Deutsche Bank – Responsibility
December 3, 2013 | Rio de Janeiro

Urban Age Award 2013 validates creative initiatives from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award highlights projects which create positive momentum in urban spaces. Both of this year's winners redesign culturally barren areas in the bustling metropolitan area of Brazil's Rio de Janeiro into places of creative exchange.

Plano Popular Vila Autódromo receives the Urban Age Award 2013 © Sergio Greif
Plano Popular Vila Autódromo receives the Urban Age Award 2013 on December 3, 2013. © Sergio Greif
The winners came together on December 3, 2013, to accept the Urban Age Award 2013 © Sergio Greif
The winners came together on December 3, 2013, to accept the Urban Age Award 2013. © Sergio Greif
Plano Popular Vila Autódromo © Olaf Jacobs

Winner 2013 – Plano Popular Vila Autódromo

The jury praised the long-term character of Plano Popular Vila Autódromo, which has been in place for two years, and its success in bringing together important local and official actors to debate the improvement of the local infrastructure, for example through a crèche for young children. © Olaf Jacobs
Pontilhão Cultural © Marcos L. Rosa

Winner 2013 – Pontilhão Cultural

In a formerly barren space, the Pontilhão Cultural now provides a safe and well-organized environment for young people. The project stood out especially for its effectiveness in building social cohesiveness between local groups from different walks of life by engaging them in creative common activity. © Marcos L. Rosa
Censo Maré © Marcos L . Rosa

Special Mention 2013 – Censo Maré

The participants of Censo Maré go from house to house to create a register of the needs and living spaces of people in deprived areas, who are often missing from official statistics and registers. © Marcos L. Rosa 

“Rio de Janeiro is one of the most dynamic cities in the world, creating opportunities and tensions for all its residents as it undergoes significant change,” characterizes Chairman of the Jury Professor Ricky Burdett the city in this year's focus. The Brazilian metropole is not alone in this respect. Although it deals with many highly local tensions and issues, it is also subject to the global challenges facing all cities of tomorrow. For instance, in forty years, two thirds of the world’s population will live in cities, making metropolitan areas like Rio de Janeiro the norm. At the same time, in only ten years, it is predicted that 1.4 billion people all over the world will live in slums.

In this context, Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award aims to demonstrate how future life in cities can be designed to be enjoyable and sustainable. After Mumbai, São Paolo, Istanbul, Mexico City and Cape Town, this year 170 projects from Rio de Janeiro applied for the award and its prize money of USD 100.000.

The jury looked for projects whose experiences and structures could also be translated into the context of other urban areas and therefore serve as models for the future of cities in general. The two winners this year are Plano Popular Vila Autódromo, which will receive 80.000 USD, and Pontilhão Cultural, which will receive 20.000 USD. 

“The projects associated with the Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award are about getting under the skin of what is happening in the city.”

Prof. Ricky Burdett Chairman of the Jury

Winner 2013: Plano Popular Vila Autódromo

The area of Vila Autódromo has been the matter of discussion for potential construction of Olympic facilities. In this context, the community of Vila Autódromo and experts from the universities of Universidade Federal da Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF) joined in a collective effort to push for a debate on how the area could be improved for residents as well. The jury praised the long-term character of the initiative, which has been in place for two years, and its success in bringing together important local and official actors.

Winner 2013: Pontilhão Cultural

A former rubbish dump, the Pontilhão Cultural has been transformed into a place of cultural expression and personal exchange for the residents of Maré. Overseen by Lona Cultural, a nearby municipal facility, the area is now a meeting point of a real collective of artists and cultural activists, who regularly organize video screenings, lectures, workshops and other open events.

In addition to the two winners, two projects received a Special Mention. Both Censo Maré and Agência de Redes para a Juventude promote the needs of groups often slipping through the tenets of their local authorities: the latter's aim is to develop skills locally, by opening up entrepeneurship opportunities for innovative young people from deprived neighborhoods. Censo Maré documents the living spaces of the residents of Maré, who are often left officially unregistered, to bring their needs and demands back into the public consciousness.

Agéncia de Redes para Juventude © Adair Aguiar
Agência de Redes para a Juventude, developed with the Osservatorio de Favelas and a network of universities, received a Special Mention at this year's award. It provides training and access for young people to foster innovation and develop the necessary skills to turn
ideas into realities.

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