Posts Tagged: viaducts



Boxing and Highway Viaducts – Ad-Hoc Urbanism

An underground boxing ring in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A unique human layer that brings into perspective the beauty (and tragedy) that sometimes exist in many developing cities. Image by Nacho Doce.

In the past, we’ve discussed the implications of creating aesthetically-pleasing elevated infrastructure (recall the Ranstadrail and Most Beautiful Elevated Transport Infrastructure). While these examples exemplify the capabilities of planned transit infrastructure, I believe informal uses (and their spinoff effects) may deserve a little more attention.

One of the most inspiring case studies that I’ve come across is Sao Paulo’s underground boxing gym, located beneath the Alcantara Machado viaduct. This training academy was started by a former boxer, Nilson Garrido, as an attempt to help disadvantaged youth. Although Garrido’s pupils train with rudimentary equipment (tires, rocks, plastic containers), their dedication to the sport and their tenacity appears relentless.

Training facility located adjacent to highway overpass in Sao Paulo. Image by Nacho Doce.

I think this type of ad-hoc urbanism is a testament to human ingenuity and adaptability — one that is often unaccounted for and ignored by modern North American city-building principles. In other words, it begs the question: How many unique uses of urban space are lost when planners and decision-makers are confined to stagnant and outdated zoning laws?

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