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Gravataí, Brazil

Estancias is located in Gravatai, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil , 30 kilometers from Porto Alegre. The site consists of approximately 380 hectares and sits on the suburban fringe. The site is semicircular in shape with its center consisting of an older isolated existing suburban neighborhood. The area is ripe for new development. Estancias was an exercise of mapping native and environmental sensitive lands, including water bodies, as well as slopes over 15%, thus revealing the areas available for development. What resulted was five separate neighborhoods, all linked together providing a unique and rather organic plan. Throughout the entire project one will find the usual various amenities found in a New Urbanist community. In addition, each of the neighborhoods are organized around a particular specific amenity helping to give its own character and identity, whether it was the Cultural Center, Tennis Club, Country Club, Spa, or Equestrian Center. The neighborhoods are all united with an equestrian trail system aimed at preserving its current rural character. A small, yet urban Town Center is found with the first neighborhood abutting the local highway reaching up to six stories in height. As with typical New Urbanist communities, Estanicias aims at providing a variety of building types organized compactly while creating pedestrian friendly spaces and building a new model for development in Brazil that promotes community.