Latin American Green City IndexAssessing the environmental performance of Latin America’s major citiesA research project c...
Latin American Green City Index | Contents     Contents004 Expert advisory panel          018 Managing the city as a      ...
Monterrey, Mexico        Guadalajara, Mexico                                 Mexico City, Mexico                    Puebla...
Latin American Green City Index | Expert advisory panel     Expert advisory panelBrunella Boselli                        G...
A panel of global experts in urban environmental sustainability advised the EconomistIntelligence Unit (EIU) in developing...
Latin American Green City Index | Introduction     IntroductionThe challenge of rapid urbanisationL   atin America’s rural...
What the Index measures: Testing commmon perceptions The 17 cities selected for the Latin American Green City Index includ...
Latin American Green City Index | Results     ResultsH    ere are the complete results for the 17 cities in the Latin Amer...
Water                                                                                Air Quality           well           ...
Latin American Green City Index | Overall key findings     Overall key findingsCuritiba: A class apart                    ...
This point comes through clearly when the            al and state governments, “to protect the envi-       on page 12). Fo...
Latin American Green City Index | Overall key findingsmore aware of environmental issues and to con-         example, it c...
area by over 65% between 1990 and 2006 — an           categories. Twelve of the 17 cities had at least      of opposing po...
Latin American Green City Index | Key findings from the categories     Key findings from the caEnergy and CO2             ...
tegories place to motivate households and business to             population densities, where systems are easier       was...
Latin American Green City Index | Key findings from the categoriesWater                                                   ...
Air quality                                           micrograms per cubic metre, are only just under       tain ones thes...
Latin American Green City Index | Managing the city as a ‘living organism’                                                ...
as a ‘living organism’America, and how exactly do informal                  proximity with access. People living in inform...
Latin American Green City Index | Exemplar projects     Exemplar ProjectsEnergy and CO2                                   ...
the project is the diverse methods it employs.                                                                            ...
Latin American Green City Index | Exemplar projectsTransportBus Rapid Transit:                                    and exit...
Ideas from other citieseffort involving initiatives in ten areas. Several of      As a result, the city is trying to make ...
Latin American Green City Index | Exemplar projectsWastePuebla: Turning waste into cash“Green Wallet” is a private initiat...
Water                                                                                                            Ideas fro...
Latin American Green City Index | Exemplar projectsAir qualityThree approaches to emissions:                           Bel...
Ideas from other cities                                                                                                   ...
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities
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Latin American Green City Index: Assessing the environmental performance of Latin America's major cities

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The Latin American Green City Index seeks to measure and assess the environmental performance of 17 major Latin American cities across a range of criteria. This report presents the key findings and highlights from the Index and is intended to provide stakeholders with a unique tool to help Latin American cities learn from each other, in order to better address the common environmental challenges they face.

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  1. 1. Latin American Green City IndexAssessing the environmental performance of Latin America’s major citiesA research project conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by Siemens
  2. 2. Latin American Green City Index | Contents Contents004 Expert advisory panel 018 Managing the city as a 024 Waste ‘living organism’ Puebla: Turning waste into cash006 Introduction An interview with Nicholas You, Belo Horizonte: A win-win urban environmental expert solution for waste pickers008 Results 020 Exemplar projects 025 Water010 Overall key findings 020 Energy and CO2 Porto Alegre: Delivering water São Paulo: Harvesting methane the right way014 Key findings from the to power the city categories 026 Air quality014 Energy and CO2 021 Land use and buildings Three approaches to vehicle014 Land use and buildings Buenos Aires: Setting an example emissions: Quito, Belo Horizonte015 Transport with public buildings and Porto Alegre015 Waste Quito: Any reason to plant a tree Mexico City: Policy pays off016 Water 022 Transport 0016 Sanitation Bus Rapid Transit: From Curitiba 28 Methodology017 Air quality to Bogotá017 Environmental governance Buenos Aires: Bringing it all together2
  3. 3. Monterrey, Mexico Guadalajara, Mexico Mexico City, Mexico Puebla, Mexico Medellín, Colombia Bogotá, Colombia Quito, Ecuador Lima, Peru Brasília, Brazil Belo Horizonte, Brazil Rio de Janeiro, Brazil City portraits São Paulo, Brazil032 Belo Horizonte Curitiba, Brazil036 Bogotá040 Brasília Porto Alegre, Brazil044 Buenos Aires Santiago, Chile048 Curitiba Montevideo, Uruguay Buenos Aires, Argentina052 Guadalajara056 Lima060 Medellín064 Mexico City068 Monterrey072 Montevideo076 Porto Alegre080 Puebla084 Quito088 Rio de Janeiro092 Santiago096 São Paulo 3
  4. 4. Latin American Green City Index | Expert advisory panel Expert advisory panelBrunella Boselli Gordon McGranahan Mary Jane C. Ortega Hiroaki SuzukiStatistician, Regional Develop- Head of Human Settlements Secretary General Lead Urban Specialist and Eco2ment Policy Division, Organisa- Group, International Institute CITYNET Team Leader, Corporatetion for Economic Cooperation for Environment and Develop- Finance Economics and Urbanand Development (OECD) ment Department, World BankBrunella Boselli has been with the Gordon McGranahan currently Mary Jane C. Ortega is the former Hiroaki Suzuki has more than 20regional development policy directs the Human Settlements mayor of the city of San Fernando, years of operational experience indivision of the OECD since 2003. Group at the International Institute Philippines, and served the city the infrastructure sector and publicShe is responsible for regional for Environment and Develop- from 1998 to 2007. She is now the sector at the World Bank. Havingstatistics, and is one of the authors ment. Trained as an economist, he secretary general of CITYNET, a worked in the East Asia and Pacificof the flagship publication “OECD spent the 1990s at the Stockholm network of 119 member cities and Region, as East Asia urban sectorRegions at a Glance”. She has Environment Institute, in charge of NGOs that works to improve living leader and China urban sectorrecently developed the OECD their Urban Environment conditions in human settlements coordinator for the last five years,Metropolitan Database, which Programme. He works on a range in Asia-Pacific. She was the charter he joined the Bank’s Corporatecontains socio-economic data for of urban environmental issues, president of the Solid Waste Finance Economics and Urban82 metropolitan areas, and is with an emphasis on addressing Management Association of the Department in 2009 as lead urbancurrently working on a new OECD poverty and environmental Philippines, and was recently specialist and Eco2 team leader. Heterritorial definition for metropoli- problems in and around the home, elected back to the position of is the main author of “Eco2 cities:tan regions. and how the critical scale of urban president. She was a member of Ecological Cities as Economic Cities” environmental burdens changes as the executive committee of the (www.worldbank.org/eco2). cities become wealthier. Key United Nations Advisory Council publications include: “The Citizens on Local Authorities (UNACLA) at Risk: From Urban Sanitation to from 2000 to 2007. She received Sustainable Cities” and “The rising the UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour tide: Assessing the risks of climate Award in 2000. change and human settlements in low-elevation coastal zones”. He was the convening lead author of the urban systems chapter of the Millennium Ecosystem Assess- ment.4
  5. 5. A panel of global experts in urban environmental sustainability advised the EconomistIntelligence Unit (EIU) in developing the methodology for the Green City Index, includingthe Latin American Green City Index and forthcoming Indexes in other regions.The EIU would like to thank the panel for their time and valuable insight.Pablo Vaggione Sebastian Veit David Wilk Nicholas YouFounder, Design Convergence Senior Climate Economist Climate Change Lead Specia- Chairman, Steering CommitteeUrbanism African Development Bank list, Sustainable Energy and of the World Urban Campaign, Climate Change Unit, Inter- UN-Habitat American Development BankPablo Vaggione is an urban Sebastian Veit is senior climate David Wilk joined the Inter- Nicholas You is chairman of,specialist with over 15 years of economist at the African American Development Bank in amongst others, the Cities andexperience. His cross-sector and Development Bank in Tunis. While early 2001 as an urban environ- Climate Change Commission of themultidisciplinary approach at the organisation he has focused mental senior specialist. His World Future Council, and theprovides cities and actors in urban on green growth strategies in professional experience in Latin Assurance Group of the Urbandevelopment with integrated, Africa and renewable energy America and the Caribbean during Infrastructure Initiative of thestrategic and practical plans to issues. In 2007 he was a consultant the 1990s included a range of World Business Council for Sus-respond to the challenges of to the United Nations Framework management and consulting tainable Development. Aftersustainable urbanisation. He has Convention on Climate Change, activities with the World Bank, running UN-Habitat’s Bestworked in East and South-East and from 2004 to 2007 he was a international organisations and Practices and Local LeadershipAsia, Western Europe, and Latin consultant with the World Bank in consulting firms. His work with Programme for over a decade, heand North America, in the Washington DC. At the World Bank these organisations was in the area was appointed as the seniorpreparation of city development he specialised in energy and water. of land use and environmental policy and strategic planningstrategies, plans for the planning, watershed manage- adviser of the agency. From 2007regeneration of historic urban ment, sustainable urban transport to 2009 he led the developmentareas, and sustainable develop- and environmental assessment of and roll out of UN-Habitat’sment blueprints for new districts. development and infrastructure strategic and institutionalHe provides advice on urban issues projects. management plan. As part of thatto a number of multilateral plan, he was asked in Januaryorganisations, local governments 2009 to spearhead UN-Habitat’sand companies. His work for World Urban Campaign. Upon hisMadrid received in 2007 the World retirement from the UN in JulyLeadership Award. Between 2007 2010, some 50 partners repre-and 2010 he served as the senting public, private and civilSecretary General of the society institutions worldwideInternational Society of City and elected him as chairman of theRegional Planners (ISOCARP), a Campaign’s Steering Committee.professional organization ofplanners from 70 countries. 5
  6. 6. Latin American Green City Index | Introduction IntroductionThe challenge of rapid urbanisationL atin America’s rural environmental chal- lenges, such as Amazonian deforestation,often receive the most attention from the environmental considerations are a major part of this integrated puzzle. To take one example, urban sprawl has put immense pressure on to provide stakeholders with a unique tool to help Latin American cities learn from each other, in order to better address the common environ-media, environmentalists and other observers existing infrastructure, with implications for mental challenges they face. The report is divid-around the world. Although these issues are cer- buildings, public transport, road networks, ed into five parts. First, it examines the overalltainly vital, urban environmental concerns such water quality and access, waste collection, and key findings, including an in-depth look at Curiti-as traffic congestion, land use policies, waste sanitation. The path of least resistance for devel- ba, the regional leader. Second, it examines thedisposal and air quality are more immediate to opment, meanwhile, has often been along key findings from the eight individual categoriesthe majority of Latin America’s residents, simply existing highways, which encourages residents in the Index — energy and CO2, land use andbecause 81% of the population already lives in to use private cars, and contributes to deteriorat- buildings, transport, waste, water, sanitation,cities. According to the United Nations Popula- ing air quality. Environmental governance has air quality and environmental governance.tion Division, Latin America is the most also been affected, as growing cities now strad- Third, the report presents a variety of leadingurbanised region in the developing world. It is dle multiple municipal jurisdictions. best-practice ideas from across the region.already more urbanised than some parts of the The Latin American Green City Index, a research Fourth, it gives a detailed description of thedeveloped world. And the percentage of the project conducted by the Economist Intelligence methodology used to create the Index. Finally,population living in cities in Latin America is Unit, sponsored by Siemens, seeks to measure an in-depth profile for each city outlines its par-expected to rise further. By 2030, the figure will and assess the environmental performance of ticular strengths, weaknesses and ongoing envi-reach 86%, on a par with Western Europe. 17 major Latin American cities across a range of ronmental initiatives. These profiles rightly con- The rapid rise in city populations has had eco- criteria. This report presents the key findings stitute the bulk of the report, because the aim ofnomic, political and social implications, and and highlights from the Index, and is intended the study is to share valuable experience.6
  7. 7. What the Index measures: Testing commmon perceptions The 17 cities selected for the Latin American Green City Index include most major is ranked above average overall. Buenos Aires and Montevideo, however, two pleas- Latin American urban areas. They are both the capital cities of these countries as ant and beautiful cities, perform below average overall. Neither the Index nor these well as certain leading business capitals selected for their size and importance. The common perceptions are wrong — they rely on different information. Perceptions of cities were picked independently rather than relying on requests from city govern- cities are often based on subjective observations about quality of life, including fac- ments to be included, in order to enhance the Index’s credibility and comparability. tors such as beautiful architecture, recreation or cultural institutions. Residents’ envi- Another decisive factor in the selection was the availability of data. ronmental perceptions, unsurprisingly, tend to focus on issues that are highly prob- The methodology, described in detail in a separate section in this report, has been lematic and visible, such as traffic congestion, uncollected waste, or polluted air or developed by the EIU in cooperation with Siemens. It relies on the expertise of both rivers. The Index, on the other hand, measures environmental performance across organisations, a panel of outside experts, and the experience from producing last eight categories — energy and CO2, land use and buildings, transport, waste, water, year’s European Green City Index. One of the great strengths of the Latin American sanitation, air quality and environmental governance — and gives equal weighting to Green City Index is the breadth of information it uses. There are 31 individual indica- each. The Index also evaluates policies, which are a reflection of cities’ commitment tors for each city, and these indicators are often based on multiple data points. Value to reducing their future environmental impact. Often it takes the public many years to also comes from how the Index is presented. Each city is assessed in eight categories recognise the effects of new policies. An example is Mexico City. The city is almost cer- and placed within a performance band to indicate its relative results. The process is tainly better known for its air quality weaknesses than its strengths in transport poli- transparent, consistent, replicable, and reveals sources of best practice. cies, let alone its advanced eco-building policies; and therefore some might expect it Some of the Index results, on first glance, may be surprising. São Paulo, for exam- to perform badly overall. The Index, however, because of what it is measuring, takes a ple, a city with a reputation for chronic traffic congestion and extensive urban sprawl, different perspective. 7
  8. 8. Latin American Green City Index | Results ResultsH ere are the complete results for the 17 cities in the Latin American Green City Index, including the overall results and placements withinthe eight individual categories. The cities were placed in one of five perfor-mance bands, from well below average to well above average.Overall Results well below average above well below average average above average average Guadalajara Buenos Aires Medellín Belo Horizonte Curitiba Lima Montevideo Mexico City Bogotá Monterrey Brasília Porto Alegre Rio de Janeiro Puebla São Paulo Quito SantiagoCategory resultsEnergy and CO2 Transport well below average above well well below average above well below average average above below average average above average average average average Santiago Guadalajara Belo Horizonte Bogotá São Paulo Brasília Guadalajara Belo Horizonte Bogotá Santiago Medellín Brasília Curitiba Monterrey Buenos Aires Curitiba Montevideo Buenos Aires Mexico City Porto Alegre Lima Mexico City Porto Alegre Lima Rio de Janeiro Puebla Medellín Quito Puebla Monterrey Montevideo São Paulo Quito Rio de JaneiroLand Use and Buildings Waste well below average above well well below average above well below average average above below average average above average average average average Lima Medellín Brasília Belo Horizonte Brasília Belo Horizonte Guadalajara Bogotá Curitiba Montevideo Quito Buenos Aires Bogotá Buenos Aires Mexico City Monterrey Curitiba Mexico City Lima Rio de Janeiro Porto Alegre Guadalajara Rio de Janeiro Medellín Puebla Monterrey São Paulo Montevideo Quito Porto Alegre Santiago Puebla São Paulo Santiago8
  9. 9. Water Air Quality well below average above well well below average above well below average average above below average average above average average average average Buenos Aires Lima Medellín Belo Horizonte Bogotá Guadalajara Belo Horizonte Curitiba Guadalajara Montevideo Mexico City Bogotá Buenos Aires Porto Alegre Brasília Rio de Janeiro Porto Alegre Brasília Lima Puebla Medellín Puebla Curitiba Mexico City Rio de Janeiro Quito Quito Monterrey Monterrey Santiago Santiago Montevideo São Paulo São PauloSanitation Environmental Governance well below average above well well below average above well below average average above below average average above average average average average Bogotá Belo Horizonte Brasília Medellín Guadalajara Belo Horizonte Buenos Aires Bogotá Mexico City Buenos Aires Porto Alegre Curitiba Lima Medellín Brasília Rio de Janeiro Guadalajara Puebla Monterrey Monterrey Puebla Curitiba Lima Rio de Janeiro Santiago Porto Alegre Quito Montevideo Mexico City São Paulo Santiago Montevideo São Paulo Quito 9
  10. 10. Latin American Green City Index | Overall key findings Overall key findingsCuritiba: A class apart located along the banks of one of the city’s main ronmental issues became as much a part of citi- water sources. The key reason for Curitiba’s out- zens’ identities as it is in cities such as Copen-Curitiba, a long-time sustainability pioneer in standing performance is a long history of taking hagen and Stockholm, which led the Europeanthe region, is the clear leader in the Index. The a holistic approach to the environment, which, Green City Index. Politicians in Curitiba cannotbirthplace of “bus rapid transit” (BRT) and Brazil’s as the Index demonstrates and experts confirm, simply react to immediate environmental crises;first major pedestrian-only street, Curitiba is the is unusual in the rest of the region. As early as the public expects them to look ahead.only city in the Index to rank well above average the 1960s, faced with rapid population growth,overall. It achieves this unique distinction in two city officials implemented proposals to reduce Brazilian cities:individual categories, air quality and waste, and urban sprawl, create pedestrian areas, and pro- Leading the way on policyplaces above average in five others. The city’s vide effective, low-cost rapid transit. The city’senvironmental oversight is consistently strong BRT has since become a model for a number of Five of the six cities that finish above average ortoo, and it also has, with only a few exceptions, Latin American cities. By the 1980s, the urban well above average overall in the Index are fromamong the best policies in each category. Since plan involved integrated initiatives that Brazil — Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Curitiba, Rio de2009, for example, the city’s environmental addressed issues such as the creation of green Janeiro, and São Paulo. Although the cities haveauthority has been conducting an ongoing areas, waste recycling and management, and a very high share of hydropower, which givesstudy on the CO2 absorption rate in Curitiba’s sanitation. This integrated planning allows good them an advantage in their energy and CO2 per-green spaces, as well as evaluating total CO2 performance in one environmental area to cre- formance, on the surface they do not have anyemissions in the city. It is working to relocate ate benefits in others: part of the reason for other particular shared strengths. The perfor-those living in informal settlements to low-cost Curitiba’s well above average placing in air quali- mances of the individual Brazilian cities varyhousing — where sanitation, waste collection, ty is successful public transport, and its perfor- widely within the categories. The best exampleand water are easier to supply. The state water mance in each category is linked to the holistic of this is in the waste category, where Curitiba iscompany operating in Curitiba has also extend- approach. The city’s strategy has received praise well above average and Brasília well below.ed water services and sewerage connections to from experts, including Nicholas You, urban However, there is one overriding asset that isall of the 1,790 households in the informal set- environmental specialist (see interview later in common among the Brazilian cities, includingtlement, “Vila Zumbi dos Palmares”, which is this report). Furthermore, concern about envi- Porto Alegre: strong environmental policies.10
  11. 11. This point comes through clearly when the al and state governments, “to protect the envi- on page 12). For example, average income forquantitative indicators are removed from the ronment and fight pollution in any form”, and Curitiba, which ranked well above average in theanalysis. Five of the six Brazilian cities perform “promote … the improvement of housing and Index overall, is within 15% of the income fig-at least as well, and often significantly better, basic sanitation conditions”. Three years later, in ures for three other cities with widely differingwhen only the policy indicators are assessed. 1991, Rio de Janeiro hosted the first Earth Sum- performances: Rio de Janeiro, at above average;São Paulo, for example, has one of the most mit, and the country created its national Min- Porto Alegre, at average; and Guadalajara at wellrobust climate change action plans in the Index. istry of the Environment. Since then environ- below average. This contrasts sharply with theBelo Horizonte performs well for its eco-build- mental issues have received a growing policy strong link between environmental perfor-ings, water and air quality policies, while Rio priority in Brazilian cities. This does not mean mance and GDP per person found in similar EIUde Janeiro stands out for its clean energy instant, visible solutions to long-standing chal- studies in other regions, including the Europeanpolicies. The exception is Brasília, which drops lenges: many environmental issues can take Green City Index and initial research taking placefrom above average to average overall when decades to address. Nevertheless, it is an indica- in Asia. These studies involve cities with a wideronly policy indicators are taken into account, tion of a stronger, current performance as well income range than in the Latin American Index,largely because it scores very well on certain as an indication of likely future improvements in but that does not explain the absence of a linkquantitative indicators such as the amount of the situation on the ground. between GDP and environmental results: in thewastewater treated, green spaces per person other studies, the correlation is clear even justand average daily concentrations of air pollu- Environmental performance for those cities that fall into Latin America’stion. But even Brasília performs well for regula- and income: The missing link smaller income range.tions on urban sprawl and protecting green in Latin America Latin Americans have not completely sus-spaces. pended the laws of economics, as Professor This common strength comes as no surprise One surprising finding when examining the Roberto Sánchez-Rodríguez, professor at theto experts. Brazilian concern with environmen- overall results is that there is no clear relation- University of California, and an expert on urbantal policy dates back several years. Article 23 of ship between overall environmental perfor- environmental issues, points out. “Richer citiesthe 1988 constitution, for example, granted mance and city income in the Index, defined in have more resources, and with growing incomemunicipalities the power, along with the nation- the Index as average GDP per capita (see chart there is a trend in the population to become 11
  12. 12. Latin American Green City Index | Overall key findingsmore aware of environmental issues and to con- example, it can diminish the city’s environmen- environmental problems. The results of thesider them important,” he says. More income tal performance. In poorer cities that lack basic Index as a whole, however, indicate an unclearcan have the opposite effect in some cases too infrastructure, there is no doubt either that relationship between wealth and environmentalthough. When richer citizens buy more cars, for money would go a long way to solving some performance. This suggests that something else is impeding wealthier cities from using money alone to improve their environmental results.Environmental performance and income: no clear trend One problem at a time: Average city income (US$ GDP per person) by performance band In search of the holistic approach 18,000 Much of the answer to the muted effect of 16,000 income in Latin America lies in how cities have 14,000 responded to rapid population growth and the resulting urban sprawl. The Mexico City metro- 12,000 politan area, for example, went from roughly 11 10,000 million to 18 million people between 1975 and 8,000 2000. Similarly, between 1970 and 1990, São Paulo’s metropolitan area population expanded 6,000 by nearly 90% from 8.1 million to 15.4 million. 4,000 Medium-sized cities are facing less growth in 2,000 absolute numbers, but still very substantial per- 0 centage increases. Medellín has grown by well below average above well overall roughly 16%, to 3.5 million, in the same period. below average average above Urban sprawl has of course followed. For exam- average average ple, UN Habitat reports that Guadalajara grew in12
  13. 13. area by over 65% between 1990 and 2006 — an categories. Twelve of the 17 cities had at least of opposing political parties. Prof Sánchez-average annual rate of 3.2%, or about 1.5 times one above average and one below average cate- Rodríguez explains that bringing these stake-faster than its population was increasing during gory ranking. The others varied between aver- holders together, or even getting them to agreethe same period. As a result, officials are left age and well above or well below. Prof Gilbert has on a common vision for the city, is difficult. As aplaying catch-up. Even in the wealthier cities, also observed this trend. “The difficulty is that result, not only is it harder to go beyond solvingthey tend to fix the most immediate problems they are all doing differently on different crite- immediate, very local problems, but it is alsoonly when there is a strong political demand for ria,” he says. more difficult to access the economic resourcesa solution, rather than to engage in comprehen- Urban sprawl has also put limits on policy of the whole city.sive actions or forward planning. “Until there is options. As detailed below and in the city pro- Looking to the future, the environmentalsome kind of crisis — it could be a political one files, vehicle numbers are having negative challenges for Latin American urban areas willbecause of protests or because an agency can’t effects not just on transportation but on air qual- grow. Experts predict that cities, especiallyprovide a service or runs out of money — envi- ity and greenhouse gas emissions. The sheer medium-sized ones, will increase in populationronmental issues are not high on the list of prior- size of certain Latin American cities has made and area. This new urban space is alreadyities and not much gets done,” says Professor some officials very reluctant to tackle vehicle encroaching on environmentally marginal land.Alan Gilbert of University College London, an usage. In fact, the way cities are arranged has Infrastructure will come under increasing pres-expert on Latin American urbanisation and the fostered economic interests and cultural atti- sure from larger populations and the extremeenvironment. This ad hoc problem-solving tudes highly favourable to the automobile. weather effects of climate change, includingapproach means that certain areas in particular When Bogotá’s mayor introduced a BRT system flooding, droughts and storms. In addition, theget ignored. In practice, he says, this approach some years ago, he faced a taxi driver strike; and growth of cities outside of the formal planningmeans that when it comes to issues like sanita- after he introduced further regulations restrict- framework will also continue. Addressing thesetion, for example, a sewerage system is going to ing automobiles, he was nearly impeached. challenges will require a broad, long-termcome before wastewater treatment. Another consequence of urban sprawl has been vision, and it is the intention of this report to pro- This ad hoc approach becomes clear in that many larger cities have now grown to cover vide examples of strategies and best practicesanother surprising finding in the Index — the several municipal jurisdictions, with the differ- that will help cities adopt a long-term broadwide variety of city performances across Index ent local governments sometimes in the hands vision for environmental sustainability. 13
  14. 14. Latin American Green City Index | Key findings from the categories Key findings from the caEnergy and CO2 addressing other areas such as energy, build- harder to guard existing urban green spaces ings, or waste. rather than create new ones. They do less well,The energy and CO2 category only takes into ‘ Only seven of 17 environmental depart- however, on creating environmentally friendlyaccount emissions from electricity consump- ments have energy issues within their environ- buildings. Widespread population growth maytion, due to a lack of reliable data on the overall mental remit, and just ten have climate change. be an influence in both cases. Urban sprawl,energy consumption per city. Because of this, Sometimes overlapping jurisdiction is the rea- especially informal settlements, makes protec-Latin American cities in the Index tend to score son. In Mexico, for example, the state govern- tion of green spaces a political imperative, butwell on CO2 emissions, since many rely heavily ments guide most environmental policy at the the need to house so many makes tough build-on hydropower. This advantage, however, municipal level. ing standards problematic.seems to reduce their focus on emissions reduc- ‘ Often those cities with the most renewable ‘ Policies on green spaces are widespread. Alltion policies. energy tend to have the weakest climate change 17 cities have at least some kind of protection of‘ Nine of 17 cities derive more than 80% of policies. Of the nine cities with over 80% renew- green spaces and environmentally sensitivetheir electrical energy from renewable sources. able energy, only three score better than aver- areas, and all but one make some attempt toSão Paulo for example relies entirely on age in this Index category. São Paulo’s perfor- stop urban sprawl.hydropower and has no greenhouse gas emis- mance, on the other hand, comes from ‘ The continuing growth of these cities, in-sions from electricity production at all, con- combining renewable energy with strong clean cluding the frequent encroachment of informaltributing to its well above average performance energy policies and a robust climate change settlements into environmentally sensitivein this category. action plan. areas, however, suggests that such poli-‘ Conversely, four of the cities have no climate cies, while necessary, may not always be effec-change action plan at all. The plans of five others Land use and buildings tive.cover greenhouse gas emissions from only a sin- ‘ Only nine cites have full or partial eco-build-gle specific activity, such as transport, without The Index suggests that Latin American cities try ing standards. Just five have full regulations in14
  15. 15. tegories place to motivate households and business to population densities, where systems are easier waste, and for eight cities the figure is 100%. lower their energy use. to establish and more cost effective, tend to The overall average for all 17 cities is 96%. The ‘ Only four fully promote citizen awareness on have longer networks. Yet only eight cities in the apparent near universality of waste collection ways to improve the energy-efficiency of build- Index have fully comprehensive mass transit suggests that, in at least many cases, waste gen- ings. policies or well integrated pricing. erated by residents of informal settlements does ‘ Climate change action plans address energy ‘ Policies to reduce the number of cars on the not appear in these figures. Nevertheless, cities and emissions issues in buildings in just five cities. road are rare. Just two cities have park and ride do well in collecting waste from recognised dis- schemes. None currently has carpooling lanes. tricts. Transport Only Santiago, rated well above average in this ‘ Waste generated per person, at an Index category, has a congestion charge. average of 465 kg per year, is noticeably lower Many Latin American cities have successfully set ‘ Comprehensive public transport networks than the figure in last year’s European Green City up extensive public transport systems. However, are only part of the solution to reducing reliance Index, at 511 kg per year. they have not performed as well on the more on cars. Index figures indicate that the number ‘ Once past the provision of basic waste collec- sensitive challenge of getting people out of their of vehicles per person in a city goes up with tion, a divide opens up. Most cities have only cars. But those efforts are necessary to address income per capita, independent of the quality or partial industrial or hazardous waste disposal the region’s deeply entrenched culture of indi- size of the public transport system. strategies or illegal waste-disposal monitoring. vidual transportation. ‘ The city portraits show wide variations when ‘ Cost considerations have shaped the region’s Waste it comes to recycling. Some cities, including the public transport networks. Notably, Curitiba category leader, Curitiba, have extensive, effec- gave birth to “bus rapid transit” (BRT) systems, The cities in the Index do well on the essentials tive recycling systems. In some other cases, and most cities now either have them or are of waste disposal. According to official data, though, although programmes exist, these are building them. In addition, cities with higher fourteen cities collect and dispose over 95% of basic and minimal. 15
  16. 16. Latin American Green City Index | Key findings from the categoriesWater exhortation and water meters, which are pre- the ocean has less political impact than neigh-The region’s cities generally take water quality sent in 13 of 17 cities, more concrete efficiency bourhoods without services.very seriously. They pay somewhat less atten- steps are rare. ‘ On average 94% of residents in cities in thetion to maintaining water infrastructure, ‘ Leakage, on the other hand, is high, at an Index have access to sanitation, and for 13 citiesbecause it may be possible to overlook some average of 35%. Surprisingly, city leakage rates the figure is over 90%. Although the high pro-problems as long as residents get clean water. do not correlate at all with GDP per capita and portion may leave out some in informal settle-‘ Ninety-eight percent of residents of cities in therefore, presumably, infrastructure budgets. It ments, it reflects concerted efforts to connectthe Index have access to potable water. This may is possible that the high figures reflect unregu- most households, often including those innot include residents of informal settlements in lated water use by residents of informal settle- recognised and unrecognised areas.some cases, but typically water companies have ments. Also, with a few notable exceptions, ‘ Wastewater treatment, on the other hand, isbeen active in extending service to such areas. most Index cities do not face high levels of water very poor. On average only 52% of wastewater is‘ Adoption and monitoring of water quality stress, so leakage may not be perceived as a treated, and eight of 17 cities treat less than halfpolicies and standards are widespread. pressing issue. their water. Two treat none.‘ The region also does well on efficiency. Cities ‘ Only five cities have evaluated sanitation asin the Index consume on average 264 litres per Sanitation part of a baseline environmental review in theperson per day, which is low compared to the last five years. This means it is the environmen-European average of 288 litres per person per The region sees a sharp division between the tal area in the Index that receives the least offi-day. In some cities this low consumption is provision of sanitation services and what cial examination.because of supply constraints. In others, years of authorities do with the wastewater once collect- ‘ Part of the problem is that wastewater treat-encouraging conservation are bearing fruit. ed. While lack of access to sanitation is a social ment can be expensive. Medellín is the only citySuch efforts are common, and every city and political issue, as well as an environmental ranked well above average on sanitation, and itengages in them to some degree. But beyond one, wastewater being pumped into rivers and has invested heavily over the last 15 years.16
  17. 17. Air quality micrograms per cubic metre, are only just under tain ones these policies may be too constrained the WHO level of 50 micrograms. Seven cities by other departments or overlapping jurisdic-Latin American cities recognise their all too obvi- exceed this figure. Only five of the 17 cities meet tions to be truly effective.ous air quality problems and have active policies all three WHO guidelines. ‘ All cities have environmental departmentsto address them. Nevertheless, the car culture ‘ Index cities take the issue seriously through and involve stakeholders at least to some extentremains an ongoing difficulty. policies. All monitor their air quality, and codes in decision-making on projects with major envi-‘ The region does relatively well on sulphur and air quality promotion in some form are also ronmental impacts. Most also provide access todioxide levels — the main source of which is universal. information through a central point.typically fossil fuel combustion for power sta- ‘ Many Index cities face specific topographic ‘ Only 11 of 17 of these environmental depart-tions, notably coal. The average daily mean in or climatic challenges that make it more difficult ments, though, have the full capacity to imple-the Index cities, 11 micrograms per cubic metre, to improve air quality. ment their own policies. Just nine monitor andis about half the World Health Organisation’s ‘ As the city profiles show, however, the big publish results on environmental performance(WHO) guideline maximum of 20 micrograms. problem for many cities is vehicle traffic. Those every three years, and four have not completedNitrogen dioxide, however, more generally asso- with strong policies on car and truck emissions baseline environmental reviews.ciated with burning fuel in internal combustion testing or the promotion of public transport ‘ Limits also exist on what certain depart-engines, notably in cars, is a very serious issue. tend to do better. Curitiba is ranked well above ments can do. Just seven monitor energy con-The average level in the Index, at 38 micrograms average, and its BRT system is often cited as a sumption in their cities and only 10 have climateper cubic metre, comes worryingly close to the reason for its better air quality. change in their remits.WHO maximum of 40 micrograms. This is a fig- ‘ The city portraits suggest that part of theure that eight cities equal or exceed. Particulate Environmental governance problem is the fractured state of governance inmatter — with multiple sources, including road many cities, with power divided among differ-dust and industrial processes — tells a similar The cities in the Index have formal environmen- ent levels of government, different municipali-story. The average daily concentrations, at 48 tal governance structures in place, but for cer- ties, or both. 17
  18. 18. Latin American Green City Index | Managing the city as a ‘living organism’ Managing the city An interview with Nicholas You, urban environmental expertThe path to greener cities, says Nicholas You, requires rethinking how we manage them. Holistic planningtoo often suffers from a sector-by-sector approach across competing jurisdictions, and policymakers failto see the city as a single entity. Mr You is chairman of the Steering Committee of UN-Habitat’s WorldUrban Campaign, a platform for private and public organisations to share sustainable urban policies andtools. He also leads several other global sustainable development initiatives, and served on the expertpanel that advised the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on the methodology for the Latin AmericanGreen City Index. He spoke to the EIU about the results of the Index, the difficulty of measuring theenvironmental impact of informal settlements and the necessity to administer cities as “living organisms”.The Index results seem to show that of local authorities, and overlapping jurisdic- to be doing: namely top-down, long-term urbanmost Latin American cities address tions. But there is one key issue: who is planning.environmental issues on a case-by-case responsible for doing what? This is a pervasivebasis, often in response to a crisis. The problem throughout much of the world. Informal settlements clearly affect a city’snotable exception is Curitiba, which was Everybody is responsible for a slice of the environmental footprint. Yet by theirthe only one of 17 cities to place well problem — such as water, energy and transport nature, informal settlements are not wellabove average overall in the Index. — but nobody controls the bigger picture. covered by statistics. For that reason theWhat is preventing other cities from Service providers work in splendid isolation, Economist Intelligence Unit could notcomprehensively addressing environ- which is inimical to the holistic approach include data about informal settlements inmental challenges? required to make our cities more sustainable. the Latin American Green City Index in aThere are several obstacles, including short- You mention Curitiba. Many would argue that way that was methodologically sound.term politics versus long-term planning, Curitiba is an example of a city that has been How might this affect the overall envi-decentralisation and the lack of empowerment doing for decades what all cities are supposed ronmental picture of cities in Latin18
  19. 19. as a ‘living organism’America, and how exactly do informal proximity with access. People living in informal We discussed Curitiba as a good examplesettlements affect the environmental settlements may literally be living next door to of top-down, long-term urban planning.performance of a city? water supply, sewerage and garbage collection How can planning in other cities beInformal settlements are, by definition, services, or for that matter to schools and improved?unsustainable. They represent a high degree of hospitals, yet not have access to these services. For many years I headed a best practicesocial and economic exclusion. One of Latin initiative at UN-Habitat, and we found literallyAmerica’s most advanced thinkers of his time, Can we identify any common hundreds of examples of innovations, newMilton Santos, said that poverty is the worst approaches in the way cities are models, new technologies. The single biggestform of pollution. Informal settlements are addressing the challenge of informal question I had to ask myself all the time was,living proof that we are not planning our cities settlements? ‘Why aren’t these best practices becoming thewell. I believe that we are beginning to see an norm?’ The only answer I came up with is that emerging pattern which favours upgrading the lessons from best practices are not being fedOften cities report high levels of access to informal settlements, as opposed to removal into policymaking at the highest level. Theybasic services, such as potable water, and demolition. Slums are communities with remain isolated initiatives that might inspire awaste collection and sanitation, when the their own social, cultural and economic few other cities, but they don’t necessarily havesituation on the ground may be very networks. A lot of the reason why people don’t an impact on public policy, and therefore don’tdifferent because of the presence of move from the informal settlement is because, get replicated at scale. We need to realise thereinformal settlements. What are the in terms of location, they are ideal, with access is a lot of innovation out there. How can weimplications for trying to get an accurate to jobs, or services they would otherwise have systematically document these stories andpicture through data? to pay considerably more for. Most slums record the lessons learned, and provide aIf you are looking at indicators, such as water started their life located on the margins of the feedback mechanism directly into policy?consumption per capita or waste generation per city. Over time, with rapid growth, the slum The World Urban Campaign is working on ancapita, and leave out informal settlements, actually finds itself located in the middle of the initiative to get cities to tell their stories under ayou’re leaving out part of the picture. The water city. Removal or relocation is also asking people new perspective of “living practices”. What arecompany has a remit, and the sewage company to move from a neighbourhood where they you doing today to tackle tomorrow’shas a remit, and their remits do not typically have lived a good part of their life, if not their challenges? What innovations are being tested,include informal settlements. They rightly say whole life. what new tools are being developed?“100% coverage”, while the city as a whole maydrop down to 70% access. Since the Green City What kinds of upgrades are cities In general, what are the most importantIndex is comparative within a region, that is, undertaking? steps that cities in Latin America and thecomparing Latin American cities with each Upgrading takes place on several fronts— rest of the world have to take to becomeother, the distortion won’t be that serious. If we hooking the settlement into the infrastructure more environmentally sustainable?compare across regions, we have to be a little grid, and providing waste collection, water, and We have to take planning seriously. I don’t meanmore careful. sanitation. There is also an issue of tenure. Most ‘sectoral’ planning, where each sector—water, of the time an informal settlement remains energy, waste, sanitation—plans independent-What are the objectives of UN-Habitat with informal because it is not clear who owns or has ly. We must look at the city or the metro regionrespect to improving statistics on informal the right to the land. The service provider, the as a whole. Competing jurisdictions are one ofsettlements? water or sewerage company, for example, are the biggest enemies to sustainable urbanisa-UN-Habitat has been trying to show that the very reluctant to put in infrastructure if tenure is tion. You have metropolitan areas cutting acrossmethods being used do not provide an accurate not clear. many jurisdictions, with several planningpicture of what is happening when it comes to commissions and independent serviceinformal settlements. It will take years to What incentives do cities have to providers. You could be busy trying to greenchange the way statistical offices work and upgrade rather than remove the settle- your city, but half of the population thatcensus data is taken. The statistical issue is, how ments? depends on your city may live in the suburbsdo you gradually refine techniques so these The cities that are trying to play a proactive role and fall under a different governmentalproblems are not overlooked. When data is realise that globalisation is affecting everyone, structure; and these governments are busydisaggregated, for example, at the household or everywhere. They can become victims of building the next shopping mall, the next golfneighbourhood level, which UN-Habitat has globalisation, or get some of the benefits. The course, the next exburb. The city is a livingbeen doing for some time, we begin to see proactive cities realise you can’t have high organism that needs to be managed as a singleanother picture of reality. A common syndrome, percentages of your population socially entity, and just like any living organism, it needsfor example, is that we often confound excluded and expect to be a global city. to develop holistically. 19
  20. 20. Latin American Green City Index | Exemplar projects Exemplar ProjectsEnergy and CO2 Ideas from other citiesSão Paulo: Harvesting methane to The benefits do not stop at cutting emissions.power the city The initiative qualifies as a “clean development Belo Horizonte is a leader in solar energy in mechanism” under the Kyoto Protocol, a pro- Brazil, with about 12 times the volume of solarMany cities are generating electricity from the gramme which offers carbon credits for emis- collectors per person compared to the country asmethane that arises from landfills, but São sion reduction projects. The credits are equiva- a whole, according to city officials. Its new foot-Paulo’s efforts in this area stand out among Latin lent to 1 tonne of CO2, which can be traded, sold ball stadium, being built for the upcoming WorldAmerican cities. The city recently closed two of or used to meet carbon emission reduction tar- Cup in 2014, will have panels that generateits largest landfills, Bandeirantes in 2007, and gets in other countries. São Paulo splits the car- enough energy for its own operations. On daysSão João in 2009. bon credits from the project with its partner with no games, the power will be sold to the lo- Rather than let methane from the decaying company, and the city has been selling its share cal electricity company.material add to greenhouse gas emissions, the to raise money for other projects. It participated The biggest hydroelectric project in Colombia iscity contracted with a private company to cap- in the first-ever spot market auction on a regu- being built near Medellín. The city-owned utili-ture the gas at the former landfills and burn it to lated exchange in 2008, and made US$36 mil- ty, Empresas Públicas de Medellín, is leading thegenerate electricity. The two sites have a joint lion in that year alone. The city is using much of construction of the 2.4 gigawatt HidroItuangocapacity of 46 megawatts, which makes it one of the money to improve the neighbourhoods project. It will have eight generators, and isthe largest methane harvesting initiatives in the around the landfills. In 2009, for example, it scheduled to start operations in 2018. The build-world. The two projects are expected to cut car- opened two leisure areas, totalling 9,200 square ing consortium has already begun a series ofbon emissions by about 11 million tons through metres, which included playgrounds, walking consultations with community leaders on envi-2012. paths and community space. ronmental and social issues related to the pro- ject, which the contract requires. Curitiba is studying the carbon absorption rates of its green spaces, as part of a draft plan to limit the city’s overall emissions.20
  21. 21. the project is the diverse methods it employs. Programme officials have not imposed a single, all-encompassing plan. Rather, they have coop- erated with numerous departments and institu- tions throughout Quito, in addition to their own direct efforts. One specific city-run initiative included lining Quito’s grand avenues with trees. The latest high visibility city initiative is to employ city workers and volunteers to replant 300,000 trees lost in forest fires during summer 2009. In 2006, the city ran a tree-planting com- petition with neighbourhood groups in 145 dis- tricts. The “My Neighbourhood is Dressed in Trees” competition led to the planting and main- tenance of 140,000 trees. Although about one quarter of the trees died from reasons ranging from a lack of mainte- nance to cars crashing into them, the pro- gramme has seen steady progress. By 2008 the equivalent of 5,000 hectares had been reforest- ed, although some of these were planted in sur- rounding rural areas. The programme demon- strates that encouraging a wide range of institutions and individuals to simply get trees in the ground and let nature take its course can have environmental and aesthetic benefits.Land use and buildings Ideas from other citiesBuenos Aires: Setting an example to monitor consumption in every governmentwith public buildings building. Rio de Janeiro is creating new cycle lanes and Officials started with city buildings because green spaces, including developing a green corri-In 2008 Buenos Aires launched a programme they are often large, and can achieve substantial dor lined by 11,000 trees, as part of a largerthat aims to dramatically reduce energy con- savings quickly. They also set an example for the US$202 million project to revitalise its port in thesumption in 100 public buildings. The “Energy private sector. The city’s environmental depart- historic city centre. The “Marvellous Port” projectEfficiency Programme in Public Buildings” tar- ment is starting work on legislation that will will also refurbish decaying historical buildings,gets energy reductions of 20% from 2007 levels impose energy efficiency measures on private and improve transport access and sanitation ser-by the end of 2012, and is expected to eliminate sector buildings. Another of the programme’s vices.5,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. Officials goals is to create energy-efficiency guides for To increase its green spaces, Santiago plans tostarted small but intend to expand rapidly. By households, businesses and industry. have private developers transform 3,900early this year, they had thoroughly audited five hectares of city area into public parks and greenbuildings — two offices, two hospitals and a Quito: Any reason to plant a tree spaces in exchange for accessing another 5,700school — and developed individually tailored hectares for building development.energy reduction plans for each. The first audit, 2001 report for Quito’s municipal government São Paulo passed a law in 2009 requiring thatfor example, examined energy use in the office concluded that the city had 9,000 hectares of all new municipal buildings meet energy-effi-used by Argentina’s Environmental Protection urban tree cover, but recommended doubling ciency standards and that existing buildings beAgency, which is supporting the programme. this amount in order to reap a range of environ- retrofitted with technology to mitigate their envi-The audit found the potential to reduce overall mental benefits. Studies suggest that tree cover ronmental impact.energy consumption by 30%, including reduc- absorbs air pollution, reduces energy consump-ing the energy consumed by computers by 55%. tion by providing shade, and can improve waterThe audits will be used as best practice examples conservation by limiting rainwater run-off. As ato extend the programme to 31 more buildings result, Quito created its “Forestation and Refor-over the course of 2010. In late 2009 the city estation Project”, and by 2008, the programmegovernment bolstered the programme by man- had led to the planting of about 6 million trees,dating the appointment of an energy manager mostly native species. The unique strength of 21
  22. 22. Latin American Green City Index | Exemplar projectsTransportBus Rapid Transit: and exit times. The city has also integrated its allowed it to sell carbon credits under the KyotoFrom Curitiba to Bogotá urban planning with the system so that develop- Protocol. This has earned the city an estimated ment occurs along the BRT corridors, which US$100 to US$300 million, according to theCuritiba’s bus network is among the most influ- means the network is easily accessible for a large “New York Times”. The system is by no meansential in the world. Dating back to the mid- percentage of residents. perfect — it suffers from frequent over-crowd-1960s, the network centerpiece is the six-line Curitiba grew along with its BRT network, but ing — but it is at least affordable for residents in“bus rapid transit” (BRT) service, comprising long Bogotá’s BRT — “Transmilenio” — has shown a relatively low-income city. Similar networksand articulated buses that run on 72 km of dedi- how well the system can be adapted to an exist- have been implemented in seven other cities incated roads extending in spoke patterns from the ing city. The city opened Transmilenio in 2000 the Index, and are planned in several furthercity centre. The BRT is the backbone of Curitiba’s and at 84 km today, it is still growing. Nine lines cities throughout Latin America.transit system, which includes several thousand use dedicated lanes in the middle of some of thekilometers of routes and carries 1.8 million riders city’s largest avenues. In 2009, the Transmilenio Buenos Aires:per day. The BRT operates very much like a metro carried an average of 1.6 million riders per day, Bringing it all togethersystem. and it has cut journey times by a third. As part of Passengers pay to enter one of the more than the programme, the city replaced the previous Buenos Aires’s “Plan for Sustainable Mobility” is350 stations specially designed to reduce entry network of smaller, more polluting buses, which addressing city transport through an integrated22
  23. 23. Ideas from other citieseffort involving initiatives in ten areas. Several of As a result, the city is trying to make cycling Santiago is expanding its metro system. It isthese involve significant infrastructure improve- safe. By the end of 2010, 100 km of new bicycle well on the way to finishing a 14 km extension toments. paths should be open in the city centre. Buenos one line, and is planning a sixth line that will cov- Introducing BRT lines on key routes has cut Aires is also creating more bicycle parking er 15 km and 12 new stations. The new line istravel times by 10% to 25%, although in some places, and plans to launch a public bicycle designed to improve the metro’s integration withcases by up to two thirds. Meanwhile, adopting rental system this year. The municipality is also rail and bus networks.articulated buses and hybrid vehicles on some offering its 120,000 employees subsidised loans On the weekends, Quito limits entry to the cityroutes will cut carbon consumption. to buy bicycles, in the hope that this will set an centre to pedestrians and bicycles. The city is also hoping to get at least 5% of example for private companies. With Metrocable, Medellín has used cable carsthe city’s commuters, roughly 300,000 people, The programme has also increased the num- to integrate various impoverished sections of theto use bicycles, about six times the current level. ber of pedestrian areas, and has widened foot- city and informal settlements with the main pub-Safety concerns are the main challenge to this paths to make walking easier. For those who lic transportation networks.effort, however. In a survey, roughly 60% of resi- remain in their vehicles, the city has installed Mexico City has a compulsory transportationdents said that they would use bicycle paths, but more modern traffic lights that react to chang- system for children going to school, reducing thehalf said that safety was their top priority when ing traffic conditions, and can even change the number of trips by parents in private cars.riding. direction of lanes if necessary. 23
  24. 24. Latin American Green City Index | Exemplar projectsWastePuebla: Turning waste into cash“Green Wallet” is a private initiative to promoterecycling in Puebla. Members join the schemeand receive a debit card. They get one “peco”, anelectronic credit, for every kilogram of wastethey bring to depots located throughout the city,at schools, universities, and convenience stores.Members also get more credits for electronicwaste, depending on the item. Merchants whosponsor the scheme accept the credits in theirshops. The goods and services available rangefrom children’s clothing and books, constructionsupplies, movie tickets, and mobile phone air Ideas from other citiestime. Several merchants also give discounts sim-ply for having a membership card. ASMARE, into the waste collection system. The The project was introduced in early 2010 and city gave the association access to dedicated To ensure proper waste disposal in informal set-by August 2010 it had collected 22 tonnes of recycling points, a sorting centre, and trucks to tlements, Curitiba has a “Purchase of Garbage”solid and electronic waste. This may seem small transport material to recycling plants. The asso- programme. Residents receive food baskets in ex-compared to the estimated 819,000 tonnes that ciation divides the profits from bringing materi- change for bringing 8-10 kg of waste to centralthe municipality produces annually, but is an als to the recycling plants between members. collection points, and their neighbourhood asso-impressive beginning for a private initiative. The Since then the scheme has grown, and waste ciation receives money for community services.organisation also looks set to grow, with plans to pickers now run collection services for compa- The initiative collects about 6,800 tonnes ofbegin collecting organic waste in the future and nies and households. The association helps waste each year.to begin similar projects in the surrounding process about 450 tonnes of rubbish each São Paulo’s “Ecopoint” initiative tries to stop resi-region soon. Eventually it hopes to open fran- month, bringing the city substantial savings, dents from illegally dumping large waste itemschises throughout Mexico. even after it pays a subsidy and management on city streets. The city has established free, cen- fees to the association. tral collection points for waste too large to fit inBelo Horizonte: A win-win solution The scheme not only has a major environ- residential bins, such as old furniture, tree limbs,for waste pickers mental impact but also provides substantial eco- and construction waste. In the first six months of nomic and social benefits for the waste pickers. 2010, the city says it collected 57,400 cubic me-Waste pickers, people who rummage through The association now has 380 members and its tres of waste that would otherwise have beenwaste looking for recyclable items, are common activities employ some 1,500 people, almost all left on the streets.in many Latin American cities, and often face of whom were previously homeless. Non-gov- Santiago is working with four charities to en-lifelong social marginalisation and poor health. ernmental organizations have been brought in courage community participation in recycling.After years of public hostility to waste pickers, to give literacy training for members, and voca- Residents deposit materials at one of 39 centralBelo Horizonte took a different approach, tional training for their children. The association collection points. The charities earn money forimproving their quality of life and waste collec- provides help with life and health insurance, collecting and transferring the materials to recy-tion in the city at the same time. makes agreements with local pharmacies for cling plants. In 1993, the city entered a formal agreement low-cost medicine, and organises day careto integrate the local waste pickers association, places for children under 6 years old.24
  25. 25. Water Ideas from other citiesPorto Alegre: munity groups in informal settlements. The cityDelivering water the right way gives residents a chance to legally connect their Buenos Aires intends to have water meters in- houses to the water system, and pay a “social stalled for all customers as part of a plan to reducePorto Alegre’s “Right Water” programme helps rate” of US$5 per month for up to 10,000 litres consumption by 40% by 2012.people in informal settlements access water of water, which saves up to 40% over the stan- Sabesp, the statewide water company in Sãolegally, reduces system leaks and encourages dard charge. In addition, the water bill is often Paulo, has a comprehensive programme to moni-conservation. Without a right to residency many residents’ only formal proof of residence, which tor leaks and illegal connections. They have in-of those in informal settlements cannot legally helps integrate residents into the city’s econo- creased the number of inspectors, which led to theconnect their homes to the water system. The my. The programme also educates residents detection of 12,000 illegal connections betweenresulting illegal connections, in addition to los- about the importance of clean water and January and July 2010, representing 70% of the to-ing revenue for the city, tend to be leak prone, responsible water use. In the first three years of tal number of illegal connections detected the pre-and can lead to contamination in the legal water operation, the programme helped 15,000 fami- vious year. The volume of water lost through thesesupply. lies, and the rate of unpaid water bills in informal connections was almost 2.5 billion litres. The com- The city’s water company, DMAE, started the settlements dropped from 64% to 27%, leading pany also has technology that helps it monitor all ofprogramme in 2005 in cooperation with com- to an overall citywide reduction from 14% to 9%. the water in the system, spotting major leaks quick- ly and forecasting water consumption levels based on outdoor temperatures. In addition, Sabesp runs public awareness campaigns to help residents iden- tify water leakages and water waste in their homes. Monterrey has reduced leakages in its water sys- tem from an estimated 32% in 1998 to 21% by 2008, through a comprehensive programme includ- ing checking and replacing valves, upgrading pipes, installing pressure gauges and household meters, leak detection and eliminating illegal connections. 25
  26. 26. Latin American Green City Index | Exemplar projectsAir qualityThree approaches to emissions: Belo Horizonte and Porto Alegre have Index performance only tells part of the story.Quito, Belo Horizonte launched roadside inspections of diesel vehi- There is much to learn from Mexico City’sand Porto Alegre cles, which often produce the most pollution. remarkable, ongoing efforts. Belo Horizonte’s programme, called “Oxygen In 1992 the United Nations said Mexico CityVehicle exhaust is a significant air quality chal- Operations”, includes random checks on some had the most polluted air on the planet. Every-lenge for many Latin American cities, and they of the roughly 120,000 diesel vehicles in the thing about the city, then and now, seems toare addressing the problem in different ways, city. Officials fine vehicle owners who fail the impede improvement. It has a booming popula-ranging from requiring annual tests to conduct- tests, and they have the power to remove the tion and a rising number of cars. The city’s highing random spot checks on the roadside. In vehicle from the road. Porto Alegre, on the other altitude makes combustion less efficient, and2003, Quito was one of the first cities in the hand, publicly announces where it will locate the surrounding mountains create frequentregion to implement a strict vehicle monitoring checkpoints. Even with this transparency, 42% atmospheric inversions, which trap smog overpolicy. Private vehicles must pass an annual of vehicles checked in the first part of 2007 were the city. The city’s response since 1992 has beenemissions test, and buses and taxis are subject in violation of pollution standards, and were focused and comprehensive, with a series ofto testing every two years. If vehicles fail the charged an average fine of about US$70. clean air strategies that borrow from global besttests, owners must pay for the necessary repairs practice and build on the city’s previous efforts.or risk losing their registration permit. Driving Mexico City: Policy pays off The policies have all involved various initiativeswithout a permit can lead to heavy fines. The across a range of fields, recognising that air pol-municipality estimates that levels of carbon It may seem strange to highlight air quality lution is a social challenge in addition to a tech-monoxide in the city have dropped 25% to 30% efforts in Mexico City, a city that performs below nological one.since the programme was implemented. average in the Index for this category, but the The original policy, which lasted from 1990 to26
  27. 27. Ideas from other cities Curitiba requires emissions audits at factories every four years. Facilities that do not meet stan-1995, combined 42 individual initiatives, and the through the 2002-10 period. For the smallest dards face fines, and the state can close downlatest, PROAIRE III, which lasted from 2002 to this particulate matter, PM2.5, the corresponding any that fail twice.year, has 89. These include the reduction of in- declines are 13% and 23% since records began in Santiago has a longstanding policy of usingdustrial and automobile emissions, urban sprawl 2004. Carbon monoxide is down noticeably and, trees along streets and in parks specifically to re-containment, policy integration, education pro- even for pollutants where the average has duce levels of particulate matter in the air. Agrammes and communicating risks to the public. stayed stable, maximum figures have tended to 2008 study in the Journal of Environmental Man- While Mexico City still performs relatively show an improvement. agement found that this strategy costs aroundpoorly compared with other cities in the region Although the city has seen definite progress, US$8,000 for every 1 tonne reduction in sus-for levels of the three air pollutants measured in it recognises there is still a long way to go. To pended air particles. This was cheaper than sev-the Index — nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide that end, the city has launched PROAIRE IV for eral types of conversion to cleaner fossil fuels.and particulate matter — there have been 2011-2020. As part of the preparation, the city In 2008, an air quality monitoring station was setimpressive reductions of these and other pollu- has a web page inviting experts and the public to up to measure pollution in the vicinity oftants in the air since the 1990s and early 2000s. suggest strategies for improving air quality. Montevideo’s La Teja refinery. It is part of a pro-By 2002, airborne lead was no longer an issue, There is no quick fix, but Mexico City’s decades- ject called ARPEL/CIDA, which is supported by theand the average level of sulphur dioxide was long efforts are showing that comprehensive regional organisation of gas and petroleum in-one-sixth that of the early 1990s. approaches, and openness to the best ideas, can dustries and the Canadian Development Agency. PROAIRE III has focussed in particular on make a huge difference. The goal is to evaluate refinery emissions to im-ozone and particulate matter. Average levels of prove the refinery’s efficiency and surroundingozone, for example, have dropped by about 20% air quality.and average daily maximum levels by 28% 27

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