Brazil Projects

The local Commons & Communities project in Brazil starts with a strong look at existing actions in dense urban spaces that are often lacking basic resources – such as drinking water supply and waste collection – but are abundant in exemplary solutions that boost the flow of life based on collectivity and resilience.

We understand the importance of displaying good existing solutions and practices, as well as the importance of facilitating connections that can expand some of these projects and actions, or even enable new ones.

For this purpose, in addition to inviting local actors who participate in actions in the neighborhoods we choose, we invite specialists from different areas of knowledge – architects, anthropologists, sociologists, historians, artists and engineers – for dialogues and exchanges on new practices, strategies, projects and tools. We include the participation of active partners in academia, technical staff from different government spheres, in private initiatives, or in the third sector, with the aim to create a transdisciplinary dialogue that helps in the systematization of processes.

The intention is that these connections and exchanges of different experiences and knowledges stimulate new socially constructive initiatives, and that these, in turn, have the possibility of becoming documented and openly available, expanding both the collection and the possibilities of more connections and initiatives.

Guto Santos
Architect & Urban Planner

Brazilian architect and urban planner (FAU-UFRJ), postgraduate from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona, Master in Landscape Architecture (PROURB-UFRJ). Guto has worked extensively with participatory urban activism processes, such as the Baixo Rio collective which he formed in 2017. He was Coordinator of Engineering and Architecture Projects and Superintendent at the State Secretariate for Infrastructure and Works of the Government of Rio de Janeiro, and today he is co-leading the general coordination of the UIA2021RIO congress.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Food City – Eaten City

"What are you hungry for?" In the 1980s, this question became famous in Brazil after the release of the song called Comida, by the rock band Titãs. And the lyrics continued: “We don't only want food, we want food, fun and art….” Four decades later and this is still what “we want”.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


How a new organization was born from commonities.org´s first physical activity (see the #AgenteMuda project) and became a local place-maker specialist, who, in addition to carrying out its own visionary activities, also coordinated and produced the Vida Local Rio 2022 project.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Mão na Jaca / Hands-on Jackfruit

Socio-environmental education, gastronomy, food, and income.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Vida Local Rio 2022

A collective effort to support the transformation of a neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro into a more sustainable and resilient community.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


WATER, PLANTING AND CARING FOR CHANGE - How a tree became the catalyst for the first activity of commonities.org, connecting UNESCO´s first and second World Capitals of Architecture.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


The APER (Friends of the Ecological Park of Rocinha) collective is turning the park into a space of confraternization and reflection, helping overcome the traumas and needs of the community.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Vida Local Rio 2020

In 2020, at the invitation of the Danish Cultural Institute in Brazil, Jesper Koefoed-Melson brought to Rio de Janeiro (then the World Capital of Architecture) his savvy method for strengthening local communities: the Vida Local project.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Fábrica Bhering

Located in Rio’s port zone, the Bhering Factory became, over the last decades, one of the most relevant shelters for the artistic and cultural production of Rio and Brazil.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Tiradentes Cultural is a festivity in Rio’s downtown, surrounded by stories, memories, but also amnesias. It’s a popular and collective construction that, by celebrating the present, helps rebuild the past and preserve a desirable future.

Juiz de Fora, Brazil


“PRAIA is a teaser, a delight, a well-deserved relaxation…,” explains Leticia Nabuco, creator, director, and performer of this project, along with many other artists and citizens. PRAIA has the city center of Juiz de Fora as its stage, scenario, and provocative body. “... we are interested in indulging in what we call a ‘state of beach’, and celebrating, joyfully, the beauty of all bodies,” the director complements.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Vale Encantado

The rural community in the heart of the forest in the center of the metropolis of Rio de Janeiro, that chose to become an ecological model of self-management.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Mapa-Muro is the intervention on an external wall/facade located in a favela, at the headquarters of a social project, NGO, or institution. This intervention was conceived in 2018 by SOAR Estúdio, a collective from urban peripheries, and consists of the reproduction of the map of the favela where the project is carried out, in the form of a mosaic of shards of brick and tiles, complemented by paint and pigmented grain.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Cidade Água

A versão brasileira do projeto Commons & Communities traz como eixo central a cidade. Cidade como plataforma para o desenvolvimento possível de comunidades e de seus bens comuns. Cidade não apenas como território geopolítico de dimensões públicas e privadas, mas como um corpo coletivo, uma manifestação concreta das dinâmicas harmônicas ou desarmônicas das comunidades coabitantes. Esse eixo central se desdobra em três conceitos associativos: Cidade Água, Cidade Comida e Cidade Bem Viver.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Vidigal’s Living Monuments

In the midst of one of the biggest water shortages that Rio de Janeiro has ever experienced, the city's pilot green roof was born, in the Morro do Vidigal favela, inspiring the “Marvellous City” to align with the "world agenda for sustainable development and climate", and also, with the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) of a minimum index of green area per inhabitant in urban areas.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Jogo do Museu

The Museum Game was developed as a preliminary phase of the participatory project of the Sankofa Museum’s physical space, in Rocinha. Through playful language, the game seeks to engage residents in the elaboration of the museum’s programme, widening the possibility of activities to be developed in the venue.