Avina
Cuidades Sustentables

Context
According to UN data, between 2007 and 2050 the urban population of our planet will swell by an additional 3.1 billion. This growth will result in an increased burden on existing infrastructure, government services, natural resources, emissions and many other critical aspects of quality of life in urban areas.

 

Latin American is a leader in this global phenomenon. It is the world’s most urbanized developing region and the one with the greatest income disparity. Seventy-five percent of the population in Latin America lives in urban areas, which in absolute terms translates into 375 million of the region’s 500 million residents; 120 million of these live below the poverty line. Many of the challenges facing Latin America today are likely to be repeated on an even larger scale in Africa and Asia in coming years. If Latin America is successful in meeting this challenge, its solutions may well be highly replicable.

 

Opportunity identified by AVINA
and its allies

To demonstrate that the mobilization and coordination among different sectors of society can transform the management of Latin American cities as well as encourage a public administration that is guided by indicators and specific goals to improve the quality of life for all citizens.

 

Shared strategy for action
AVINA has been supporting the growing “Sustainable Cities” movement in Latin America since 2007. The movement is currently made up of 48 cities in ten Latin American countries. Initially inspired by the model “Bogotá Cómo Vamos" (How are we doing, Bogotá?), a number of innovations in the process of public participation and citizen involvement have emerged such as the case of Rede Nossa São Paulo in Brazil. This in turn has inspired movements in Chile, Argentina and other countries. Members of the Sustainable Cities movement seek not only to stimulate citizen participation in municipal decision-making but also to prioritize actions that will alleviate urban poverty across the region. Supporting the Sustainable Cities network represents a unique opportunity both to contribute to change on a continental level and to strengthen local processes and initiatives.

Critical action areas linked to this continental strategy include:

  • Increase political, social and economic inclusion through new models of public participation and the integration of new voices.
  • Strengthen public oversight and accountability through the implementation of common indicators to monitor progress and facilitate learning and information exchange among cities and countries.
  • Promote innovative urban practices by supporting effective pilot projects.
  • Invest in training for urban leaders in order to promote citizen awareness and knowledge of urban issues.

 

International alliances
AVINA Americas established a strategic partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help strengthen the Sustainable Cities movement throughout Latin America. The strategy focuses on increasing citizen participation as well as social, political and economic inclusion of groups currently excluded from political decision-making circles in the cities. Fundación AVINA supports the movement in Latin America and AVINA Americas promotes new continental and global alliances.

Representing various organizations on the island of Chiloé, the group Territorio en Movimiento (Territory in Movement), of Chile, launched a citizens' initiative, “Chiloé Cómo Vamos” (How are we doing, Chiloé?) with financing from AVINA and the European Union.

 

 

Some achievements of our allies in 2010

Jalisco Cómo Vamos joined the Latin American Network of Just and Sustainable Cities
In November 2010, AVINA supported the launch of “Jalisco Cómo Vamos" (How are we doing, Jalisco?), the first urban movement of its kind in Mexico. Jalisco is also the first Mexican state to form part of the Latin American Network of Just and Sustainable Cities. With the involvement of civic leaders from Córdoba, Argentina; Valdivia, Chile; and São Luis, Brazil, citizens of Jalisco adopted shared objectives and decided to seek additional exchanges with the mayors of cities in various countries in the region. For the last three years, AVINA has supported exchanges and closer ties among citizen movements based in dozens of Latin American cities and in 2010 began encouraging links with organizations and leaders in Jalisco and other parts of Mexico.

 

Chiloé implements a model of civilian participation in municipal
policy-making

The Chilean association Territorio en Movimiento (Territory in Movement), formed by various local organizations, was able to develop "Chiloé Cómo Vamos” (How are we doing, Chiloé?), with the support of local stakeholders as well as funding from the European Union and AVINA. In 2006, AVINA began working with a group of local businesspeople on the island of Chiloé on innovation, entrepreneurship and fair trade issues. Today, these organizations, such as Minga and AG de Emprendedores de Chiloé anchor a citizen empowerment program, which aims to transform local governance and improve the quality of life in Chiloé. Chiloé Cómo Vamos is an active part of the National Network of Just and Sustainable Territories.

 

Cidades Sustentáveis ​​portal provides examples of innovative practices worldwide

Evidence of the world's most effective and innovative practices in sustainable urban public policy can be found online at www.cidadessustentaveis.org.br. This site inspires and guides public managers, entrepreneurs and civic leaders who wish to replicate ideas in their own cities. It is an initiative of Rede Brasileira por Cidades Justas e Sustentáveis (Brazilian Network for Just and Sustainable Cities) and of Rede Nossa São Paulo (Our São Paulo Network) that receives support from AVINA. For six months, Rede Brasileira made a comparative study of experiences and findings addressing twelve factors that are considered essential for equitable and sustainable cities. In the first ten days of its launch, the Internet site, with versions in Spanish and Portuguese, received thousands of visits.

 

In November 2010, AVINA contributed to the launch of “Jalisco Cómo Vamos” (How are we doing, Jalisco?); Jalisco is the first Mexican state to join the Latin American network of Just and Sustainable Cities.