Supporting Brazil’s National Agenda for Sustainable Urban Development

Project description

Title: Support to the National Agenda for Sustainable Urban Development in Brazil
Commissioned by: Federal German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMU), Federal German Ministry of the Interior and Community (BMI)​​​​​​​
Country: Brazil
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Regional Development (MDR) and Ministry of the Environment (MMA)
Overall term: 2017 to 2022


In recent years, Brazil has undergone rapid urbanisation. As shown in the 2010 census, the degree of urbanisation has reached 85 per cent. Cities are also accountable for the largest part of economic activities. Currently, the highest urban growth rates are concentrated in medium and small cities.

Urban growth challenges administrative and planning structures. Problems include inadequate technical infrastructure within transport, sanitation, and solid waste management, and a lack of public and community facilities. All these factors contribute to social disparity and environmental issues. Informal settlements (favelas) total around 45 million inhabitants, who live mostly in precarious circumstances. Moreover, climate change has led to a larger number of extreme weather events, such as floods, landslides and droughts.

The main challenge is to improve urban planning and management tools, including urban regulation. Solutions must address the more efficient and climate-friendly use of natural resources, adapt spaces to climate change and ensure ecosystem services for municipalities are effective. Furthermore, cooperation and closer coordination between all levels of public administration must be developed.



The implementation of coordinated strategies for sustainable urban development, including strategies for mitigation and adaptation to climate change, on the federal, state, and municipal levels are improved.


The project aims to support the implementation of strategies for adapting urban development to the needs arising from rapid growth as well as climate change at all administrative levels with the following activities:

  • existing regulations and tools will be improved, expanded and tested
  • integrating sustainable urban development approaches into public policies and sectoral programmes for cities
  • training and disseminating activities to enable their application
  • international learning and exchange processes to foster the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the achievement of the objectives of the 2030 Agenda.

Last update: November 2021

Additional information