40 cities convene in São Paulo for seminar on sustainable urban mobility
Providing guidance and disseminating best practices are key to developing more equitable, livable, and productive cities. This was the task assumed by Brazilian cities taking part in the Sustainable Urban Mobility: Practices and Trends seminar, which took place December 2-3, 2014, in São Paulo. Organized by EMBARQ Brasil and WRI Brasil, the event convened 160 people representing 40 medium and large Brazilian cities, including mayors, municipal secretaries, and cities’ technical staff. The event also featured Eduardo Leite, Mayor of Pelotas in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, and Napoleão Bernardes Neto, Mayor of Blumenau in the state of Santa Catarina.
Based on the ideas and cases highlighted in the presentations, the audience discussed the future of urban mobility in Brazil and was able to share challenges and experiences. The seminar was supported by the ALCOA Foundation, LARCI – the Latin America Regional Climate Initiative, SOLUTIONS, FedEx, the British Embassy, the Consulate General of United States in São Paulo, and Volvo.
"EMBARQ Brasil is eager to provide cities with the best national and international experiences, as well as offering insight into new trends. Our goal at this seminar was to present best practices that steer cities towards developing quality and genuinely Brazilian mobility projects," declared Luis Antonio Lindau, Director of EMBARQ Brasil, speaking at the opening session alongside Rachel Biderman, Executive Director of WRI Brasil; Lucia Mendonça Santos, Project Manager in the Urban Mobility Department of the Brazilian Ministry of Cities; Walter Figueiredo De Simoni, Project Manager for LARCI; and Fabio Abdala, Regional Sustainability Manager for ALCOA.
The opening session of the seminar consisted of (from left to right) Fabio Abdala, Walter Figueiredo De Simoni, Luis Antonio Lindau, Rachel Biderman, and Lucia Mendonça. Photo by Mariana Gil/EMBARQ Brasil.
"The adaptability of transport is fundamental in guiding the future of our cities. The sector is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and, thus, to climate change. We also want to call attention to this factor," said Rachel Biderman.
Over the two-day seminar, high-level speakers working to improve quality of life in cities presented their experiences in urban mobility planning, quality of service for bus transport systems, resilience to climate change, smart cities, and sustainable mobility-focused urban development. Speakers included Susanne Boehler-Baedeker, Senior-Consultant of Rupprecht Consult and one of the leaders in developing SUMP (Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans) methodology in Europe through the SOLUTIONS program; Peter Valk, President of Transportation Management Services, a specialist in transport demand management (TDM); Martha Martorelli, Infrastructure Analyst in the Citizenship and Social Inclusion Department at the Ministry of Cities; and Jesse Worker, Associate for WRI’s Access Initiative.
“The seminar was important because it allowed municipalities to interact with the Ministry of Cities, while also receiving fundamental technical support from EMBARQ Brasil that helps us understand the process for urban mobility plan implementation and the use of PAC resources. We were able to ask questions to go forward with these projects and ensure their implementation for the benefit of our communities,” declared Pelotas Mayor Eduardo Leite.
Over 160 people attended the seminar with over 40 cities represented. Photo by Mariana Gil/EMBARQ Brasil.
Five new resources in support of sustainable Brazilian cities
During the seminar, EMBARQ Brasil launched a series of publications (in Portuguese) to help cities develop their sustainable urban mobility plans and improve the quality of service provided by bus systems. The publications are:
- O Passo a Passo para a Construção do Plano de Mobilidade (Step by Step Guide to Developing an Urban Mobility Plan)
- DOTS Cidades – Manual de Desenvolvimento Orientado ao Transporte Sustentável (TOD Cities – Sustainable Transport Oriented Development)
- QualiÔnibus - Pesquisa de Satisfação (Satisfaction Survey)
- QualiÔnibus - Dia Um de Operação (Day One of Operation)
- QualiÔnibus - Segurança em Primeiro Lugar (Safety First)
On the horizon: 10 years of EMBARQ Brasil
The closing session of the Sustainable Urban Mobility: Practices and Trends seminar included the announcement of two events that will celebrate EMBARQ Brasil’s 10th Anniversary in 2015: the Cities of the Future Mayors Summit and the Cities & Transport International Congress. "The leaders and the themes addressed at the events will inspire mayors around the world to plan cities for all, while focused on sustainable development. The stories of city leaders who triumphed over powerful obstacles show that it is possible to promote positive changes in cities. Today's decisions will impact the lives of this and of future generations,” said Rejane Fernandes, Strategic Relations & Development Director for EMBARQ Brasil.
The activities celebrating EMBARQ Brasil’s anniversary will be held in Rio de Janeiro. The Mayors Summit will take place on September 9, 2015 and the Cities & Transport International Congress on September 10 and 11, 2015.