When fully built, Bairro Santa Paula will be a real town containing approximately 5,000 units. An urban extension of Campinas, it will consist of six mixed-use neighborhoods and a shared town center. At a later stage, an urban core with frontage along the toll road from Campinas will be developed, accommodating higher density residential, employment, and larger scale retail for Santa Paula and the surrounding communities.
The master plan for Bairro Santa Paula will be the first project in Brazil to demonstrate that the application of New Urbanist principles can produce self-sufficient and vital new communities. From the outset, the developer and the design team were committed to proving that Campinas, rather than becoming just another example of suburban sprawl, could revive the pattern of traditional Brazilian neighborhoods with well defined boundaries, centers, and open space.
The design of Santa Paula combines the pattern of Portuguese colonial towns in Brazil with the planning techniques used by Barry Parker in the beginning of the twentieth century in Jardim America, Alto Da Lapa, and Bella Allianca in Sao Paulo. Santa Paula inherits the fluidity of its street network from the garden suburb planning tradition, while the picturesque terminated vistas, small and irregular blocks, and the variety of civic spaces are urban techniques learned from charming historic towns.
The master plan will balance the need for urban growth with the necessity for environmental sensitivity. Most of the existing trees are preserved, as they represent an irreplaceable attribute of the site. The geometries of the existing straight streets are softened to create a more picturesque character for the neighborhoods. The geometries around the urban areas are more orthogonal to accommodate the higher density building types and become increasingly curvilinear toward the edges of the site. The neighborhoods have distinct centers, which offer plazas, squares, or parks, neighborhood services, and higher density residential. Natural features such as existing trees, lakefront, or floodplain conditions reinforce the neighborhood edges.