Tales of an Urban Forest: Multispecies Alliances in Morro de Babilônia, Rio de Janeiro, 1995-2020

with Lise Sedrez

Participant(s)  Lise Sedrez

A traditional favela of Rio de Janeiro, Morro da Babilônia hosts a poor and mostly Black community with a view to one of the most striking postcards of Brazil, Copacabana Beach, which is very vulnerable to landslides. Since 1995, residents have worked on a reforestation project which has improved the area’s biodiversity, microclimate and fostered community building. Oral history shows how the experience of urban forestry has changed the identity and the memory of the residents as a community. Their response to environmental risk fits into a larger toolkit of strategies of survival to cope with inequality, violence and real estate speculation.

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