TUC Urban Lab Profile: Alliance for the Centre of Recife, Brazil

Cover of the publication

After almost two years in operation, the challenges and key achievements of the TUC Urban Lab established in Comunidade do Pilar in Recife, Brazil, provide valuable lessons for sustaining ongoing activities, accelerating broader transformations and guiding similar efforts elsewhere:

  1. DEVELOPING A PLACE-BASED APPROACH AND BUILDING MUTUAL TRUST: Meaningful participation is contingent upon establishing and maintaining trust between UL facilitators and participants. In the case of Comunidade do Pilar, overcoming initial distrust and skepticism required tailoring UL activities to residents’ needs and linking those to climate action, while increasing presence in the territory and creating safe spaces for equal participation. The strengthening of a place-based approach has been a key contributor to the UL’s achievements.
  2. NAVIGATING PARTICIPATION IN REALITY: Participation is often less smooth than planned. Facilitators must consider fluctuations in the frequency and manner of participation and develop strategies to adapt the UL process accordingly. Open dialogues and clear communication are essential. The UL is not a static organization but a flexible arrangement with the potential to bridge diverse interests and aspirations, linking local needs with the climate change agenda.
  3. IMPLEMENTING STRATEGIES TO WIDEN THE IMPACT: The UL in Comunidade do Pilar strives to foster long-term outcomes through small-scale experiments. Incremental changes nurture individual and collective capacities, laying the foundation for broader and deeper transformations. However, scaling up learnings depends on institutionalizing changes and garnering support from decision-makers, which can be challenging.