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Friday, 28 November 2008

Belo Horizonte Council wins METROPOLIS Award in Sydney:

Article by Rodrigo Perpetuo
Belo Horizonte was Latin America’s highlight during the delivery of the Metropolis Awards, title granted by the Metropolis Network in recognition of best public practices performed in cities with over one million inhabitants. 
The program ‘Vila Viva’ which involves the urbanization of towns and slums was granted with first place in its category, for its participatory character and ability to articulate and integrate various initiatives and public policies. Also, the fact that the work has already being implemented in five suburbs of Belo Horizonte and serves as a model for the federal government counted points in winning the prize. The delivery of the award was held on Friday, March 24 in Sydney, Australia.
On the meeting, Belo Horizonte’s mayor launched the project ‘Bank of Cities’, proposed by the Metropolis Network in partnership with the Alliance of Cities. The aim of this project is to increase local governments’ access to international resources for the creation of a global fund for the development of the municipalities. The initiative aims to increase local resources through the use of loans allocated to cities from developing countries, since they face serious funding problems, hindering its development. The project is coordinated by the Ile de France region (France), also home for the Network Metropolis.
Belo Horizonte is included in the initial phase of the plan. The capital also represents Latin America with the environmental recovery program ‘Nascentes’. The initiative aims the cleaning and conservation of water courses, making them part of the urban landscape, rather than relying on the traditional water pipes. The other cities participating on the project are Antananarivo (Madagascar - Africa) and Mahato (Manila - Asia). These locations are potential recipients of resources for the deployment and / or continuity of the programs listed. Furthermore, their experiences gained international repercussions.
The municipal secretary of International Relations, Rodrigo Perpetuo, representing Belo Horizonte’s mayor Fernando Pimentel in the 9th World Congress of Metropolis, held between 22 and October 25 in Sydney, said today that Belo Horizonte is the Brazilian metropolis with greater role in the project, due to the quality of public policies carried out by the municipality, popular participation and the significant international dimension acquired by the city in recent years. "Belo Horizonte has achieved international recognition from cities such as Barcelona and Paris, among others. We're on the right track" noticed Perpetuo after the event that marked the beginning of the project ‘Bank of Cities’.

Mr. Jean Paul Huchon and Mr. Rodrigo Perpetuo

The World Congress of Metropolis
The ninth edition of the World Congress of Metropolis is considered the most important cities’ event of the year, offering political and technical dialogues between participants from all over the world. The conference has as its main theme "Connecting Cities", which aims to highlight the growing importance of municipalities, more than nations as central points of international interaction.
The debate included issues such as climate change, women, governance, technology, public-private partnerships, energy and water, culture, social sustainability, urban regeneration and so on. The 2009-2011 Plan of Action Network of Metropolis, whose mission is to promote international cooperation and exchange among its approximately 100 members from all continents was also launched at the time. The preliminary target is to better control the development process of metropolitan areas, improving thus the welfare of its citizens.