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mai 16, 2017

140 Brazilian mayors sign onto the Sustainable Cities Program

The Sustainable Cities Program held its first meeting in São Paulo in February this year, uniting 140 mayors from cities across Brazil to discuss pathways towards urban sustainability. The program offers a set of indicators and good models of administrative practices to be adopted by the participating cities. 

According to the coordinator of participating project Rede Nossa São Paulo, Américo Sampaio, the program’s agenda is about more than just the environment. “The environmental aspect is one of the elements, but inequality, urban planning, mobility, education - all of this falls under the question of sustainability,” said Sampaio in an interview on Brazilian radio.

Sampaio also says that the program is based in the Model of Clean Development (MDL), a concept that unites social justice and environmental responsibility. “Socially just”, in Sampaio’s words, means combating income concentration, tax corruption, and a lack of access to public services. Meanwhile, “environmentally responsible” goes beyond just reducing pollution, and includes also developing the energy matrix with renewable energies within a structure that guarantees maximum mobility and accessibility.

To break down all of these elements, the program outlines twelve essential pillars: Governance, Common Natural Goods, Equity, Social Justice, and the Culture of Peace, Urban Planning and Design, Sustainability Culture, Local Management, Education and Life Quality, Local Creative Economy, Responsible Consumption and Lifestyle Options, Improving Mobility with Less Traffic, Local Healthcare Actions, and Taking Local Initiatives Global. The program website allows visitors to navigate between the different pillars to see what kinds of projects, agendas, and values are attributed to each category.

The program also awards a “Sustainable Cities Prize” or “Prêmio PCS” to innovative public policies that demonstrate concrete results, based on administrative indicators from diverse sectors. The prize is awarded in each category through a partnership with the Sustainable Cities Program and an organization or institute that works in the sector. 

For São Paulo, Mayor João Doria will integrate these practices into his “Plan of Goals” to be announced on March 31. Eleven other capital cities have also adhered to the program. 

Brazil will also host this year, for the first time, an official round-table between Latin American and Caribbean countries. They will discuss the Rio Declaration on the Environment and Development, the final resulting document of the “Eco92" environmental conference held by the United Nations in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

To learn more about these initiatives, you can visit the program website which also keeps a running update of sustainable projects in the region, as well as around the world.