Technological and Social Changes
Hello! My name is Pedro Carvalho, I am 11 years old, and I am a Quilombo Etu dancer, a Popular Culture and Anti-racist Education Collective. I am Vânia Maria, I am 53 years old, a dinner lady for the City Hall of Rio de Janeiro, a holistic therapist, and a Quilombo Etu dancer. I am very happy to be part of this project, which shows the various corners of our city.
It shows the importance of this link between culture and our landscapes, our architecture. I think it is very important, very interesting, especially the most forgotten places, to highlight these places that are part of our life, our culture. Showing Cavalcanti, showing a neighborhood that is forgotten like so many others are, but which are part of the life of all of us 'cariocas' ('people from Rio'). Here in Rio de Janeiro, as it's an extremely artistic city, there are dancers, musicians, actors, singers...
Millions of people in this country have their art. From Africa, many years ago, were brought the coconut, the Jongo, Maracatu, and also food like 'feijoada' and other things. From those African people, the little things they brought with them are trying to be brought back to life. Because as millions of lives were taken back then, today people who still remember that
they had a grandmother, who remembered how to dance Jongo and taught it to her grandchildren, are trying to make it be an important thing again. It used to be the way (for the slaves) to abstract from the world, forget from the senzala and the slavery for a bit. Nowadays it's an art that people do.
Not just to make money, but to be able to express themselves. It shows that big things like money don't matter. What matters is happiness. This video that you just watched is part of the "Bodies in the World" proposition.
A proposal for artistic curatorship made by me, Pâmela Carvalho and Lígia Tammela. Now we are going to watch a debate that just connects and ties in with the proposition presented by the artist. Because our idea is a bit of that: to bring artists who have the platform in the city for their work, articulating with the debates that follow. Thank you. You are one step away from connecting with leading professionals and thinkers in the field of Architecture & Urbanism, to having access to complete and updated global content that will change your perception of professional performance. If you want access to exclusive content, the world's leading experts in Architecture and Urbanism, you need to register now for the 27th World Congress of Architects UIA2021RIO. This edition of the Congress brings new exciting features.
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Make the most of it and register now at a promotional price. Do not leave it for later because the promotion is only for a limited time. Guarantee your place now! Join us to discuss and propose ideas and solutions for better cities for all. Let's talk about Architecture and the City? Scroll down the page for more information about this special offer and how to register. See you soon! Hello! Welcome to another activity of the World Congress of Architects, UIA 2021 RIO, the 27th World Congress in history, and the largest, that is reaching further places in the world. We already have over 150 countries with people registered for the Congress.
It is an honour to have two very special guests, to speak within this axis that we are discussing this month, Changes and Emergencies, to talk about technological and social changes. I'm Igor de Vetyemy, one of the co-chairs of the IAB-RJ, responsible for the General Articulation, within our collective mandate, and currently General Commissioner of the World Congress. So, today here with us, I'm going to introduce each of them and then I'm going to make an initial provocation to each of them, and then we'll begin our debate. Today we are here with Ester Carro, Architect and Urban Activist, Professor and Researcher of the Nucleus of Women and Territory, of the Cities Laboratory 'Arq.Futuro' at Insper, and Fellowship of Avenues São Paulo. Since 2017, Ester has been President of 'Fazendinhando', a Movement for Physical, Cultural and Social Transformation.
In 2019, she was one of those selected to participate in the 12th International Biennale of Architecture, with the project entitled "Contributions To Another Narrative", exhibited at the São Paulo Cultural Center. Master, in 2019, in Project, Production and Management of Urban Space, at FIAM. Post-graduate in Housing and City at Escola da Cidade in 2021, and Social Urbanism, at Insper, also in 2021. Graduated in Architecture and Urbanism at FIAM/FAAM, in 2017. Welcome, Ester! Thank you very much for being here with us! Thank you.
It is a great pleasure to be here with you, not only on this panel, debating, discussing such an important topic, but also with the other viewers who are watching us. Many thanks! Thank you, Ester! Silvio Meira is our other panellist joining Ester today. He is Professor Extraordinary at CESAR School, Professor Emeritus of the Computer Center of UFPE, Recife, and Chief Scientist at Digital Strategy Company. He is the founder and chairman of the Board of Directors of 'Porto Digital'.
Silvio is a retired Professor from the Computer Science Center of UFPE. He founded the Center for Informatics in 1996 and was Chief Scientist at CESAR, the Center for Studies and Advanced Systems in Recife, until 2014. He was a Fellow and Faculty Associate at the Berkman Center, Harvard University, from 2012 to 2015. He was also Associate Professor at FGV Rio Law School from 2014 to 2017.
Welcome, Silvio! Thank you for being here with us. It's a great pleasure. This is going to be a really cool discussion. Let's do it! Wonderful! Thank you. I'd like to start with Ester's presentation talking a little about this
collective battle that we have in our cities and about people, like her, who are dedicated to the issue of social changes needed in society, gradually becoming a reality. Step by step, isn't it, Ester? I wanted you to tell us a little bit about your journey and kick off our discussion. Thank you" I will share my screen with you... I'm the president of the Fazendinhando Movement. A movement for physical, social and cultural transformation within Jardim Colombo, which is the community where I was born, as you can see here on this map.
It belongs to the Butantã District and is part of the Paraisópolis Complex, the second largest favela in the State of São Paulo. This is an aerial image, of Jardim Colombo and its surroundings. As you can see, the Jardim Colombo is nearly being 'swallowed' by buildings placed in its surroundings. Here, the Giovanni Gronchi Avenue, a very important avenue, very well known in the region of Morumbi and Jardim Colombo, as I will show in the next images, have certain deficiencies. Here are some shots of the community, so you know what it looks like.
In this photo here you can see the contrast that I'm talking about. The Jardim Colombo is at the bottom of a valley. So there are two slopes with a flat bottom in the middle. These slopes are pretty steep.
Here some photos of the Itararé stream, which runs on the valley bottom and cuts through the entire community. In the past, they had several wooden shacks but which were removed by the City Hall. When it rains, the water level rises sharply and floods the street, so it's a pretty delicate situation. Many dwellings get flooded with that water and people have a very hard time. I remember that when I was a child, my house was not so close to the stream, but it was
one of the houses affected by the stream, by the rainwater. The water level raised to about 1 meter high. I use to say that my sister and I played pretending there was a swimming pool inside the house. At the same time, it was very bad because many residents ended up losing their furniture and belongings. We have even had deaths from leptospirosis within the community. I grew up in this reality. Not only the stream was a problem... Here are some images of the precarious housing, with
problems like pests, rats, cockroaches inside the houses. Lack of ventilation and light. And all these issues, since I was a child, have affected me a lot.
I always said: "When I graduate, whatever college I go to, no matter what it is, I need to make an impact on Jardim Colombo, because I don't want other children to experience what I went through. When it was in 2017, when I was finishing my Architecture College, I met a group from Arq.Futuro, a digital group studying the city and its transformations. They ended up visiting the community and they came across this land, which is Fazendinha.
At that time, Fazendinha was really full of garbage. It was one of the few existing open spaces within the community. A community that has no school, no parks, no leisure areas, but had the Fazendinha.
When I was a kid, Fazendinha was our joy. They had animals. Mr Chico took care of Fazendinha with much love.
We consumed what these animals produced: eggs, milk etc. However, Mr Chico became ill and had to stop taking care of the animals at the farm. So, since it is rather steep terrain, people thought it would be easier to dump trash in this area. These are some images of it at the end of 2017. We showed it to the community because not everyone was aware that Fazendinha was like this since it is surrounded by houses.
Then the residents said: "let's help, let's do something for Fazendinha". It was very hard at first, but the changes kept coming. These are the first images of the first community task force. Note that to take out the garbage, we had to use a wheelbarrow or carry it by hand, through an alley, because there is no direct access to the street. So it was very complicated. In 2017 also, I ended up meeting this "character", a person who I greatly admire the work, Mauro Quintanilha. He had done a very similar project in Rio de Janeiro, which served us as inspiration.
He also managed to transform a dump into a park. Based on Mauro's incredible inspirational work, we started to make these changes. Only we didn't have many resources for that. When it was 2018, right after we finished the task force, we knew we needed to do something more. Then Antônio Moela Torres also arrived in Jardim Colombo. He is here in the picture.
He is a former MIT student who works a lot with culture and infrastructure in vulnerable territories. We then started to talk, to debate with the community, to understand what they wanted for that space, what they visualized in Jardim Colombo. Also, at the same time, begin the first transformations on the Fazendinha plot. As I said, we had no financial resources.
But we had local materials. We started to get the tires, which we found both inside the community and in the surroundings, to help us with the issue of containment. It was a very great difficulty that we had, but at the same time, we had to go in search of solutions. We couldn't stand still. The community, we all needed a new open space.
And those changes were happening. These are some photos of these containments that have been done. It's very interesting because it uses this green technology.
So there was minimal impact on the land, with virtually zero costs because everything we were using was sourced locally or via donations. This containment was built on a concrete base where tyres were inserted. Then some rubble from the site itself, because even the rubble we used. And over it, another concrete layer. Some pillars were also added to the edges. The entire project of Fazendinha Park was built based on citizenship: the participatory process, the dreams, the drawings, memories rescued from the past, the community engagement...
These are some images from the workshops we held with the community during the first Art and Culture Festival. So the dump, in that first image that you see, was transformed into desires and into dreams. The residents, from children to adults and seniors, put forward what they wanted for the community. As much as the project itself had me, Veronica Vacaro and other architects, our opinion wasn't enough. We had to listen and understand the need of the community.
And they had to tell us. We couldn't arrive with a technical language telling them: "look, it's like this, like this and like that". They had to show us what they wanted.
We understood that as much as the project itself was not 100% finalized, we had to engage the community. And to engage the community, we had to find out how they wanted the Fazendinha Park to be used. Then, parallel to the physical transformation, we also started the cultural transformation, where the local children started to use it as a playground, we began to promote socio-environmental, socio-cultural, socio-educational activities. The whole Fazendinhando soon was built from the drawings of the children and the colours they chose. In short, a series of activities were taking place to activate, involve and engage the residents. After all, it is the residents who are supposed to be the guardian angels of this
place. The problem with garbage still continued inside Jardim Colombo. There in Fazendinha, we managed to remove all the garbage, but there's still some debris. We continue with the process of transforming this territory, both physically and culturally, because it is extremely important for the community since they have nowhere else to go for activities. I remember that a resident once said: "In the olden days, the Fazendinha was sad and scared me but now the Fazendinha gives me joy, I like to be here at the Fazendinha, I like to let my grandchildren play at the Fazendinha". The problem of trash however continued on sidewalks, in the streets, at entrances to the community, and especially a very large amount of debris.
Then we began to think: "Oh, boy! But this is not a problem that exists only in Jardim Colombo. This problem is in several places." And last year we started, in partnership with the Insper laboratory, to develop a product, which is still being tested, but thinking of other alternatives, thinking of new technologies. Why do people consider garbage or rubble a problem? It can't be a problem forever. We need to find a solution for what we look down on. At first, it was with this debris in mind.
So with this mass, the idea was to create bricks, plates, surfacing the roads, the alleys of the community. We are thinking of new solutions and new opportunities all the time. We also have a very big problem, as I told you, related to housing. But last year the pandemic came, and many things happened, and we thought we couldn't have that close physical contact anymore. OK!
But we're not going to stop the action, are we? We had started our action with the transformation of a garbage dump into a park. But there are other demands within the community. We observed that more and more. So soon we created the Fazendolar ('making homes') project.
The interesting thing about the Fazendolar project is that it was a project that started with house surveys, to understand a bit more about these houses, their reality, to talk to the residents. It is very interesting what we are doing because these visits happen both face-to-face and online. So, once again, technology is used to make it easier. Here you can't see very well, but this is an architecture student, from the Rio Grande do Sul state. Here, a student of architecture also, from the interior of São Paulo. There another face-to-face visit, from a resident here in São Paulo.
Once again we are seeking alternatives for Jardim Colombo, using what exists on-site, engaging residents so that they can also be part of the change. And to connect more and more people with the informal city, because we can no longer live in a divided city, split between formal and informal. No! We need to work together, we need to connect, we need to show architects, engineers, and several other areas, what this reality requires and that we need everyone's support for these changes to happen. Here are some images of the survey visits and of the observations taken. Last year we also ended up in the middle of a whole crisis, complete chaos, but hey, how are we going to continue with these changes within Jardim Colombo? "We had already done some renovations, but we understood that we needed to keep going.
Carrying out a renovation inside a dwelling in a slum is not at a low cost. It's expensive, especially labour. We've done some research inside Jardim Colombo, after the delivery of basic food baskets that we had for the residents, And during this research we found out that there was a very large amount of unemployed women, paying rent, with children at home. Many of them hadn't finished high school, even elementary school, and had never taken a course in their lives. Once again we need to act. We cannot stand idly by in the face of these realities.
We then created the Fazendeiras (Female Farmers) project, offering professional qualification for women, both in gastronomy and construction. The interesting thing about this project is that women were taking tiling and decorating courses. This year we will continue with other modules. These women received online theoretical lessons from a number of architects , including myself. The practical, hands-on lessons were at their own homes and in community spaces. Beyond the theoretical knowledge, they had practical experience happening inside their own homes, bringing more quality of life for these residents.
One of the most beautiful things about this project was the bond that remained. We created WhatsApp groups, and they started to exchange messages to share experiences and get help. "Can you come to my house to give me a hand? I'm in need of help."
"Look how cool what I'm doing!" And sharing photos. Some of these women are now working in construction projects, offices, building companies. The project not only offers professional qualification and brings more quality of life but also help them generate income. I believe that's it, a summary, a very quick compilation of how we are bringing change to Jardim Colombo.
And how much we can offer as as architects and as civil society. I think one of the most important part of our project is creating this connection between the community and the civil society, public power, private initiative, universities, schools etc. Changes will naturally happen from the moment we get organised as a network. It may be that these changes will take time, but although slowly, bit by bit, we are progressing and hope and dream to replicate these projects in other places. As Fazendinhando we believe that these small changes will reverberate.
We started with a dump that had no value, a place people were afraid of, where people couldn't actually be. And little by little, these changes were happening and reverberating into the community. Today the most beautiful is knowing that the community is engaged, involved and taking part. Very interesting, Ester! Thank you for the beautiful report. I think your speech is permeated by several very important aspects of these cities which we want to reflect on. What is the city of tomorrow that we want? What are the transformations the city needs to go through? I think that your talk goes through several essential premises for a more democratic city, a fairer city. Among them, certainly, the popular participation from start to finish.
People need to have influence in creating the spaces they will ultimately live in. So the community participation is very important. You also talked about splitting this debate between technological change and social change, but you also talk about social technologies created to enable just that. It's very important, this networking, this sharing and the inseparability of our work as architects, and as part of society.
I think there's a lot of interesting things for us to discuss in a moment. Before that, I wanted to go to the other pole of this debate today. I think that architecture and urbanism are absolutely fascinating, precisely because of this: because it is a discipline that goes so deeply in fields that are so distinct and at the same time so interconnected, such as the social field, the technological field, history, engineering, etc. It impacts society in several fields of knowledge, and these interlaces between them is very fascinating. This also brings a lot of power to our work if we want it. We have informal markets taking 30%, 40%, sometimes 50% of our cities without the architect's attention.
This union of social technologies with technologies in the more literal sense of the word can actually transform the city. So, thank you very much! We'll talk a little more about it in a bit. Silvio Meira, I would like you to bring to the table this aspect of technological changes that our cities will certainly go through after this historical moment, traumatic at a global scale, that is the pandemic. Also, of the technological transformations that are already happening and transforming our cities.
Thanks again for being here, Silvio! Cool, it's a great pleasure! Let me find my slides. I'm going to do a little introduction about what's happening now, and what's been going on and for a long time. It hasn't started just yesterday. And for us to find out what has been happening, and what is the impact of what's happening, we have to cover some very quick definitions. Let's start by defining innovation.
Innovation is a process of change. In reality, in particular, innovation is the process of change in the behaviour of market agents, suppliers and consumers of anything. Ester described a process of change, a process of innovation, where the behaviour of a certain set of agents, in a certain context, changed and redefined the context. Innovation is not technology although it may require technology. Innovation is a process of evolution. Innovation is what happens when we evolve from one stage to another.
It can even be backwards. The innovation queue occasionally goes backwards. Most importantly, perhaps, for our scenario, is that these innovation processes and all the involved definitions have been codified for over a century. The base article about this was published by Schumpeter in 1912, "The Theory of Economic Development". He said, qualifying and codifying what Ester is doing: the creative destruction of
the flows taking place in a certain market or scenario, and the establishment of new combinations are what create new production methods, new products, new markets, new suppliers and that demand new forms of organization. And they redesign how we live, how we develop our paths, how we define our trails in society and in the economy. Here's a picture of New York City in 1900.
You can only find 1 car in this picture. It's right here in that circle. This was a photo taken 3 years before Ford Motor Company was founded, by Henry Ford. Three years later in 1903, 11,235 cars were sold in the United States. If the same photo was taken 10 years same, the question would be: where are the horses? In 10 years, the picture has changed so much on 5th Avenue that there is only one horse, one horse-drawn carriage. By 1913 Ford had created an assembly line, and the time to assemble a car had been reduced by six times. But not only that! By then the United States had produced 300 times as many cars.
So this was the beginning of a transformation in the cities and suburbs across the whole world. And of the processes of connectivity, of the redefinition of urban flows, as we, perhaps, had never seen before. The same way we may be about to see a radical change now.
This is a really cool text from Brad Smith, who the president of Microsoft. Ford's assembly line defines a new method of production. It involves new suppliers, a new value chain, demands new forms of organization. And it demanded new forms of organization, in the industry, in the retail, in services and all value chains that were affected by this innovation itself during the production process. That not only took away, as Brad Smith says, the horse's job. But it took the jobs of everyone who dealt with the horse.
the coachman, the farriers, the vets. This photo is of a market in New York in the early 20th century, around 1901. And we can clearly see that there was no truck here, only carriages and horses. This doesn't exist anywhere else in the world. The creative destruction of flows is demanding new forms of organization right now. And this creative destruction of flows has been going for 50 years with the digital evolution, with the commercial internet coming in 1995, 26 years ago, a quarter of a century ago.
And creating or recreating and redefining how we do things. There's a year in evolution particular in this evolution... I've changed the word here: literally from "digital evolution", to "digital revolution".
There is one year that changes everything in this recent history, and that was 2006. What happened in 2006? Two things were created: the first cloud computing, which everyone talks about. What is a "cloud"? It's a computing capacity available on the internet that can be consumed in the form of information streams and is ticketed and charged as if it was water. I pay on my credit card according to my consumption.
In other words, suddenly the person can create a new digital business, without having to set up a computer centre. This creates a Cambrian explosion of new, innovative, digital businesses that suddenly start changing the world around us. Everything that we know today, that we use in our smartphones, basically comes from this year to here, from the contemporary point of view that we have. The second thing is smartphones. Smartphones mean that people, now, are involved in the information flow and can hold the information flow in their hands. These two things happened in the same year, exactly 15 years ago, and they created new methods of production, which established a new context for the articulations between people.
Software or, if we want a restriction from the English language, that is "machines executables ' - you can see it written here on this screen. Software running to smartphones from the clouds, and inside the smartphones and so in people's hands, has created new ways of articulation, new ways of communication and relationships, and new flows over the physical spaces of cities. Suddenly there's information systems with 2 billion users, each one sending 50 messages, on average per day. That's 100 billion messages a day with 58% of these messages answered or replied to in less than a minute. The physical world collapses into a digital state in real-time pretty much. 5G, this new upcoming technology for mobile and that impacts this landscape, is not exactly about connecting people.
It's about connecting objects. Enabling the connection of up to 1 million objects per square kilometre. This allows us to connect every street light, every traffic light, every locker, or every flooding sensor anywhere in the world, making an impact. These innovations will transform the society again, from the point of view of the displacement of work, from the point of view of the creation of work, from the point of view of the redesigning of places, of cities. Not just the cities, but the factories, the houses.
The impact that we are going to see with 5G in the world is such that, measured by the size of Brazil's GDP, it's nine GDPs of impact per year by 2035. It's as if you created 9 countries the size of Brazil, and inserted them into the world. What happened to these changes that were already taking place with Covid-19? All that stuff I said is now in the past. None of this is in the future. It is the past that we are living in the present.
Covid split us apart, suppressed the physical space. Esther talked about it. This brought further changes. For example, a significant number of people have switched to online shopping. Suddenly, this becomes a challenge for the high street.
This changes the whole idea that we have of commerce. In the United States, there was 12.3% of people customarily shopping online. It went up to almost 50% with the pandemic. Now it's at 30%. We had 5.3% of people working online in the United States at the start of the pandemic.
It went up to 35%, and it's now around 20%. The city is being redesigned, the flows and the demand for automobiles. This changes the context around us, especially as 80% of people who have gone through these processes say they will retain all or part of the set of habits acquired during the pandemic.
These are accelerated changes that we're seeing in the markets. When we talk to global executives, 43% of executives say that life and the digital marketplace has been accelerated by 1 to 4 years. 27% of those said it was 5 to 9 years. In some market scenarios, it's more than 10 years.
97% of the executives consulted in this survey experienced a digital acceleration of about 6 years. What can I show in the case of Brazil? In Brazil, e-commerce took 25 years to arrive. From 1995 to 2019, it went from 0% to 6% of the total retail.
In one year, it rose 4 percentage points. It had a 70% growth in a single year. And the vast majority of that behaviour will be maintained, not least because the growth forecast for 2021 is another 30%. I want to stop at this moment. From the point of view of the introduction of "digital" in society, with all the inequalities and ruptures that this causes, we are not in 2021.
We have made a leap to 2025. However, the political, economic, social, educational structures have not taken that leap. The inequality between those who had the skills and means to participate in that leap, and those who did not have those same skills have significantly increased. It's a leap that creates a huge number of new opportunities but also causes a huge number of new problems for us to deal with. Wow! So much interesting topic, Silvio. I was imagining a lot of things about this city of the future, that comes from such a big leap in so many aspects of our lives.
One aspect is the entry into the digital world, the very rapid advancement into the digital world, or the digitalization of everyday life, in various aspects of life. At work, for teaching, for meetings. This is very frightening for architects and urban planners, who had been increasingly understanding that the city is the place of encounter. The purpose of being human is to be in that place of encounter.
I keep trying to get my head around it, with all the effort, for example, what Ester just told us, of how to requalify urban spaces to create in these densely populated areas spaces for being. As we're quite far into our panel time, I want to encourage an exchange now. I want you to ask Ester about the influence of this technology on social technologies. And Esther, you too, do the same, ask something that could create questioning or curiosity around aspects of all this evolution, or revolution, that Silvio had been telling us about. Who wants to ask the first question? I think I can ask Esther. I wanted her to talk about the role digital media played in articulating the effort she made at Fazendinha. A local effort that needs doing because of one other thing, we are seeing a
collapse of public policy, but not only of public policy. It is a total collapse of public policy and public management. What Ester did to the community, together with her team, was to compensate for a failure in public policy. What role, Ester, did you see digital media playing in the articulation to make this happen? And how do you think that could then be taken to other communities, to show more people what's possible? Not only that, what we see there is also the tax that we, as taxpayers pay, not being used to provide the minimum services we taxpayers pay for. How do we articulate our reaction to the collapse of public policy? How can this be extended to other places? But above all, how can that be extended to politics itself? In short, instead of us working to solve what the policy hasn't solved, how could we use examples like yours together with digital to solve the actual public policy? Silvio, first I would like to congratulate you! I was impressed with your brief presentation. There was extremely important data presented.
First, within Fazendinhando we are working a lot around this matter of technology, I understand that in the community itself there is very little knowledge of technology. There is very little contact with technology. It's very difficult.
And wanting it or not, who will always benefit from technology, from the resources it brings, generally will be another public, who has more access. However, we're trying to bring it to the community. Because we see that today, in the middle of the 21st century, we cannot work in a distinct, separate way to technology. Technology is an extremely important tool. So when we came across Covid, it was scary, because we were used to everyone working together, organising events, mobilizing the community in another way. It was all the time in people's homes.
It was a lot of things. Then Covid came, the pandemic came and the questions came too: "does everyone have to isolate themselves, one in each corner?". "Are we going to stop? Do we have to stop?". No. So have begun to use technology, which is so important, to move the community forward. One of the things I didn't mention, for example, was the contact with the residents: everything was via WhatsApp.
Our organization, when we distributed the baskets, so as not to generate crowds, was all via WhatsApp. And I'm not talking about a message. I'm talking about dealing with 5,000 families. And all this via WhatsApp, which has made it a lot easier.
The knowledge also, when I talk about uniting the formal city with the informal city, we also use technology to make this link, to continue the construction of this link. So, the person can be in Bahia, Manaus and several places but is able to connect with various territories. For example in the gastronomy course, the teacher who is giving the lessons to the Fazendairas sometimes does it from New York. But even when she is here in São Paulo it's always remotely. She records the videos in her house, prepares everything with the greatest care, then shares with us via the WhatsApp group. Then the Fazendeiras go to our community kitchen to cook and the teacher keeps track remotely.
And it goes on and we make it happen! It's like the link perpetuates itself. Of course, we cannot work forever with the same people we do at the moment, but look at the possibilities technology has brought to us! Look at the changes! On another point you touched on, talking about the role of the State, I think that the State needs to believe more in the organizations that exist within these territories. We also saw at that time of the pandemic how many organizations, how much the mobilization came from the civil society and it was extremely important in the fight against hunger. It is necessary to create more contact between organizations from all the territories etc. To bring it to the schools. I feel this great lack of technology, especially in public schools.
Today, if we see a child, even from a periphery, regardless of where this child lives, 3, 4 years old, already knows how to use a mobile phone better than a person with 30, 40 years. We need to be aligned with these changes. And we can align, also to talk about environmental issues and climate change. We need to use the tools that technology offers for these social changes. Technology does impact our society greatly. It is very interesting because this influence of digital tools doesn't happen only in the processes it allows.
But the very change such as working from home or homeschooling can greatly alter the dynamics of the city, reducing, for example, the commuting movement from the outskirts to the city centre on a daily basis. In the case of Rio de Janeiro, 70% of the population of the metropolitan region spends hours and hours commuting. In that tension between the forces that can help or hinder the future of the cities, this would be a very interesting possibility for us to end up creating more polynucleated cities. We are really coming to the end of our time, so I'm going to ask Ester to ask Silvio one last question, so we can close. If I may, Esther, have your final words now. So, my question to Silvio is: what can we do so that the technology itself can be more distributed? I mentioned the question of the school, I mentioned the question of the territories.
How can we, not only regarding the public authorities but beyond to various other spheres to make people more aware of the impact that technology brings? Trying to look at it with good eyes, instead of negatively like many still do. And I wanted to know: how do we increase the use, to advance so people know and work more with technology? Look, Ester and everybody. There is one thing that is key that is to understand what is the role of the great institutions of society. The educational system of any country is where you actually 'program' the country. It's where you create opportunities for people to understand the world. Just to give an idea, from the tens of thousands of schools that Brazil has registered in the Unesco global system, 20% of the Brazilian public schools don't even have internet connectivity, and approximately only 5% of these schools have connectivity in global class.
That is connectivity that allows students within the school to take part in online discussions like the one we are participating in now. There are problems like a video won't play to the others, a video won't broadcast, teachers can't use the schools to send videos to students at home, and so on. The first thing is to set out to make the school an environment for creating skills and abilities and not for providing certificates only... It shouldn't be the school I went to and got a certificate, it has to be the school that I went to and came out with a set of skills and abilities to do something practical, that generates employment. I'm talking about the high school. This school has to generate, at the end of the cycle, competencies and skills that enable the person to work in the areas they have chosen at that stage of their life.
That's also during that time at school that people get to understand the world. So, of course, there needs to be some compensation for those who have already left school so they come to understand the digital world. And what are the possibilities? What are the risks of losing things in there, let's say with an online purchase or online banking? Where is the stuff you need to learn about the world, to study, to redefine your ability to do a particular job? Without solving the school, I don't believe we can effectively solve the country. We need more capable citizens. More capable citizens, in all aspects of their lives, including in understanding and questioning policies that come from schools and that structure people's lives. And by structuring people's lives, structure society.
I'd like to chat for the rest of the day, but unfortunately, we'll have to call it a day. I think a lot has been said, the reflections been made. The idea is that this is also a place where people can propose ideas, especially during the congress week in July. I think we're putting a lot of the ingredients on the table here now, a lot of food for thought. I wanted to say thank you very much to our two guests today, and say that this dialogue continues on the exclusive platform of the Congress. After watching these debates, please come and share your ideas, make your propositions and they will be discussed.
And we will get to July with proposals so that this collective experience can, in fact, transform our cities for the better. Better for one and all, which is very important. Silvio, Ester, thank you very much for your presence. Please a quick farewell to each other and one last lesson from this talk today to everyone, especially the students, the people who will make our cities of tomorrow.
The changes are happening. And as we have observed here, mainly through Silvio's presentation, these changes are accelerated, they are happening in an accelerated manner and we need to keep up with it. We need to have tools in our society and utilize what we have that is technology . For impact on our society, the social impact, we need our architecture students, the urban planners, engineers! You are next in line to build our cities, you are next in line to think about our society! Let you always think about the impact that technology can make on the pedestrian. That you think about these changes that are going to happen, some are going to be accelerated, some are going to be small and happen within a shorter time frame. But we need to engage.
We need to go after it, get involved and go on the quest for these changes. We need to make it happen! We are here today in this debate making it happen, and we wish that you also make it happen, regardless of the territory in which you are acting. Many thanks! I would like to thank you for the invitation to be here and remind especially the students, who are the ones who will build the future, that the future comes from the future. It's not the techniques you are learning today in universities... Learn, learn deeply, but especially learn the fundamentals. It's using the fundamentals and re-interpreting the future in the present that we will change the world. No one is going to change the world by replicating the past in the future.
Excellent, folks! Thank you very much. With these two final thoughts, we come to the end . Lots of inspiration! I wanted to say, Ester, may you be an inspiration to those people who will make our cities of the future. And Silvio, may they listen to you, and may they make education a primary point of this transformation. You two are serving as an inspiration for the change we want to see in the city of tomorrow. Thank you very much! See you next time! Many people believe architects are only into the biggest endeavours.
But Architecture and Urbanism go beyond that! Architectural projects offer accessible solutions according to people's needs. I like living here a lot, living close to everything, it gives me comfort, a well-being, and especially improves my health. When we've purchased this apartment, we were attracted by its low cost. Cozier, well lit, right here, in downtown, this is quite the privilege for all of us.
Today, our house is worth much more than when we bought it. and it never crosses our mind leaving! Here we can "be alive" more than just "live". When Architecture and Urbanism belong to all of us, everything becomes more alive! CAU, Brazilian Architecture and Urbanism Council. Sadly, universities and many of our colleagues here are professors, coordinators, and they don't teach us how to face the issue of reality for most people. But, no one has ever commissioned a university to build popular housing.
Neither one nor a massive popular housing program. Not even popular housing repair, or rebuild, not even close. Structural damage, cracks on the wall, this and that, nope. So, you kind of learn how to sew for the middle class. Period. That's an issue.
The don't teach us how to survive in slums Those of us who go to or live in slums, we busted our butts off, right? Today they kind of approach it. That's cool!