In 2014, the City of São Paulo was awarded a new urban development and policy instrument, the new Strategic Master Plan – SMP, which defines the principles to guide the city's development until 2029. The SMP contains a specific chapter on Land Parceling, Use and Occupancy Rules – LPUOR, laying down guidelines for its review, defining concepts, and determining that its wording should be simplified.
In late 2013, the City Government started a legislative process to review the LPUOR. Access was facilitated by an online tool, and since then, there have been many contributions and three public hearings. Consequently, on March 31, 2015, a new draft was presented, updated to consider all public contributions. In April, new public hearings will be held in order to discuss the text. The City Government expects to submit the bill to the House of Representatives in April.
For the time being, the major innovations in the draft are the increase in zoning numbers, the creation of an environmental quota, the different classification of property use, and the prospect of creation of water reservoirs for reuse in large-sized enterprises.
The increase in zoning numbers results from a need to adjust the division parameters to the specificities of each region, e.g. the creation of a Corridor Zone, a type of transition between multiple-use and strictly residential zones.
The environmental quota corresponds to a set of plot occupancy rules, especially aiming at improving drainage and reducing heat islands in the city. Further, a discount may be granted in the financial consideration of the Construction Right on a Non-Gratuitous Basis for buildings receiving a sustainability certification.
Property use classification has also been modified, including new subcategories and ensuring a better definition of activities. In addition, the erection conditions are clearer and take into account only the width of the road, striking off the classification as a collection or structural road.
The efforts to improve municipal organization seem to be constant, as evidenced by the Civil Works Code, which shall also be revised in 2015. Obviously, an intense debate is necessary to ensure the effective improvement of the LPUOR bill until its final version may be submitted and voted. After all, will small businesses in residential areas be beneficial or will they cause more traffic congestion? Will the increase of circulation in the ground level of buildings really reduce violence?
And how can we organize São Paulo? To respond to these and other questions, the best efforts of public authorities and the people involved will be required. People must progress culturally and accept the changes necessary for development, but infrastructure offer must increase exponentially, providing bases for a structured, modern, and progressive development, that is, the goal of the legislative restructuring started with the SMP review.
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