Brazilian gardens in historical perspective: Notes on the origins, functions, and design of Recife’s squares / Jardins brasileiros em perspectiva histórica: Notas sobre as origens, as funções e o projeto das praças do Recife

Aline de Figueirôa SILVA


This text investigates Brazilian public gardens considering their origins, functions, and design in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. In particular, it examines the garden squares built in the city of Recife, taking into account their relationship with pre-existing urban spaces and surrounding buildings as well as the role of vegetation, walkways, water features, sculptures, and furnishings. Thus, the text is divided into four parts. First, it presents the context of the development of public gardens in Brazilian cities, which included walks, squares, and parks. Second, it discusses the origins of the concept of “square” and its dissemination abroad. Third, it analyzes Recife’s garden squares drawing analogies between them and their European counterparts. In conclusion, it is our intention to cast light on the Brazilian garden culture as well as on the importance of preserving public gardens today due to their historic, cultural, social, and ecological significance, especially considering the high level of urbanization of post-industrial cities.


Gardens. Landscape architecture. History. Nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Brazil.

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