Serra do Mar State Park


Inducter for sustainable tourism development

The Serra do Mar State Park Conservation Unit is the largest portion of Atlantic Forest preserved in Brazil, covering 332,000 hectares. The park comprises of 25 municipalities in São Paulo stretching from the border with Rio de Janeiro to the southern coast of São Paulo

The conservation area covers approximately 312 hectares and is located in the Itutinga-Pilões Nucleus, in between the municipalities of Chavantes and Cubatão. Despite its low population, the park is located approximately 38km from the center of São Paulo, the largest city of Brazil.

The center of Itutinga-Pilões has a strong historical character. Its history in tightly linked to the development of the municipality of São Paulo. Since 1560, the park has been used as a connecting route between the coast and the plateau. In 1972, the Council for the Defense of the Historical Heritage of the State of São Paulo (CONDEPHAAT) designated the 9 historic monuments present in the park as heritage.

The park has great potential to generate economic and social benefits and to become an inducter for sustainable tourism development and economic strengthening of the region.

The project included a Business Plan for the International Competition for the Concession of Use of Public Goods in the Caminhos do Mar area, contained in the Serra do Mar State Park.

The objective of the Public Use Concession is to delegate the investments, conservation, operation and maintenance in the private sector in exchange for the economic benefit. The concession also serves to improve the quality of services offered to visitors such as food, commerce and pubic activities such as ecotourism and visits to historic monuments.

The project sought to structure the public use of Caminhos do Mar with proposed infrastructure and supporting services for visitors, while improving and diversifying the attractions offered. The proposed interventions were presented with dimensions and specifications of uses and equipment, as well as the cost of implementation and operation.

For the identification of potentials, the Management Plan was analyzed, which outlines the rules in regards to uses, interventions and activities permitted within the Conservation Unit

In order to structure the public use of the park and diversify the attractions offered to visitors, the visitation is organized into 6 nuclei. Each of them has unique characteristics and takes advantage of their environmental, cultural, social and historical attributes.

The park is organized into: Access Center, with visitation control; Central Nucleus, where the arrival plaza that distributes the flow of visitors is located; Nucleus of the Dam, which explores the landscape and the hydraulic potential of the Rio das Pedra Resevoir; Trail Nucleus, that offers immersion in nature; and the Historic Center, where the historic monuments along the Estrada Velha de Santos are located.

For connecting the proposed nuclei, the implementation of many different modes of transport was considered for internal mobility in Caminhos do Mar, which include land transport, water transport, and cable car, allowing different experiences for the visitor.

The development of the Business Plan consisted of four steps: area diagnostic, analysis of environmental impact, preliminary masterplan and an economic and financial feasibility study.

The diagnostic covers the analysis of the urban, environmental and historical contexts, a survey of public use and visitation and the analysis of the concession notice issued by the Government of the State of São Paulo. The analysis of environmental risks identified sources of pressure, environmental constraints, occurrences registered by the civil defense, the risks established in the concession contract model and the undertakings and projects that impact the concession.

The masterplan presented the vision of the future for the development of the park, defining the flow of visits to the nuclei, the matrix of activities, the placement and sizing of interventions and the cost of investments and the operation of the Concession.

The economic and financial feasibility study evaluated the result of the Caminhos do Mar Concession, with the aim of demonstrating the economic and financial viability of the project. The minimum foreseen investments from the contract draft were considered, as well as conservation, operation and maintenance costs for the Concession area, in addition to the detailing of possible revenues from new tourist attractions.