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C40 Mayors highlight cities’ role in climate change at CGI Latin America

In December the Clinton Global Initiative Latin America convened a meeting of world leaders from the government, public and private sectors in Rio de Janeiro to highlight the region’s social and economic progress and identify areas of future opportunity.

With the region’s rapidly growing urban population, the role of cities was a key topic of discussion at the meeting. During the plenary session “Latin American Cities: Revitalization and Economic Transformation,” two C40 Mayors – Lima Mayor Susana Villarán and C40 Chair and Mayor of Rio de Janeiro Eduardo Paes – emphasized the importance of city-to-city exchange of best practices in order to create integrated solutions for their common challenges. For both mayors, delivering integrated mobility solutions is crucial to fostering environmentally friendly solutions that will lead to a more green economy and more sustainable communities.

Mayor Paes discussed the potential for public-private partnerships (PPP) to create crucial infrastructure and services for the region’s cities. The project to revitalize Rio’s Porto Maravilha, for example, encouraged the private sector to invest in an old harbor area close to downtown and has also enabled investments in public transportation and social housing, integrating the city’s new BRT (bus rapid transit) network. In addition, the team overseeing the port’s redevelopment – Urban Development Company for the Port Region (CDURP) – is working with the C40 Sustainable Urban Development Network to share their experiences and learn about other global best practices from C40 cities, including Sao Paulo’s Arch of the Future, Singapore’s Jurong Lake District project, Melbourne’s Victoria Harbor and Lima’s Ancon Ecological.

During the session, Mayors Paes and Villarán agreed that their cities’ BRT solutions are showing great results in creating an integrated network that prioritizes public transportation.

“Lima believes that creating new financing mechanisms is crucial to delivering good transit solutions. Lima is learning from examples from other C40 Cities, like Sao Paulo, which uses a ”rights for construction” mechanism to fund infrastructure for mobility,” said Mayor Villarán.

She also identified Lima’s new integrated transport system, with BRT Metropolitano and other modes of transportation, as very important for the City. It encompasses 60,000 informal businessmen and has created more jobs and decent salaries for their families.

The CGI Latin America meeting showed that cities are learning from each other and working together to build a more sustainable future for their citizens. CGI’s commitment towards cities is only helping to accelerate this positive transformation.