The project comes as a response to the Brazilian government's request for support in strengthening participation in the preparation of Municipal Plans (Plan Director) and to consider environmental issues more closely in urban planning. All Brazilian municipalities with 50,000 or more inhabitants will have to complete or revise their Municipal Plan by October 2006. The project will allow developing tools that will support the implementation of the Federal planning policies as defined in the "Statute of the City". The project supports four demonstration cities -Beberibe-CE, Maraba-PA, Piranhas-AL and Quirinopolis-GO - with the objective of strengthening urban environment planning and management. It is expected to achieve this objective by reinforcing local capacities in conducting participatory urban environment evaluation through the preparation of GEO City Reports. These Reports will offer common information.
The Programme's main activities focus on: (i) strengthening local capacities for developing participatory diagnoses and urban-environmental action plans; (ii) improving the quality of the processes of elaboration and implementation of the Municipal Plans, with emphasis in sustainability; (iii) integrating, adapting and validating tools developed by UNEP, UN-HABITAT and national partners to better respond to municipality needs and contexts; (iv) establishing national mechanisms for technical support and capacity-building; (v) incorporating lessons of local experiences in developing political and normative national frameworks. The activities being held so far are devoted to the selection of the demonstration cities and the establishment of project agreements with the Federal Government and participating cities. The tools to be used in this project have been reviewed and complementarities have been clarified to define a common harmonised approach.
- An institutional/national framework was designed defining the main guidelines for the project.
- Four municipalities were chosen as a result of a combination of several criteria jointly defined by the project partners.
- Potential local teams have been identified. They will be responsible at the local level to develop the urban environment planning and management process.
- National technical support institutions have been identified. They will be responsible for capacity- building activities for local partners (local team and local technical support institutions) and they will provide technical support during the whole process.
- Local technical support institutions have been identified.