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.
“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.”
Winner 2013: Plano Popular Vila Autódromo
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.