Vitality in Public Spaces: The Pedestrian Malls at Central Area in the City of Juiz de Fora, Brazil

By Fabio Luiz da Fonseca, Antonio Colchete Filho and Marcio Marangon.

Published by The International Journal of the Constructed Environment

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The objective of this paper is to discuss the insertion of pedestrian malls in the central area of Juiz de Fora, in Brazil, and the contribution of these malls to maintaining the vitality of the city downtown. Unlike other central areas of Brazilian cities, which became decadent and empty, in Juiz de Fora, it is easy to see the concentration, effective use and value given to the city center. In this sense, pedestrian malls have greatly contributed to the effective use of public spaces. Installed at the end of the 1970s, pedestrian malls represented the possibility of minimizing the conflicting relationship between pedestrians and vehicles in the more important streets of the city. Following the success of the first, four other malls were created successively, closing the streets to traffic and broadening the network of public spaces dedicated to pedestrian use. Other objectives equally important in the construction of these malls were the environmental enhancement of the streets and the valuation of commerce. Returning to the justifications for the implantation of the malls, we can define which speeches were implicit in the propositions, as well as comprehend the successive projects which have been made since the implantation of malls in order to keep the streets in the center of the city commercial. We verify that the pedestrian malls in question once functioned on their maximum capacity and expanded and thus it is impossible to think about the center of this city without their existence. Furthermore, they represent the effective connection between galleries, squares and other public spaces of the city; making a system that guarantees the vitality of the center through the social and cultural relationships established in it.

Keywords: Pedestrian Malls, Central Public Spaces, Juiz de Fora, Brazil

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.145-162. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 7.034MB).

Fabio Luiz da Fonseca

Master in Constructed Environment, PROAC, UFJF, Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Fábio Luiz da Fonseca is Architect-urbanist, graduated from the Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora (UFJF, 2007); received his Master’s Degree in the Constructed Environment Masters Degree Program at Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Brazil (PROAC/UFJF, 2012). Mr. Da Fonseca works as architect for the construction company Egesa Engineering, and is a researcher interested in urban projects and public spaces.

Dr. Antonio Colchete Filho

Professor, Faculdade de Engenharia, UFJF, Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Dr. Antonio Colchete Filho is Architect-urbanist (UFRJ, 1992), received his Master’s Degree in Urbanism (UFRJ, 1997), his Doctorate in Social Sciences (UERJ, 2003), and his Post-doctorate in Architecture (UTL, Portugal, 2005). Dr. Colchete Filho is Professor at the Constructed Environment Masters Degree Program, in the Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Brazil, and is a researcher interested in public spaces, urban projects, and landscape design.

Marcio Marangon

Professor, PROAC, UFJF, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Marcio Marangon has a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora (UFJF, 1988); a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-RJ, 1992), and a Doctor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ, 2004). Dr. Marangom is a Professor at the Engineering College in Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Brazil (UFJF).