Complete streets

Porto Alegre, Brazil ,2019

Joan Alfredo is a busy street in Porto Alegre. Famous for its nightlife, it was empty during the day due to the lack of commercial activity and the dangerous conditions for pedestrians.

In April 2019 WRI Brazil and the city redesigned with citizen collaboration the 1st intersection, and following its success, two more intersections on the same street in November. First by checking the design with cones to ensure vehicle traffic, and then by painting the asphalt.

The measures taken to reduce the speed and thereby the nº of accidents were:
– Introduction of a roundabout
– Sidewalks extension
– Car lanes narrowing and crosswalks shortening
– Introduction of refuge islands
– New road signage, bollards and studs

All this made it possible to go from an average speed of 50 km/h in 2017 to a speed of 25km/h 2 months after the intervention. This created a safer public space, especially for nearby school children and the elderly. A neighborhood carpentry school built urban furniture to achieve an active urban landscape.

The opening was celebrated with a traffic-free day, with activities to explore the new possibilities of the street. Residents were able to enjoy live music, try alternative modes of transportation, plant trees in the new containers and learn more about road safety. The space became a platform for democratic exchange of opinions, giving rise to future inclusive community development.

This intervention is part of the @ruascompletas (Complete Streets) program, a national network of pilot projects in 20 cities.

A walk-through area can become a family-friendly space with the right design.

Are there welcoming public spaces where you live?

Photos by: @wribrazil, @danielkneto

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