Former site of community use The area of what is today the Shitseh was occupied by irregular housing more than 2 decades ago. In the period of Favela Bairro, the City Hall of Rio de Janeiro vacated the houses and destroyed them. However, it did not remove the large amount of debris from the demolition, which associated with the low frequency of garbage collection in Vidigal contributed as a strong incentive for the residents of nearby areas to throw their garbage there. Eight years ago, at the time of greatest degradation, when the old space had accumulated 16 tons of garbage, two of the area’s closest residents, Mauro Quintanilha and Paulo César Almeida, revolted and decided to start cleaning up on their own.
In 2011, Mauro and Paulo intensified their actions and began working with reforestation, recycling and landscaping activities. Then began the production of urban agriculture and the construction of stairs. In 2012, Pedro Henrique de Cristo, new inhabitant of Vidigal recently graduated from Harvard in Public Policy Design, began working with members of the site with a focus on erosion containment, the complementarity of reforestation and urban agriculture, and design. The first result of this partnership was the recognition of the Sitiê as the first Agroforestry of Rio de Janeiro by the Secretary of Environment of the City Hall this same year.
In 2013, now with the team set up between Mauro, Paulo, and Pedro along with the support of the + D architecture studio, led by Pedro and Caroline Shannon de Cristo, Sitiê carried out its long-term planning, its status and organization of its activities thus allowing it to be able to receive seed investment for the salary of the team founders and subsequent regularization of the Park. This investment was a catalyst of the Park’s capacity and allowed the initial and current creators of the Park to take the Site to a new level of performance and recognition. At the end of the same year, in the work season in Medellín with Alejandro Echeverri, pioneer of Social Urbanism, and his team at the URBAM think-tank and studio,
In 2014, the Sitiê also began to function as Digital Agora [AD] – a space for public dialogues and deliberation on community issues – and intensified its design and arts activities through its collective. In February, the community of Sitiê held a dialogue with the former senator and candidate for vice president Marina Silva and residents of the favela and the formal city in his Digital Agora.