Monday, January 20, 2014

US Brazil Sustainability Partnership

Rio de Janeiro.  Click for photo credit.
It's South America week here at On the Brink.  I'm on the continent and I thought I would share some sustainability stories of interest to On the Brink readers from this region.  So far I've written about sustainability planning in the oil industry in Venezuela, problems with gold mining in Guyana, and oil spill troubles in Trinidad and Tobago.  I also did a little bit of sloth blogging from the suburbs of Caracas.  Today, we go to Brazil to take a look at the U.S.-Brazil Joint Initiative on Urban Sustainability.

Brazil has long been of interest to those of us who study sustainability.  This country has been innovative in many ways.  For example, it has moved heavily into sugar as a source of energy and use tremendous amounts of ethanol.

However, today, I thought I would share with you a US/Brazilian partnership on urban sustainability.  The program focuses on developing sustainability policy around two cities, Rio de Janeiro and Philadelphia.  Take a look at some of the programs here.

Philadelphia.  Click for photo credit.
The program is an interesting example of a comprehensive approach to sustainability.  The effort focuses on the following sectors:  waste management; water quality and water management; transportation, air quality, and streets; energy efficiency and renewable energy; communities and social programs; public outreach and public participation; funding and innovative finance strategies; local, state, and national policy.  If you drill down into any of these topics you'll find a great deal of information about the types of efforts underway at the city, state, or national level as part of these initiatives.

This is a great example of how gentle competition and cooperation can drive innovation in sustainability initiatives.  What is happening in your community to encourage positive change?  Is your city or state partnering with another in your country or other country to do comparative analysis?

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