Rio Favelas Getting Eco-Friendly Homes

Green homes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News

(courtesy of RioTimes.Com)

The city of Rio delivered sixteen eco-friendly apartments to the citizens of the local favelas, Babilônia and Chapéu Mangueira. The buildings used sustainable materials as well as complying with construction methods in order to build homes in environmentally protected areas. This is being done as part of the mayor’s Live Carioca Green project.

The apartments feature a variety of things, such as solar heating, windows that allow for better ventilation, rainwater collection, energy efficiency, longer lasting light bulbs, motion sensor lights, insulation to keep homes cooler in the summer, and more.

These sixteen apartments are the first delivery of a project that will be delivering 117 more eco-friendly units in similar communities by 2014. Architects from the company Arquitraco Projetos, based in Rio, are in charge of the project.

One citizen that was placed in one of the apartments, Priscila Cristina de Souza Chagas, lost her home on the hillside during a mudslide in 2008. She was transferred temporarily to subsidized housing. She is happy with the new apartment and says “I’m very happy because there is no comparison between my new house and my old one. My old house was made of stucco and wood, but this new house is built right.”

When the mayor, Eduardo Paes, visited the eco-homes when they were placed last week, he said “Rio has a vocation for sustainability and the preservation of nature. This is the first model. The work is more sophisticated and that is why [the development] takes longer to complete, but our objective is to bring the project to other communities.”

Past efforts to improve the favelas have in a sense caused the city to take steps backwards and reinvest in areas that had previously fallen apart. However, these apartments now demonstrate a new standard for public housing in Rio. This is also part of the city’s plan to gear up and prepare for the 2016 Summer Olympics.