In Transport

NMT policy developed for Brasilia and will be ready for approval in September 2018.



Brazil’s sprawling urban development is particularly inequitable and unsustainable, where workplace and leisure opportunities are concentrated in the central areas while poorer people live on the periphery, with inadequate infrastructure and amenities. This spatial inequity causes long travel times and distances, and people are highly dependent on transport systems. Most motorized trips are made by bus, but congestion, noise and air pollution levels are high. Individual modes (such as private cars and motorcycles) are becoming more popular. Motorcyclists are the main victims of road crashes. Overall, the majority modes are bicycle and pedestrian travel. This mobility crisis experienced by Brazilian cities has led to a renewal of interest in improving public transport and planning for NMT.

National commitments

In 2003 the Ministry of Cities was created by the federal government, and within this Ministry, the National Department of Transport and Urban Mobility was established to formulate and implement the National Policy for Sustainable Urban Mobility. Key to this Policy was the integration of transport and urban development policy in order to provide broad and democratic access to urban space, prioritizing public and non-motorized transport and ensuring secure, socially inclusive and sustainable mobility

In 2012 the National Secretary of Transport and Urban Mobility and the presidency signed the Brazilian Urban Mobility Law, with the stated goal to promote urban mobility with a safe, socially inclusive and equitable use of public space, contributing to the construction of sustainable cities.The Urban Mobility Law was explicit in favoring NMT at the expense of motorized transport, and public transport at the expense of individual motorized modes. The law states that municipalities with more than 20 000 inhabitants should, by 2015, have their urban mobility plans.

Share the Road support

Building on existing federal level commitment and existing local commitments, the Share the Road Programme has partnered with the World Resource Institute Brazil to raise awareness at Mayoral level on the urgency to prioritize investment in NMT and low carbon mobility more widely. Share the Road has also supported the city of Brasilia develop a non-motorized transport policy.

Low Carbon Mobility Course Series

During the 4th Meeting of Municipalities for Sustainable Development (EMDS), held in Brasília between April 24 and 28, 2017, the German Federal Ministry funded the Transforming Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI) Mini course series. City managers and secretaries, researchers, students and representatives of civil society organizations learned about urban issues and discussed main challenges and potential solutions in Brazilian municipalities- through five different courses.

One of these five courses was supported by the UN Environment Share the Road Programme along with Bloomberg Philanthropies and focused on the role of cities to reduce crashes and fatalities in traffic and to improve mobility for pedestrians and cyclists.

More than 70 people from 22 Brazilian cities attended the half-day workshop and learned how to implement action to foster safe active transport. Attendees included Mayors, Secretaries and City Officials, technical professionals and students who raised questions promoting a discussion on challenges and solutions in planning and investing in infrastructure for active mobility in Brazilian cities.

The agenda included interventions from 9 international specialists in road safety, urban mobility, urban development, access to public transport and low Brazilemissions transport.

The workshop also acted as a launch space for three key knowledge products from WRI Brasil:

  • Actions to encourage active transport - developing sustainable cities
  • 8 Principles of Sidewalks publication
  • Safe Accesses publication

These guides are tools that cities can use to develop projects and transform the urban environment for the most vulnerable users by providing increased safety and accessibility to sidewalks, cycling infrastructure and to the access public transport stations.

Network for Low Carbon Mobility for Brazil

Also during the Meeting of Municipalities for Sustainable Development WRI Brasil and National Front of Mayors (FNP), with support of Share the Road, launched the first National Network for Low Carbon Mobility in Brasil. The network is a coalition of cities committed to introducing good practice in low carbon mobility and to act as an example for other municipalities.

Complete Streets is the first project of the network with the objective of fostering dialog among cities government representatives to introduce policies and projects to improve air quality and quality of life in cities. Ten cities and the Federal District are part of the network and developed projects of Complete Streets in 2017.
The 10 cities that are part of the Nacional Network for Low Carbon Mobility are

  • Niterói
  • Porto Alegre
  • João Pessoa
  • Campinas
  • Joinville
  • Salvador
  • São Paulo
  • Juiz de Fora
  • Recife e Fortaleza
  • Distrito Federal

At the event a new resource was launched which identifies 20 actions to encourage more people to walk and cycle in Brazilian cities. Drawing on the insights from a task force representing government, nongovernmental organizations and other key decision makers it aims to answer the question: ‘How to encourage more people to walk and cycle in Brazilian cities?’ The actions they came up with are:

Municipal Actions:

  1. Identify and intervene in inner-city and low-income areas
  2. Draw up an active transport master plan
  3. Create an active transport department
  4. Reduce the speed limit of motor vehicles
  5. Determine and use methods of counting flows
  6. Establish a transparency policy
  7. Perform before and after studies
  8. Involve the population to improve oversight
  9. Regulate the sidewalks and public spaces according to the time and place
  10. Create tools to encourage of active façades
  11. Make public the management of the main sidewalks
  12. Allocate specific public resources for active transport
  13. Include transport on foot and by bicycle in the school transport law
  14. Implement leisure cycle lanes and open streets
  15. Deploy specific signaling for active transport
  16. Promote joint programs with areas of health, education, economy and environment
  17. Prepare and make available manuals
  18. Support municipal incentive programs
  19. Foster research and involve academia
  20. Establish federal funding for active transportation

Active Transport Policy for Brasilia
Low Carbon Mobility Course SeriesThe Brazilian Federal District, Brasília, is developing an active mobility policy as part of their integrated urban mobility plan. With the support of Share the Road and WRI Brasil, the government has been supported to identify stakeholders to participate in the process of planning. Research included a baseline report on the reality for pedestrians and cyclists in Brasília, existing policies, projects and plans. Two stakeholder engagement sessions were held to inform, involve and engage public sector and civil society of Brasília. Stakeholder involvement came from Pedestrian and Cycling Organizations, Academia, Transport Companies, Commercial Associations and technical staff from the government. The civil society prioritized the need to improve public transport and policies to foster cycling infrastructure. The needs of children were also highlighted and need of an educational policy in schools to foster the early understanding on the effects of high speeds, and private car-oriented city hazards to children. 


In Transport