Projects for Public Spaces: The Continuous Symbolic Investments at Praça XV, in the Centre of Rio de Janeiro

By Antonio Colchete Filho.

Published by The International Journal of the Constructed Environment

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Many waterfronts of the cities are important public places for the creation of business nets and sociabilities, also accumulating functions for port areas. Though, they gradually lost their role to the city life, due to technological and logistic changes that partially or totally transferred ports from central areas. Therefore, in the last decades, port areas have been a privileged site for revitalization projects. This paper presents some lectures of a signifying place of the City of Rio de Janeiro – the Praça XV. This plaza has been scenery for relevant events of the central area, constituting a complex of buildings and open spaces which are residual traces of the original 16th century city. It is done through three examples of existing urban elements which characterizes the relationship between public space and social agents from each analysed period: a fountain (1789), an equestrian statue (1894) and a contemporary sculpture (1999). The idea is to demonstrate that these urban elements, under the concept of urban imagery, represent the required images to the central place itself in each period and confirm that Praça XV is a place of strong symbolic meaning, where important urban interventions are evaluated. Thus, urban imagery, public space and social agents also constitue privileged parts of the study of carioca’s urban memory and culture. In the diverse set of needs for the public spaces in the city, Praça XV has been continually rediscovered and rebuilt as a place of social appropriation, either in daily routines or at seasonal big events.

Keywords: Landscape, Public Space, Public Art, Rio De Janeiro/Brazil

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp.187-198. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 973.151KB).

Dr. Antonio Colchete Filho

Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Brazil

Architect-urbanist (UFRJ, 1992), Master in Urbanism (UFRJ, 1997), Doctor in Social Sciences (UERJ, 2003), Post-doctorate in Architecture (UTL, Portugal, 2005). Professor at the Built Environment Program of Post-Graduate at Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Brazil.