works the local development of the community through participative and creative actions. The Cultural Circuit promotes monthly meetings with the community, held in different places of the city, and three major events with Urban and Cultural Interventions in public spaces of the city, with transformation efforts and a cultural program made from local assets.

For the development of this project, we used two work methodologies: The Placemaking, a broad concept and a research tool that is intended for urban activation of common public spaces in order to make them special places that inspire people. Alongside with Placemaking tools, Natura developed a methodology for the joint creation of a Territorial Development Plan that articulates actions in the territory and promotes governance.

We divided the work during the year 2016 into 3 major cycles:

Cycle 1 — Welfare and Quality of Life

The Municipality of Cajamar has two Participatory Diagnoses: the Social Progress Index and the Sustainable Cities Program. Based on these data we elaborated Creative Workshops for a definition of priority themes and places, with the goal of transformation actions and cultural programming. The first Intervention was held in the “Praça da Bíblia” with a theme of Well-Being and Quality of Life and featured several cultural and artistic programs, such as: Stage with Presentations, Gastronomic Fair, Children’s Space and Urban Transformation Missions. Among many cultural and artistic activities that took place during the day, we built a Cultural Stage for the Square.

Placemaking Stage for the Square
Community Development

Cycle 2 — Advanced Education and Employment

In this cycle, we jointly worked on the Cajamar Innovation Territorial Development Plan and resumed the Sustainable Cities Program, with training workshops to obtain the greatest number of candidates for Mayor, Councilor and Parties to commit themselves, if elected, to join the Program during its mandate. The second Intervention was held in the same square of the first Intervention, with a theme of Advanced Education and Employment. We created a large education fair with the participation of local companies and institutions and we built libraries at bus stops as a way to encourage reading.

Community Development
Bus Stop Library

Cycle 3 — Environment and Preventive Health

In this cycle we resume and update the Territorial Development Plan, working together potentialities of these projects. The third Intervention was held at “Praça do Ginásio do Paraíso”, with the theme of Environment, Welfare and Quality of Life, focusing mainly on preventive health and healthy eating. As a legacy to the community, we built an Organic Urban Garden.

Urban Garden
Urban Garden
Community Development