This platform reports on and promotes innovative, collaborative approaches to overcoming poverty and inequity, one of the biggest problems facing cities and communities around the world.

Urban poverty has grown with globalisation and urbanisation, rather than decreased. More people are living in social, economic and environmental vulnerability across the world than ever before. Governments cannot solve these problems alone. They need to work in partnership with communities and with leaders in civil society and the private sector.

Porto Alegre, Brazil

Key collaborative social initiatives in the city of Porto Alegre are reported on through this site. Porto Alegre is the capital of the state of Rio Gran de Sul, the world’s leader in participatory democracy. The city’s unique multi-sectoral approach with vulnerable urban communities has been in development for almost 20 years.

Major social projects began in 2001 with collaboration to prepare the community of Vila Chocolatão to resettle. To uplift the community living in poverty and informality in the centre of the city, the Chocolatão Social Inclusion project was initially instigated by a small group of women in the  community who feared eviction. They demanded proper housing, livelihoods and education of children from the OP, the participatory budgeting system. They were supported by the regional court, TRF4, then City Hall and civil society leaders, who all worked with the community on numerous innovative projects over the 6 years prior to resettlement.

The model and approach which developed with the Chocolatão resettlement was then applied with other vulnerable communities, Vila Santo Andre and Vila Santa Teresinha to improve their living standards and opportunities. Follow this link to our report.

The collaborative network model formed the basis of Resiliente Porto Alegre’s approach to resilience projects (an initiative of 100 Resilient Cities, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation).  It was also central to work across the city to develop formal livelihoods for street pickers, ‘Todo Somos Porto Alegre’.

This collaborative work continues today with POA Solidária, a group of women from civil society and government. This new format marks a change in government but a continuing focus on urban vulnerability and collaboration with civil society and the private sector. It is supported by Prefeito Nelson Marchezan Júnior and Vice-Prefeito Gustavo Bohrer Paim.

Whilst supported by City Hall throughout this long period of time, the approach of multi-sectoral collaboration for vulnerable communities in Porto Alegre is non-partisan. It is based on values of human rights and equality and draws on the resources of the whole community.

In Commemoration

We dedicate this platform to Brazilian leader, Cézar Bussato. A remarkable political and civil leader, Cézar led participatory multi-sector action in Porto Alegre, Brazil to overcome poverty and open doors for social inclusion and citizenship for more than 30 years. Cézar inspired and led much of the work represented here and mentored the leaders who continue the work today.

On 13 August 2018, Cézar Bussato passed away. He was much loved and is sorely missed by many, in Brazil and internationally.

Follow this link to our commemorative article, ‘In honour of Brazil’s leader of participatory governance, Cezar Bussato’.