WRI worked with Brazil’s Ministry of Cities on technical guidelines for Caixa, the Brazilian federal funding agency, which led to $4 billion in investment for 63 high-quality urban mobility projects in 56 Brazilian cities. The guidelines will be applied to transform car-oriented streets into corridors that prioritize non-motorized and public transport, fostering sustainable urban development.

The Challenge

Brazil wants to invest in projects that transform transportation arteries through its Growth Acceleration Program (PAC), but in most cities municipal staff in charge of developing projects lack the necessary training. Likewise, the evaluation of technical standards for Ministry projects is scattered across numerous Caixa municipal offices, where technical staff rarely have the expertise to analyze projects that will shape sustainable urban development in the coming decades.

WRI’s Role

Building on a decade of cooperation with the Ministry of Cities, WRI’s cities team in Brazil was chosen to lead the development of first-of-its-kind guidelines for Caixa, the agency responsible for providing loans and monitoring project implementation, to assess the quality of all urban mobility projects and to target federal funds only to those that meet the guidelines’ criteria. The 107 criteria now consolidated into a Ministry of Cities document are grouped into nine modules that cover issues such as priority bus lanes, sidewalks, bicycle paths and road safety standards.

WRI then piloted the guidelines in four large cities – Florianópolis, Joinville, Juiz de Flora and Pelotas – and offered recommendations that these cities followed to improve their projects. The guidelines were launched at an event co-hosted by the Ministry of Planning and Caixa, and distributed at an event on urban sustainable mobility that drew over 160 people from 40 cities.

The Impact

The guidelines have led to $4 billion in investment in 63 high-quality urban mobility projects in 56 cities and are on track to become mandatory for all new urban transport projects that seek federal funding. The team will refine the guidelines based on feedback from the Ministry of Cities as the projects proceed, helping designers and decision-makers to plan the next generation of urban mobility projects across Brazil.