Utopian Future for Brazil's Soccer City
THE ECOTOPIA 2121 PROJECT WORKS TO PREDICT THE WAYS CITIES AROUND THE GLOBE CAN SURVIVE THE CURRENT ENVIRONMENTAL CRISES TO BECOME SUPER-GREEN UTOPIAS. THIS WEEK, WE DRAW UP SUCH A SCENARIO OF A UTOPIAN FUTURE FOR THE BRAZILIAN CITY OF SAO PAULO.
The crowded noisy streets of Brazil’s soccer capital of Sao Paolo are far from utopian. For millions of commuters, each working day often involves many hours of tortuous travel on over-heated, over-priced, and over-crowded buses. Private automobiles move no faster; they just clog up the streets.
In the midst of a Sao Paolo.
A few years ago, when the government announced, with much fanfare, that they would be spending billions of dollars on stadia and sports facilities, firstly for the World Cup and then for the Olympics, it was just too much for many Brazilians to bare, and they revolted in the streets. Because a bunch of protesters carried vinegar with them (which can serve as an antidote to police tear-gas) the movement was dubbed the by some as the Salad Revolt and by others as the Vinegar Revolution.
As an intermediate response to the Salad Revolt, the Brazilian government announced that some more billions of dollars -- a figure on a par with the cost of the 2016 Olympics -- would be invested into public transport in the coming years.
Perhaps, maybe, a few years down the track, private cars will also be banned from entering central Sao Paulo.
Looking further ahead, as part of the Ecotopia 2121 project, we can predict that all that space previously occupied by cars might be given over to urban agriculture. At first, these gardens will be small-scale: families will grow vegetables in nearby city streets and on highway islands (so they don’t have to commute for many awful hours to work at a job just to get money so they can buy food).
At some point in time in the late 21st Century, perhaps after some particularly poor performance by the Brazilian national soccer team, great runs of tarmac will be dug-up by guerrilla gardeners who claim that food is more important than sport. Soon after, the highways and by-ways will be strewn with verdant rows of diverse food plants stretching as far as the eye can follow. The Salad Revolt will be complete.
Sao Paulo in 2121 by Alan Marshall