21 December 2018

Technical Cooperation Brazil Forum – The transition to a more inclusive mobility and the construction of a new urban culture in Brazil

In the past few decades, cities seek a new, more ecological and with less GEE emissions way of development. To do so, cities are subject to big organizational changes. The commitments taken during COP21 in Paris by many countries, including Brazil, to fight climate change, besides demanding fast and efficient actions by the city leaders, increase awareness and encourage citizens behaviour changes, who are looking for a more sustainable environment today and for future generations.

In Brazil, the infrastructures investment decrease and the governance and the public policy planning difficulties set a real “urban crisis”, in relation to this period of uncertainty which many global cities have to deal with regarding which way they should follow.

Urban mobility is one of the main points in sustainable development debates, because it is simultaneously the outcome and the driving force of city organization and urban culture. An outcome, because long trips happen, among other thing, due to difficulties in land planning which public authorities must tackle, pulling away more and more inhabitants from activities and business districts. And a driving force, because, adopting a new urban mobility management strategy, favouring walking and biking, a quality and more inclusive public transportation, it’s possible to rebuild a more pleasant and desirable city, with better quality of life, and mitigating negative impacts in climate.

In the past few years, we see that brazilian public authorities are more interested about cleaner modes of transportation and systems that are better integrated with the city. Moreover, we can notice the citizens desire in being able to interact with the city, encouraging “living together” culture on public spaces, these ones integrated to transportation equipment. And yet, we find some consideration on turning public transportation fairer and more attractive to all social classes.

In this context and as part of the technical cooperation, “The transition to a more inclusive mobility and the construction of a new urban culture in Brazil” Forum took place on December 6th in São Paulo, and on December 7th in Rio de Janeiro, in order to highlight numerous experiences whose goal is to build more desirables cities and the cooperation was able to witness in Brazil.

Forum in São Paulo. ©CODATU

In the program, the participants could watch speeches from São Paulo and Rio authorities and technicians, France Embassy, the Ministry for Ecological and Solidary Transition of France and Bordeaux Métropole. The discussions were very fruitful thanks to the multiplicity of represented institutions, such as municipalities (Curitiba, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Teresina, Fortaleza, Manaus, Belo Horizonte, among others), transport operators, development agencies, NGOs, consultants, research and academic institutions.

Opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro. ©Henrique Freire

The presentations allowed to capitalize the advances in terms of the implementation of trams systems, urban transportations governance and multimodal stations transformation.

Tramway: a driving force of urban revitalization

During the first session, tramway projects under development (Niterói, Guarulhos, Pavuna-Arco Metropolitano) and others already implemented (Rio de Janeiro, Baixada Santista, Bordeaux) were presented. An interesting discussion took place among the speakers as existing tramway systems, their assets and difficulties, can inspire the other cities whose projects are in the beginning.

Guarulhos presentation by the Mayor Guti. ©Jair Haleplian Pires

Urban transportation management and fare

Teresina, Baixada Santista and the Secretary of Metropolitan Transports of São Paulo presented their initiatives for enhancing governance, planning and fare policy of urban transport.

Teresina presentation. ©CODATU

New generation stations as city boosters

The last panel were dedicated to projects of multimodal station transformation and surroundings redevelopment. The speakers discussed about Palmeiras-Barra Funda (SP) and Central do Brasil (RJ) projects, as well as Queimados (RJ) metropolitan trains station. Furthermore, Fortaleza shared the latest actions held by the municipality in terms of mobility and urbanism, in order to reorganize city’s public spaces.

Palmeiras-Barra Funda station study presentation. ©CODATU

Finally, other individual presentations occurred: