Sustainable Floating Community

Santos - Brazil


Santos is the main city in the fast-growing metropolitan region of Baixada Santista, on the coast of the São Paulo state. It’s one of the most populated areas in the state and has the biggest port in the Southern Hemisphere.

The slum’s populations informally settled along the estuary’s water edges are one of the urgent issues. The very limited land available for construction purposes increases the price of the building land mak­ing it unaffordable for social housing.


Our project proposal investigates the feasibility of an urban plan to house 15.000 slum inhabitants on a self-sufficient floating neighbourhood in the estuary of Santos.


By interaction of ecology and urbanisation, encompassing all of the activities of a city in a single model, and focusing on sanitation and infrastructure according to the principals of the circular economy, we aim to develop a social-ecological strategy and plan to increase the capacity for resilience of the community of Vila Gilda’s slum.


The project focuses on 4 topics:

  • Social-ecological urbanisation process to create inspirational capital (passionate people), social capital (local employability), natural capital (biodiversity) and return of investments (tourism, local economy, real state, etc),

  • Circular economy as base for urban planning and design,

  • Ecological and self-supporting infrastructure,

  • Rehabilitation of the local ecosystem to recover the ecosystem services.


Location Estuary
Vila Gilda Slum
Vila Gilda beelden
sao manuel-vila gilda
circular infra
infrastructure alternatives
section circular system
Sustainable Floating Community