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RE-FARMING: the construction of a productive landscape in Recife - B.Arch final thesis
(Author: Kilda Oliveira / Advisor: Ana Rolim)

This urban design proposal is located in the ‘Expanded Continental Center’ in Recife, NE Brazil. It challenges a serious issue in contemporary Brazilian cities where private properties have minimized interface with the public space, marking the individualist approach of capitalist societies.


Alternatively, numerous social movements in the country inspire us to imagine a more collective city. We borrow the notion of ‘Refarming” from Gilbero Gil’s 1975 homonymous song as a call to narrow the human-nature relationship. Geographically Recife is intrinsically connected to the Capibaribe River, but since mid-20th century the land-water ratio has changed dramatically.


Based on the concepts of Continuous Productive Urban Landscape - CPUL (Bohn & Viljoen, 2005) and Augmented Landscapes (Smout Allen, 2007), we propose to reclaim the presence of the river and ‘re-farm’ the city.


Avocado tree

We will accept your act

We are also from the bushes

Like the duck and the lion

We will wait

We will play in the stream

Until they bring us fruit

Your love, your heart

(Gilberto Gil, 1975)

Overall design and proposed guidelines

The site: a view from 1940s, the proposal's site and the four typical morphological conditions (underutilized and inner block lots, existing public spaces and waterfront)

Collecting and mapping physical memories from the site

The water-land ratio in the city of Recife transformed over the 20th century.

Overlapping contrasting scenarios: the water-land relationship in 1909 and nowadays

Main design vectors

Proposed zoning per agricultural planting

Physical model: overall view of proposal

Infiltrating water into the urban fabric

Occupying inner blocks with productive greenery and water

Activating the waterfront

Improving existing public spaces, such as the church patio

Physical model: detail of main axis and inner block occupation

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