EMBARQ Brazil strengthens partnership with city of São José dos Campos
On December 12, 2013, EMBARQ Brazil hosted “On the Way to an Urban Mobility Plan,” in São José dos Campos, the seventh largest city in the state of São Paulo, boasting a population of 674,000 inhabitants. The event aimed to build the capacity of the city’s technical team tasked with preparing a sustainable urban mobility plan. The initiative is in line with Brazil’s national goal of having all cities with over 20,000 inhabitants establish an urban mobility plan by 2015, as outlined in the country’s Growth Acceleration Program, or PAC (Programa de Aceleração de Crescimento). EMBARQ Brazil’s “From PAC to Plan” initiative supports medium-sized cities across Brazil as they leverage PAC funding to develop sustainable urban mobility plans.
“Urban mobility is what connects the elements that make up a city”
Roughly 90 people attended the urban mobility workshop in São José dos Campos, which was jointly promoted by EMBARQ Brazil, the city government, and the Instituto de Pesquisa, Administração e Planejamento (Institute of Research, Administration and Planning [IPPLAN]). The day began with presentations by São José dos Campos Mayor Carlinhos Almeida; the Municipal Secretary of Transportation, Wagner Balieiro; the Municipal Secretary of Urban Planning, Emmanuel Antonio dos Santos; IPPLAN representative, Soraya de Paula Rosário; and Director of EMBARQ Brazil, Luis Antonio Lindau. Mayor Almeida shared his vision on the importance of urban mobility and city’s partnership with EMBARQ Brazil:
"The city is a live organism, everything is interconnected, and the success of a community depends on its ability to deal with all these integrated elements,” he said. “Urban mobility is what connects the elements that make up a city. We need innovative solutions to mobility problems, and knowledge is a key factor. That’s why working with EMBARQ Brazil is so important."
Lindau’s presentation highlighted the relation between urban mobility, sustainability, and their role in creating a successful plan for the city:
"Transportation shapes cities. To discuss the use of road space, which is essential, we must realize that discouraging the use of cars is different from banning it all together,” he explained. “The key point is to distribute space evenly among different modes, considering the amount of people that each mode caters to. The only way that a city can meet the needs of its entire population is through a single, integrated, multimodal and structured system.”
Participants develop mobility scenario guidelines
The workshop engaged all attendees through a group dynamic that gathered feedback on the road ahead for developing the city’s urban mobility plan. Employing the World Café methodology, participants were divided into groups to list priorities categorized by eight themes: pedestrians and cyclists, public spaces and new urbanization, public transport, private vehicles, road systems, citizen engagement, urban freight transportation, and taxis.
Through this collaborative collection and elaboration on ideas for each area that should be addressed in the plan, attendees gained a deeper insight regarding essential steps for the development of a mobility plan, and jointly defined a vision of mobility guidelines tailored specifically to São José dos Campos. By providing an open forum for brainstorming ideas and gathering feedback regarding the city’s urban mobility plan, EMBARQ Brazil is helping ensure the success of a plan that will be appropriate and effective in São José dos Campos.
EMBARQ Brazil signs MoU with mayor of São José dos Campos
In addition to the workshop, São José dos Campos and EMBARQ Brazil formally sealed their partnership by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). EMBARQ Brazil’s previous work in São José dos Campos involved steering the city towards a cost-effective bus rapid transit (BRT) system instead of light rail. This past success and the new MoU set the foundation for continued collaboration and partnership between the city and EMBARQ Brazil.
For more information about EMBARQ Brazil’s work on helping cities develop urban mobility plans, see the center’s website.