Brazilian cities seek new paths with Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans
In the face of an increasing trend towards motorization and car ownership in Brazil, President Dilma Rousseff has announced over R$ 50 billion (US$ 21 billion) in federal resources to support urban mobility solutions. These funds contributed to the creation of the National Policy on Urban Mobility, which established principles, guidelines and tools to guide municipalities in developing urban mobility plans. Combined with the R$ 110 billion (US$ 46 billion) in funding from the Programa de Açeleração de Crescimento (Growth Acceleration Program [PAC]), this is the most money ever allocated towards urban mobility in the country’s history.
To help turn these projects from policy to reality, EMBARQ Brazil initiated the “From PAC to Plan” program, which helps mid-size cities develop sustainable urban mobility plans, a requirement to qualify for PAC funding. EMBARQ Brazil has worked to provide relevant information to policy makers as well as develop workshops for local authorities to guide them through the process of implementing sustainable transport solutions.
Legislation requires mobility planning for mid-size cities
Brazil’s PAC legislation requires all cities with over 20,000 inhabitants to incorporate urban mobility planning into their larger development plans in order to receive PAC funding. This will affect over 3,065 cities - which brings both challenges as well as a huge possibility for impact and catalytic change in Brazilian cities.
The law also recommends specific infrastructure solutions to help cities incorporate sustainability goals in to their master plans. Such solutions include creating accessible fares and affordable public transportation, exclusive bus lanes and bike routes, and implementing congestion pricing policies.
EMBARQ Brazil provides technical expertise
EMBARQ Brazil has played an important role in helping Brazil’s cities move forward with their sustainability goals, providing research for policy makers through the fifth edition of its Sensitization Seminar for Policy and Urban Mobility Plan - an event also promoted by the Brazilian Ministry of Cities - in Corumbá, Mato Grosso do Sul. EMBARQ Brazil has also provided training and a collaborative network for city leaders through its ongoing series of From PAC to Plan workshops, most recently held in Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais.
Corumbá: A strong start for sustainability
Recently, Corumbá, which has experienced setbacks in developing public transport infrastructure, has rededicated itself to addressing this need. On February 20, 2014, the city brought together approximately 170 municipal authorities and technicians to discuss the political, economic and social importance of quality public transport.
Four cities hosted previous editions of the Sensitization Seminar for Policy and Urban Mobility, sponsored by Ministry of Cities with EMBARQ Brazil’s support: Campinas, São Paulo; Brasília, Distrito Federal; Parauapebas, Pará; and Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. Curitiba, Paraná will host the sixth seminar on March 11, 2014.
Juiz de Fora: Moving the plan further
Mayor Bruno Siqueira and Luis Antonio Lindau, President and Director of EMBARQ Brazil, hosted a meeting February 19 – 20, 2014 together with other city leaders to craft a sustainable mobility plan for the 500,000 inhabitants of Juiz de Fora. Together with the Municipal Secretary of Transportation and Traffic, Rodrigo Tortoriello, Zé Marcio ‘Garotinho’, Chairman of the Urbanism, Transport and Environment Committee of the City Council, and other city officials, they carved out a firm direction for Juiz de Fora.
Mayor Siqueria expressed in his opening remarks that “high quality public transportation with fair pricing is the only way possible to improve urban mobility” and that he “appreciated the presence of EMBARQ Brazil here in our city to improve, together, Juiz de Fora’s urban mobility.”
Lindau added that it was “satisfying for the EMBARQ Brazil team to be here in Juiz de Fora. The ‘From PAC to Plan’ project designed to meet Brazil’s urban mobility needs is coming to fruition. Our goal here is to spread best practices and build together a sustainable urban mobility plan.”
Municipal Secretary of Transportation and Traffic, Rodrigo Tortoriello, and Zé Marcio ‘Garotinho’, chairman of Urbanism, Transport and Environment Committee of the City Council also attended the program.
The two-day workshop helped to identify risks and opportunities, priority actions, and key actors. According to Secretary Tortoriello, the workshop “shows how complex it is to build the mobility plan within the required deadlines. The work done in these two days has exceeded my expectations, while showing the efforts required and the difficulty in preparing a plan of this size.”
As Juiz de Fora, Corumbá, and other Brazilian cities continue to advance sustainable mobility planning, their efforts stand as an example for growing cities around the world seeking to provide their residents the ability to move freely and safely about their cities.
For more information on From PAC to Plan and sustainable mobility planning, visit www.embarqbrasil.org.