The Canteiros Coletivos movement is a citywide, autonomous, and independent initiative which reclaims abandoned spaces in the city of Salvador, Brazil.
The movement´s aim is to mobilize residents, traders and those who frequent Salvador´s neighborhoods to restore, conserve, and put the city´s public spaces, which belong to everyone, to good use.
One of the main objectives of the movement is to encourage the restoration of neglected urban areas through cleaning efforts, gardening and artistic intervention in order to transform them into pleasant places to spend time and sources of revenue for the local community.
In our teams, everyone contributes what they can; whether it be donating materials, tools or seedlings, transportation, spreading the word about the movement, finding spaces, mobilizing new members or documenting the efforts of the organization through photos and videos.
We believe that intervening in public spaces is an effective way of encouraging a much more active community, ensuring that everyone is aware of how critical looking after communal space is.
Open to all those interested, the efforts of Canteiros Coletivos also work towards motivating others to replicate the idea in their own neighbourhood in order to demonstrate that we, the citizens, are responsible for the look of where we live.
The Canteiros Coletivos movement started in February 2012 after various conversations about the state of city of Salvador on social networking sites.
As a consequence of these debates, the first effort of the movement was carried out in the Vale do Canela neighborhood.
With the attention generated by the first meeting, the organization was started to carry out work in other parts of the city; O Curiar, a group of students from the Department of Arquitecture at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA) started a joint venture with Canteiros Coletivos to restore the green spaces within the Gantois community.
The aim of this endeavor was to bring the students´ vast knowledge outside of the university walls.
More requests later came from the Solar Boa Vista Cine-Theatre in Engenho Velho de Brotas, from the Bairro-Escola Project in Rio Vermelho and from the NGO Estrela da Paz in the Valéria suburb.
The work of the movement continues to this day in four of these spaces; in Vale do Canela, Gantois, Solar Boa Vista and Praça do Pôr-do-sol, and also in Rio Vermelho.
The continued work of the movement in restoration, landscaping, maintenance, and the use of art in public spaces has also lead to coverage in the media, involvement in seminars and talks, and support on various social networks, demonstrating to more and more people that everyone has the power to transform their city.