Congratulations to Maria Ottoni, recipient of the TR&D Achievement Award.
Informal settlements located on rivers’ edges in impoverished Brazilian urban peripheries, such as the Roncador River region in the city of Duque de Caxias, have been increasingly suffering from the effects of more intense urban floods. In the context of a degraded urban watershed precariously inhabited by informal settlements, how to provoke a transformation toward a more sustainable way of living, entailing the river rehabilitation while enhancing the community’s capacity to adapt to floods and improve their lives on a long-term basis? The Aquatecture approach, as a non-defensive nature-based solution, has great potential to restore the river’s environmental qualities, reduce floods and integrate with the building scale, by working with water instead of controlling it. This project proposes the integration of nature-based parks along the Roncador River and within the urban fabric with amphibious evolutionary housing, which allow the residents to safely stay and grow over time in their communities and achieve flood mitigation and adaptation. By applying these adaptive strategies, this project aims to offer an alternative solution for affordable housing in floodplains to empower vulnerable communities to thrive in a healthier riverscape.