This paper concerns the first large-scale urban-design project in Brazil to deal with preservation and revitalization in the inner city. In protecting the cultural heritage while still encouraging new construction, the project has been successful in setting a new methodology for development control and in reinforcing the traditional character of a large area of downtown Rio de Janeiro. Within the framework of an overall design-review process, the project has made use of special land-use regulations, design guidelines, participatory and educational programs, and substantial tax deductions. Traditional architectural patterns and uses have been reinforced, and development pressure from large corporations has been alleviated. The project's positive results and wide community support have encouraged the city to expand the original project area to include most of the historic downtown fabric and to carry out complementary programs for beautification, restructuring of vehicular circulation, and street animation. Semi-public and private investors have begun to recycle old buildings for cultural and commercial uses, and the downtown area is experiencing a comeback.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/vdelrion/7/