Revivier Centro


Revivier Centro

Mismatches Vacant housing
Policies and regulations National policies Local policies Planning Global frameworks Public-private initiatives
Urban Design Services and infrastructure Environments
Promotion and production Public-private partnerships

Main objectives of the project

Reviver Centro is a comprehensive revitalization initiative aimed at the central region of Rio de Janeiro, focusing on urban, cultural, social, and economic rejuvenation. Its primary aim is to draw in new residents by leveraging the abundance of vacant buildings and land that have remained unused for decades in an area rich in infrastructure and cultural heritage. Additionally, the project involves the establishment of new green spaces, promotion of sustainable urban mobility, and activation of public areas through artistic interventions. However, one of the foremost hurdles lies in addressing housing issues. Here, their initiative on generating affordable housing while using the land available in the center is the biggest innovation.


  • 2021: Implementation


  • Rio Metropolitan Government


Continent: South America
Country/Region: Brazil, Rio de Janeiro


Amidst the global discussions prompted by the pandemic, which transformed many cities into virtual ghost towns, Rio de Janeiro embarked on a transformative journey with the Reviver Centro project to reshape its metropolitan landscape post-COVID-19. Focused on addressing the desolation of Rio's Central Business District, severely impacted by business closures, resident exodus, and the absence of daily workers, the initiative aims to lure people and enterprises back to the historic heart of the city.

Employing a distinctive mechanism of land-value capture through the transfer of development rights, the city offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to acquire prime areas in Rio by building and/or retrofitting residential units. In other words, developers that build on the central part of the city or allow the city with new land can, then, built on other more lucrative parts of the city above the preestablished limits. Basically, in exchange for buildings in the Center, the real estate market will receive the right to pay to build above the standard established by law in neighborhoods in the South and North Zones, such as Copacabana, Ipanema, Tijuca and Méier. The money paid by developers becomes the fund to finance the urbanization of the center. This innovative approach generates funds and new land and buildings to develop crucial infrastructure projects, including active transport networks, the city's inaugural affordable housing program, offering subsidized rental options for low-income residents, and green infrastructure initiatives. In a span of just ten months, 1,317 residential units across 18 buildings have been licensed, raising approximately R $2.2 million.

In terms of the housing initiatives that could be develope with the scheme, Rio has implemented two main programs: the Social Rental program and the Self-Management Program. The Social Rental program, established under the Municipality's Housing Policy, aims to produce and offer rental properties, attracting residents to activate the residential character of the Center. It leverages existing vacant properties and forms a rental immobilization park while providing mediation, legal, and technical assistance to facilitate formal contracts between owners and eligible tenants. Prioritizing access for individuals working in the central region but not residing there, the program promotes housing diversity, catering to marginalized communities such as families led by women, black, indigenous, LGBTQI+ populations, and social minorities.

The Self-Management Program, on the other hand, strives to ensure decent housing access for the low-income populace through participatory processes. It emphasizes specialized technical aid, support for social technical work, environmentally sustainable project development, and encourages collective housing unit living. Authorized by the Municipality, non-profit entities can participate in architectural design and social housing development in areas designated for the Social Interest Housing policy or funded through municipal collections.

With Revivier Centro, Rio has tackled the issue of empty buildings and voids in the center, while gaining financial resources to enhance social housing schemes. An integral approach to change the city center with affordable options.