This research aims to analyze the preservation of the Carioca Street from the 1960s to the 1980s in the context of the preservation of the downtown area of Rio de Janeiro, considering the role of the State Institute of Cultural Heritage (INEPAC) and the efforts from the society in the attempt of protecting the street's buildings. The wave of urban renewal in the area has led to constant demolitions over the 20th century, such as the devastations of the Castelo and Santo Antônio hills, and the opening of Central and Presidente Vargas avenues, among others. The project of the Diagonal North-South Avenue, which would require the demolition of several buildings from Carioca Street for its implementation, has led to social mobilization in the purpose of its protection in the 1970s. In 1978, the SARCA - Society of the Friends of Carioca Street's Adjacent Areas -, is organized by the businessmen from this traditional commercial zone, aiming to preserve the street's buildings. Our purpose, therefore, is to discuss the connection between the civil society and cultural heritage during the re-democratization period in Brazil. In that context, the social mobilizations will have an important role, aiming to protect portions of Rio de Janeiro in the lines of urban identity and quality of life. The Carioca Street was legally protected in 1984 under Leonel Brizola's management and has become an important mark of mobilization towards preservation. The same year, an inventory on the street was made under the coordination of Pedro Alcântara and financed by the Roberto Marinho Foundation that has been followed by numerous restoration projects of the buildings of Carioca Street. This project aims to understand the trajectory of the preservation policies on Carioca Street from the social mobilization up to the strategies of intervention and restoration from its buildings after the legal protection.
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