Duque de Caxias is a concrete jungle. The city on the outskirts of another larger city, namely Rio de Janeiro, has seen huge population growth - and with that an explosion in industry and urbanization that has swallowed up mangroves, wetlands and parts of Brazil's tropical Atlantic Forest. That's affecting the climate there. Around 40 percent of the city is under threat from floods and landslides. In January 2013, thanks to poor urban planning, mudslides devastated Xerem, a district of Duque de Caxias. Now city planners are rethinking their strategy. Architect Mario Vieira is placing the city's urban ecological retreats under protection while prioritizing ecosystems and blocking new building projects when necessary. In Duque de Caxias, nature's value is being recognized, an approach that has made the city a pioneer in Brazil.
A film by Philipp Barth