Brazil aims to build the world’s biggest urban garden by 2024

The city of Rio de Janeiro is working with local favelas to build what organizers say will be the biggest urban garden in the world as part of a government-funded initiative known as “Hortas Cariocas,” intended to popularize the consumption of organic produce and provide a source of income to disadvantaged families.

Once completed, the urban garden will span several surrounding favelas connected by a green strip of land alongside the Madureira Mestre Monarco Park, located in the north zone of the city, including the communities of Cajueiro, Palmeirinha, Serrinha, Buriti, and Faz-Quem-Quer. The green corridor will be formed between the communities of Madureira and Guadalupe. When the expansion is finished, the garden will be as large as 15 soccer fields.

Up to 100,000 families will eventually benefit from the project every month, according to Julio Cesar Barros, the founder of Hortas Cariocas and director of agroecology organic gardening for Rio de Janeiro’s municipal environment agency.

Making organic food more affordable and accessible is one of the main drivers of the project, Barros said. “The result of our project is not to have a beautiful garden,” Barros said. “A beautiful garden is a consequence of our work. The result of our production is to see how many plates of food we are able to serve.”

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