Washington, April 29, 2009 - The Cities Alliance has approved a proposal to co-finance a Brazil State of the Cities Report which will provide an analysis of the living conditions of a sample of 400 Brazilian municipalities out of total of more than 5,500.
Brazil has urbanized rapidly over the past few decades. According to a 2000 census, over 80 percent of the population lives in urban areas.
However, much of this urbanization has been unequal; population has grown around state capitals and neighboring municipalities of larger metropolitan areas, while other regions have experienced negative growth rates. The result has been pockets of poverty with increased social exclusion and environmental hazards.
A State of the Cities report will provide the opportunity to analyze the country’s socially diverse urban areas and identify issues for public debate that can be used to reinforce the national urban agenda and policy strategies set by local authorities.
“In Brazil we are faced with several challenges concerning municipal development, together with other key actors,” said Paulo Ziulkoski, President of the National Confederation of Municipalities (CNM). “This project with the Cities Alliance responds to this demand. At the same time, the outcome can be shared with other countries, reinforcing the importance of the decentralization process all around the world.”
After formalizing the approval, Cities Alliance Manager William Cobbett noted: “This has the potential to be an internationally significant report, given the pioneering role of Brazilian cities, and their role in promoting social justice and economic growth”.
The project will be implemented in three phases over an 18-month period. Each phase will last six months. The first phase will identify the sampling criteria for the selected municipalities. During the second phase, a team of technicians and consultants will evaluate the cities. The final phase will focus on writing and disseminating the report.
Four key elements of the living conditions of municipalities will be analyzed in the report:
- Local economic development and the distribution of wealth
- The provision of infrastructure and public services
- The funding of city development
- Public management policies
At the conclusion of the report, it is expected that the following organizations will receive the outcomes listed below:
Mayors’ offices and local governments of the selected municipalities: Technical input needed to support their demands in the National Congress, the Federal Government and other regional and State associations.
Federal Government: The inputs necessary to improve existing urban policies and to help formulate a National Urban Development Policy.
NGOs and research/professional institutes: Inputs required for the drafting of action programmes and for follow-up research agendas.
The State of the Cities Report proposal was submitted by three Brazilian municipal organizations: the Brazilian Association of Municipalities (ABM), the National Confederation of Municipalities, and the National Mayor’s Front (FNP). It was jointly sponsored by Caixa, the Brazilian Ministry of Cities and the World Bank. It also received the support of IADB, an active player in the urban sector in Brazil.
Other urban research and support institutions will be invited to join the initiative. The project execution will be coordinated by the Polis Institute, based in São Paulo.
About Cities Alliance
Cities Alliance is a global partnership of cities and their development partners working to improve the living conditions of urban poor through successful approaches to city development strategies, scaling-up slum upgrading, and sustainable financing strategies. It is managed by a Secretariat located at the World Bank in Washington.
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