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São Paulo CITI Innovation District

Analyzing the network of talent and urban infrastructure and developing an innovation placemaking strategy

São Paulo CITI Innovation District


The São Paulo CITI Innovation District project envisions a comprehensive transformation of the Arco Pinheiros Area into a world-class innovation hub. Its proximity and connection to key institutions, companies, infrastructure, and public amenities such as the University of São Paulo and Institute for Technical Research campuses, Jaguaré Park, two airports, and downtown location set the District up for success, but only if designed intentionally.

By leveraging Aretian’s evidence-based urban design and economic development strategies, the project aims to create a highly efficient, sustainable, and attractive environment for innovation and economic growth. This transformation will include integrating applied research centers, technology transfer hubs, and innovation centers, all designed to foster a vibrant knowledge economy and improve the quality of life for residents.

Aretian Sao Paolo Innovation District - Distance to Amenities

The Challenge

​​São Paulo faces challenges related to urban sprawl, inefficient infrastructure, and a lack of connectivity between research institutions and industry. The city’s organic and random urban growth patterns have led to inefficiencies impacting everyday life, limiting economic growth and innovation potential.

Aretian’s Solution

Aretian’s solution involves developing a fractal urban design model to enhance connectivity, efficiency, and sustainability. This model will create a robust innovation ecosystem by linking research activities with industry needs, optimizing urban infrastructure, and promoting strategic economic diversification. Key components include new urban layouts, strategic zoning, and establishing innovation districts that connect academic research with industrial application.

Aretian Sao Paulo CITI Innovation District Research Networks


  1. Innovation Strategy for the client composed of ten core industries to cluster knowledge-intensive activities and facilitate research-to-industry transfer.

  2. The Aretian Smart Specialization Strategy included detailed mapping of research activities, technology transfer centers, and local economic activities to guide strategic planning within São Paulo

  3. An Urban Design Vision - a fractal metropolis strategy to increase quality of life and achieve universal access to services.

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