Latin America’s largest indoor boating show aims to raise awareness of the city’s rivers

An initiative that aims to raise awareness and public opinion about the benefits of recovering urban rivers is the message at this year’s São Paulo Boat Show, which opens tomorrow.

Created in 2011 by the organisers of Latin America’s biggest indoor boat show, the ‘For a Navigable City’ campaign is designed to inspire society to avoid littering the streets and polluting the water.

This is the fourth edition of the ‘For a Navigable City’ campaign. In the first and second editions, in September 2011 and 2012 respectively, the project highlighted a race between a speedboat on the Tietê River and a car on Marginal Avenue (one of the main avenues into São Paulo) during rush-hour. As expected, the speedboat did not complete the course due to the amount of trash that was caught by the engines in the first few minutes.

In the third edition, held in September 2014, an amphibious bus took several former athletes who participated in rowing and swimming competitions on the Tietê River in the 1940s, when the population could enjoy practicing sports in the river, back to see how it had changed.

The fourth edition, held on September 12, invited the population for a ’navigation experience’ on Pinheiros River. There were two tours conducted on the river with a boat provided by the São Paulo Boat Show. They were similar to tours in cities like Paris, London and others that have their rivers and canals cleaned.

“Without the help of the population, any river recovery project will always be jeopardised,” says Ernani Paciornik, publisher of Naútica magazine and organiser of the Sao Paulo Boat Show. “Places such as London, Korea, France and Buenos Aires, which have been successful or are in the process of de-polluting their main rivers, integrate the population into them.” 

The 2019 São Paulo Boat Show opens tomorrow and runs until September 24.