AVSI at Rio+20: “The human being: the core of a sustainable city”

altAVSI Side Event on the Sustainable City

Education, employment and social inclusion of new generations are crucial components for sustainable cities. The focus on the development of each single person, his/her family and community is key to foster the active protagonism of city dwellers, their associations and institutions, which, along with the private sector, are essential for city planning and development.

How to face this challenge? A side event at the Rio+20 conference organized by AVSI and its partners provided some answers in the form of case studies and lessons learned. You can find updates on how the dialogue unfolded here!

Organizing Partners:alt

- Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate General for Development Cooperation (DGCS)
- Ministry of Cities of Brazil
- Municipality of Maputo, Mozambique
- Cities Alliance
- EXPO 2015, www.expo2015.org, Italy

- Meeting for Friendship Amongst Peoples, www.meetingrimini.org, Italy
- CDM – Cooperação para o Desenvolvimento e Morada Humana, www.cdm.org.br, Brazil
- CESAL, www.cesal.org, Spain

This side event will discuss the methodology used in AVSI urban development projects in partnership with the Brazilian Ministry of Cities, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cities Alliance, now extending to Maputo, Mozambique, through a tri-lateral program; and also to Quito, Ecuador, through collaboration with CESAL.

Some key points of the methodology:

  • Human resources: the person and his/her basic needs is the focal point of every urban planning, urban policy and upgrading project. All the infrastructures related to water & sanitation, energy, transportation and basic social services have to be planned and maintained to respond to people’s needs. In a holistic approach on city development, the person has to be regarded within his/her personal relationships, which are mainly the family and the community.

  • Role of local communities and institutions: local communities and social networks are crucial for the sustainability of cities because they are the expression of the tradition and the fabric which ties the city together.

  • Youth education and employment: among the basic services, targeted education and formation should be given priority and should facilitate the transition to work. The mobilization of young people’s potential through mentoring toward the discovery of the value of work and of life is the way to achieve sustainable development. The essential role of a multi-stakeholder partnership (private sector, non-profit organizations, and public sector) cannot be emphasized enough.


Historical Background

Cooperation on urban development began between Italy and Brazil in the 1980s and soon opened to include multilateral actors.

In 1994 the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and AVSI partnered with the State of Bahia in implementing the Novos Alagados project in the city of Salvador, with the involvement of the World Bank.

Starting in 2000, AVSI, Italy and Cities Alliance, through the partnership with the Government of Bahia, carried out a progressive scaling up of the Novos Alagados method into a program that reached 135,000 people: the Ribeira Azul project.

In 2005, a new phase with the same partners began in the Program of Technical Assistance to Brazilian Institutions (PAT). With it, the urban upgrading intervention has reached the statewide level (Bahia State). The PAT provided technical assistance under the Ministry of Cities, and now supports the Ministry in the definition of urban policies, including those surrounding the integration of informal settlements.

At present, this methodology is being extended to the trilateral program (Italy-Brazil-Mozambique) started in 2011, which aims to transfer knowledge and expertise on urban development from Bahia to Maputo, with AVSI as the implementing partner under the leadership of the Municipality of Maputo.

Read more:

Publication on Alagados Upgrading (English)

Publication on Alagados Upgrading (Portuguese)

Download the Side Event Flyer (pdf)