This project is an initiative by São Paulo City Government, Metro Arquitetos Alexandra Forbes and restauranteur Janaina Rueda.
Subject to agglomerations, leisure activities can be considered the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is fundamental to imagine solutions for the alarming situation that the bars and restaurants in downtown São Paulo have been going through.
The establishments in downtown São Paulo have, in recent years, considerably improved the condition of urban life in the region, especially at night. To prevent those mainly independent businesses from closing doors we were invited by Alexandra Forbes to think about how to safely reintroduce activities in bars and restaurants.
Taking into account safety measures such as limiting the occupancy at 50%, our first study proposed extending the service area and occupying parts of the sidewalks, with the goal of maintaining the number of tables close to the original capacity.
We arrived at the final proposal after a meeting with Mayor Bruno Covas and the Office of Urban Development of the city of São Paulo.
We suggested different scenarios involving sidewalk occupation and the occupation of parking spots, resulting in a narrowing of the streets. Our proposed extension of this public space occupation by bars and restaurants was in compliance with WHO (World Healthy Organization) standards of social distancing. At first, the streets receiving the intervention were General Jardim, Major Sertório, José Paulo Mantovan Freire and Bento Freitas, benefiting 30 establishments in total. In addition to increasing service capacity, the project resulted in safer, livelier and more dynamic urban spaces, encouraging and motivating customers to return to leisure activities and to those establishments safely.