Challenges for community participation: managing an Urban Park

Floripa Centro_
Published: 22 May 2015
Last edited: 14 April 2021
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Developing a Management Plan for an Urban Protected Area, surrounded by poor communities highly dependent on the water supply of this Park (PMMC - Parque Municipal do Morro da Cruz), has been a challenge. Added to the intrinsic problems of the area, lack of literacy, drug issues, struggles between communities, lack of participatory culture (government and society), different park limits used by the managers, housing occupation, etc., the PMMC also lacked public space and access and the area had private use.

The Plan of Management team overcame the challenges by increasing the number of workshops foreseen, including participants of the communities and private sector in the participatory committee, decoding academic information into more suitable language, and taking in account all community claims. This process took nearly two years to be finished and the Plan of Management was concluded in 2011 with a great acceptance by all stakeholders.


South America
Scale of implementation
Coastal forest
Marine and coastal ecosystems
Ecosystem services
Erosion prevention
Local actors
Urban and Disaster Risk Management
Resilience and disaster risk management
Land and Forest degradation
Conflicting uses / cumulative impacts
Invasive species
Infrastructure development
Lack of access to long-term funding
Lack of alternative income opportunities
Lack of infrastructure
Lack of food security
Unemployment / poverty
Sustainable development goals
SDG 1 – No poverty
SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities
SDG 13 – Climate action
SDG 15 – Life on land
Aichi targets
Target 5: Habitat loss halved or reduced
Target 13: Safeguarding genetic diversity
Target 17: Biodiversity strategies and action plans
Business engagement approach
Indirect through government


Serra da Cantareira - Sítio Barrocada, São Paulo - State of São Paulo, Brazil


From an abandoned area to the municipal park, the installation of the PMMC brought major improvements to the entire local community. Since its inauguration in 2013, the Park has brought a much better quality in the life of the surrounding communities and on the well-being of the entire city. The Park has ecological trails, leisure equipment such as sports courts, playground, gym equipment, toilets, auditorium, lake and viewpoints. 
Protecting this area protects the ecosystem services supplied by the urban park, such as water supply, species conservation, human well being (micro clima), recreation and cultural landscape.


Contributed by

Marinez Scherer