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Better Metropolitan Planning in Brazil

April 2, 2014


The Rio de Janeiro Port.

Tânia Rêgo/ABr.

The grant made a significant contribution to strengthening knowledge and learning on the topic of metropolitan planning within the Rio de Janeiro state Government through support for a state-wide workshop on metropolitan development, the publication and wide distribution of a magazine highlighting key results of the workshop, and a North America study tour for Rio de Janeiro Government officials.


Recent years have brought about new investments in Brazil tied to industrial growth and the global events of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. These large scale transformations have enhanced the need for better metropolitan planning and coordination in Rio de Janeiro and highlight the necessity to increase the knowledge and learning in this area for Brazil’s institutions. The key development challenge addressed by the grant is the metropolitan planning and growth of Brazilian cities, specifically in Rio de Janeiro, and the associated challenges of institutional knowledge, capacity and coordination at the metropolitan scale.


The grant aimed to address these challenges through three main channels intended to expand the knowledge of metropolitan planning practices within the Rio state Government:

(1)    Strengthened metropolitan management and urban strategy, culminating in a conference in Rio de Janeiro. The conference convened international experts and local stakeholders to discuss international case studies and lessons learned for the strengthening of Rio de Janeiro’s metropolitan development strategy;

(2)    Knowledge exchange through a study tour of North American metropolitan regions;

(3)    Knowledge sharing through a consolidated report on lessons learned from the conference and study tour.

The Bank’s ability to bring together diverse stakeholders and experts within Rio de Janeiro as well as key international institutions in metropolitan planning played a key role in enhancing the learning and knowledge within this project. Furthermore, the Bank leveraged ongoing work in Rio de Janeiro, such as the Rio de Janeiro Metropolitan Urban and Housing Development Policy Loan (P122391) and the Strengthening Public Management and Integrated Territorial Development Technical Assistance Project (P126735), to deepen the engagement with the Government of Rio de Janeiro.


The grant financed key activities to support the implementation of an Urban and Metropolitan Management Strategy in Rio de Janeiro, providing opportunities and a platform for knowledge exchange and learning among international practitioners and Government officials. 

In May 2011, the three-day Rio Metropole workshop was held with the participation of high level officials including Rio de Janeiro State Governor.  It brought together various stakeholders from academia, Government, international experts and civil society to discuss international case studies and lessons learned.  The outcome of the workshop was summarized in a magazine, which was widely disseminated and written in a format accessible to the general public.

Rio de Janeiro Government officials also took a study tour to various cities in North America.  In Vancouver, for example, the officials learned from the city's experience in hosting the 2010 Olympics in terms of planning and infrastructure.  Technical expertise and assistance was also provided in the area of urban planning and housing through the contracting of highly experienced consultancies to advise the respective Government agencies, the State Secretariats of Public Works (SEOBRAS) and Housing (SHE). 

Key results of this grant include preparation of the State Housing Plan (pending final presentation), and a report summarizing recommendations and lessons learned which was delivered to the State Government.  

Bank Group Contribution

Activities were funded through a US$95,000 grant funded by the Spanish Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean (SFLAC) and administered by the World Bank.


Primary partner institutions were the Rio de Janeiro State Secretariat of Works (SEOBRAS) and the Rio de Janeiro State Secretariat of Housing (SEH), as well as the broader administration of the Rio State Government. Activities were fully grant-supported through SFLAC, but leveraged other work being carried out in ongoing Bank projects, including the aforementioned Development Policy Loan and Technical Assistance project.

Moving Forward

The Rio de Janeiro Strengthening Public Management and Integrated Territorial Development Technical Assistance Project (P126735) will continue to build on grant-supported activities through a dedicated component on Strengthening Metropolitan Management (US$16.4 million). Activities under this component, including technical studies, development of urban plans, and institutional capacity strengthening, are designed to enhance integration and coordination among sectors such as urban development, housing, transport, the environment and disaster risk management throughout the metropolitan region. The Project will work with the same state agencies that benefitted from the enhanced knowledge and learning resulting from the grant-supported activities.


Direct beneficiaries include the Government of Rio de Janeiro agencies whose knowledge of best practices in metropolitan planning and growth has been deepened and expanded through participation in grant-supported activities. Other beneficiaries include the general public of metropolitan Rio de Janeiro (a region with a population of 11.8 million) who will benefit from the enhanced knowledge of their Government institutions and practitioners to plan for the growth of the metropolitan region, impacting their lives through the potential for improved management of key sectors such as transport, housing and sanitation. 

11.8 million
population of metropolitan Rio de Janeiro region