Western Planners Swoop In To Attack Sao Paulo's 'Worm'

The Big Worm is a 2.2 mile elevated highway carving its way through South America's biggest city, carrying 80,000 vehicles a day past the bedroom windows of once elegant art deco apartment buildings.

Urban planners say that flattening it should be a priority if the city is to realize its modernization goals. At a recent conference on Sao Paulo's future, urban planners from New York, Barcelona and China told their Brazilian counterparts that the city requires a makeover. Projects should include expanding the subway, carving out underground highways, adding parks and revamping the airport.

This may be a vibrant and growing city, but it is also a 'planning mess,' writes Juan Forero. "A thousand new cars are introduced to traffic-choked streets each day. The subway system has roughly 60 stations and 50 miles of track; New York's has 468 stations and more than 800 miles of track. Business travelers rate Sao Paulo's international airport the worst on the continent."

Local residents are divided about a plan to flatten the 'Elevado,' and build a replacement thoroughfare underground. Perhaps an approach more indicative of a modern city would be to build a 'high line' style park for walkers and runners?

Full Story: Sao Paulo's 'Big Worm,' An Elevated Highway, Must Go, Urban Planners Say


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