Cases and News

Know Transition Brasilândia in detail

Jardim Paulistano

Transition in Brazil was considered a global case for the Transition Town Movement, at the International Conference of Cities in Transition held in Liverpool.
The session presenting the results of Brazil was attended by Rob Hopkins and Peter Lipman, creators of the Transition Town movement, plus all the international board of the Transition.

The rise in the number of cities in transition in Brazil is remarkable compared to other countries, in addition to practical results, interesting engagement, planning, and action. According to Rob Hopkins, Brazil has a huge potential for action, in addition to the capacity of adaptation that facilitates the various groups, which will make the movement spread quickly.

For Lipman, knowing that the methodology created by them, may be useful in places like a Brasilândia, which is an area of ​​very low income, makes him feel like the protagonist of a major transformation in the world.

Brazil is still unique in being the only country with a Transition Movement in a community with very low income, which is the Brasilândia cluster of 43 districts in the North Zone of São Paulo.

The program began in this area a year ago, and already has eight working groups that cover topics such as: arts and culture, waste, food security, urban agriculture, water and conservation, revitalisation of public areas, and even one of the most recognized sustainability courses worldwide, Gaia Education, for the first time, also happens in a low-income area like this.

Gaia Education is considered by United Nations UNCTAD one of the programs supported by the body as a contribution to the Decade of Sustainability in the World. Developed by Gaia Education Trust in England, the course is taught in several countries around the world, and has the four pillars of sustainability at its base: Social, Ecological, Economic and Worldview.

Currently a group of 30 community leaders is in the middle of the ecological module and has just finished the construction of a classroom of super adobe, and a bamboo geodesic. Besides learning a low-cost water treatment and solar oven system. In the first module, which is Social issues were addressed as feedback, nonviolent communication, systemic leadership, group facilitation, among others.

What stood out most international presentation was in the amount of working groups and actions already taken in the Territory. There are currently six groups:

a) Zero Waste: that has been performing the mapping of areas where garbage is thrown irregularly, which will be followed by a community awareness process and revitalization of these areas, to prevent people from continuing to pollute these places. A workshop was held on composting called ‘From my waste I care for myself’, which trained 30 community workers and community leaders to do domestic composting.

b) Revitalisation of Public Areas: We worked in the Benedicta Cavalheiro Praça to revitalise the space. We installed six benches, toys, tables for ladies’ games, and painted children’s games on the ground. We also planted 50 fruit trees, installed 30 flower boxes, and had beautiful graffiti scrawled along the wall of the town by artists from the community.

c) Art and Culture: This is perhaps one of the most active local pillars. Before Transition, Brasilândia lacked a cultural space, but because of the mobilization and involvement of the government and the community, they opened a space that had been idle, which is today the Casa de Cultura da Brasilândia.

In addition, two groups are working to salvage the history of the place, the team of Brasilândia Filmes, which taught filmmaking to 13 young people who made a documentary telling the story of Brasilândia which is now being presented in schools. They are now recording all Transition events and will be making a documentary on the subject.

Guardiões Griô, ie, the keepers of oral culture, is a group that investigates and records the stories and dances of the elders of the region, and promotes events which are passed on to the young, like the dances, Samba de Umbigada, Jongo, etc.

Cine Escadão is a project of the NGO ABC Palmares, and aims to democratize cinema in the region. Since there is no room on site, the films are projected on the walls of buildings, and the stands are the stair steps of the community.

d) Verdelândia: is the urban agriculture project in the region which already has seven community gardens in various locations and aims to help the waste project in areas that are not contaminated. Today only one of the gardens, which is at the bottom of UBS Guarani, was set up in an area where garbage was being thrown illegally. It is currently the largest garden in the region.

e) Water and Preservation: Preserving the waterfalls in the area, and prevent people from polluting the Cantareira, are the main goals of this group which is made up of several entities. These include Saci, which teaches children to become environmental agents, and the Daring People Movement, which visits all the waterfalls, films them and does actions with agencies and the public to raise awareness and preserve the waters and nature of the region. Many green areas in the region are located within the Cantareira Park, which is the largest urban park in the world, and provides 70% of the water for the city of São Paulo.
The organization Recanta – Rede de Cooperação da Cantareira also brings together various entities to promote projects in the region and salvage the urban forestry. They believe that the people who live in Brasilândia are also a people of the Urban Forest, and they have to be aware of this and take care of this forest.

f) Exchange/Swap Fairs: This project involves all the economic hub of the region and seeks to map local businesses, and incentivise their growth as well as strengthen them. The swap meets are also a systematic practice in the region, and allows a broader notion of wealth, which is composed of local values, and of what people can produce and trade for other goods and services, new or used. At the fairs money is not used, only a local currency called Talento.

g) Food Security: This program was formed through a course on healthy eating, and the use of native plants in the region, which contain many vitamins, that was taught by Dr. Clara Brandão.  Dr. Clara Brandão is a doctor who has worked in ​​nutrition for many years and is the author of the formula Multimixture (a nutritional formula used by the Pastoral da Criança to combat child malnutrition with great success). This course was given to 180 health workers, who will transfer this knowledge to the community.
Two more groups are now in gestation, História na escola and Esporte na Brasa, where these two points will be developed, to salvage the history of Brasilândia and pass it to the schools, and to train children in sports such as football, basketball, volleyball and others.