Two of the leading architecture schools in Brazil are located in São Paulo: FAU at the University of São Paulo (USP, the premier public university), and FAU at Mackenzie Presbyterian University (a large private university). ‘FAU’ stands for Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo (Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning).
The city of São Paulo is considered as the financial engine of the largest Latin American country, a cosmopolitan global city and urban mega-region with over 22 million inhabitants.
Professor Steffen Lehmann, Director of the Cluster for Sustainable Cities, was invited to give lectures at both institutions and recently returned from his travels to São Paulo. He has been visiting the country regularly since 1990 and has published two books on modern Brazilian architecture.
Steffen’s lecture at USP was entitled Regenerated cities are sustainable cities.
“It’s a great honour to be able to lecture at these famous schools of architecture, where many renowned designers were educated,” he says. “Brazil is truly a melting pot, and so is São Paulo, fusing colonial with hyper-modern. But the city is also plagued with traffic congestion, air pollution, polluted rivers and a high crime rate, so it was useful to see the latest developments since the 2016 Olympic Games. The rapid population growth during the 20th century has brought many problems for the city, with around 11 per cent of households still not connected to the sewage system, mostly in the informal favelas. Understandingly, there is strong interest in the theme of urban futures. Today, São Paulo is home to excellent research and development facilities, and colleagues are conducting cutting-edge research in the field of sustainable cities. I was able to meet up with many of them and also spend some time with the new Dean at Mackenzie University, Professor Angelica Alvim and her colleagues.”
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the University of Portsmouth and the University of São Paulo has recently been signed that allows for more academic exchange and collaboration between both institutions. There is interest on both sides to do more together, and the MoU sets out opportunities for international collaboration and academic engagement between both universities to mutual benefit, such as development of joint research activities, publications and staff exchange.
Header Image: Steffen in front of the School of Architecture at Mackenzie University in São Paulo, with Dean Prof Alvim and other colleagues (May 2017)