Published: 2015

/ Student Work

Together We Make Santa Marta Home


Santa Marta is located in São Leopoldo, a city approximately 30 kilometers north of Porto Alegre, Brazil. São Leopoldo has a conglomeration of informal and formal settlements, which include regularized neighborhoods and public housing projects. Santa Marta faces a host of environmental challenges that result from trash dumping in public spaces, trash burning, animals opening trash bags, and inadequate sewage, water systems, and road infrastructure.  In March 2015, the University of Michigan team visited Santa Marta to gather information from interviews, surveys, participatory mapping exercises, and visioning sessions. During the trip, we established relationships with the students and teachers from the Santa Marta K-9 Municipal School, the São Leopoldo Municipal Government, and the Santa Marta Neighborhood Association. These efforts have shaped the content of our recommendations for intervention, which encompass campaigns to foster environmental stewardship and strategies to improve communication between the local government and the community at large as well as physical planning recommendations to activate public spaces and upgrade key streets and storm water features.

In The News

International Capstone returns from Brazil
Urban Planning Capstone Receives Ford Motor Company Challenge Award for Project in Santa Marta, Brazil


Alexandro Bazan, Samantha Farr, Stephanie Gerretsen, Mabel Kessler, Julia Mantey, Alexandra Markiewicz, Shirley Rempe, Kelly Richardson, Charlotte Wilson, Julia Upfal


Ana Paula Pimentel Walker, Joshua Shake (Doctoral Candidate)


Community Partner: Santa Marta School
Location: Community of Santa Marta in São Leopoldo, Brazil
Pages: 213
Year: 2015
Topic: Housing, Community, and Economic Development Planning; Land Use and Environmental Planning

Download the report (PDF)