Urban Age Award 2013 Rio de Janeiro
Both winners of the 6th Urban Age Award, which was presented on 03 December 2013, redesign culturally barren areas in the bustling metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro into places of creative exchange.
Rio de Janeiro, the focus city of the Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award in 2013, has been characterised by Professor Ricky Burdett, Chairmain of the Award Jury, as “one of the most dynamic cities in the world, creating opportunities and tensions for all its residents as it undergoes significant change.”
In 2013, 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 were Plano Popular Vila Autódromo, which received 80,000 USD, and Pontilhão Cultural, receiving 20,000 USD.
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.
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.