Floods and Extension Plans: discourse and projects in Southern Brazil


  • Adriana Miranda Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul




This paper focuses on four extension projects on floodable areas in the city of Porto Alegre, in the State of Rio Grande do Sul. The city is in the Jacui River delta, which flows into the Guaiba Lake, one of the main waterways in Southern Brazil. Such urban projects – with similar goals amongst themselves, such as integrating housing and industries, for instance – were never implemented. However, as initiatives associated to state economic and strategic development plans (between 1935 and 1960), the study of such projects significantly contributes to the understanding of Porto Alegre’s metropolitan area in its trajectory of expansion. The Jacui delta and its islands limit Northern Porto Alegre. The projects were to be located on such wetlands, given their strategic site in relation to means of external connection, such as waterways, roads and railways. Because this area had always been subject to floods, a solution for overcoming such issue with infrastructure works was always present in the creation of projects for the delta. Porto Alegre, from its foundation to the first half of the 20thcentury, suffered with floods of the Guaiba Lake that caused major damages to the city. Because of that, from 1942, a dam and a wall were built; to this day, they influence the connection between city and Lake, maintaining the collective memory of past floods. Therefore, this work focuses on the different approaches and discourses of the authors of the extension projects for the flood issues, and on their intentions towards making such projects resilient to the recurring floods. While researching the plans, we have observed that the cost of construction work and of the expropriation needed for building the dam have contributed to postponing, deterring and modifying the execution of such projects. In spite of the failure on implementing the projects, their focus on the relation between the city and its surrounding waters became an important resource for the study of the city’s history, given that the wetlands are a significant part of its collective memory.


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How to Cite

Miranda, A. (2016). Floods and Extension Plans: discourse and projects in Southern Brazil. International Planning History Society Proceedings, 17(2). https://doi.org/10.7480/iphs.2016.2.1226