Saturday, February 16, 2019

How a city in Brazil ensures no one is hungry

Brazil has been an incubator for sustainable civic innovations. Decades ago I visited Curitiba to see how they fought hunger, built community and developed a world-class transportation system. (Search out a TedTalk by Jaime Lerner...A song of the city Part of what drives innovation there is they have all our same problems—in spades—but not much money to throw at it. They have to find elegant solutions that solve multiple problems, the essence of sustainability.
Innovations keep happening in Brazil. Belo Horizonte is a city of 2.5 million that has used Participatory Budgeting ( as one way to solve their hunger crisis.

The city agency developed dozens of innovations to assure everyone the right to food, especially by weaving together the interests of farmers and consumers. It offered local family farmers dozens of choice spots of public space on which to sell to urban consumers, essentially redistributing retailer markups on produce—which often reached 100 percent—to consumers and the farmers. Farmers’ profits grew, since there was no wholesaler taking a cut. And poor people got access to fresh, healthy food.
“For ABC sellers with the best spots, there’s another obligation attached to being able to use the city land,” a former manager within this city agency, Adriana Aranha, explained. “Every weekend they have to drive produce-laden trucks to the poor neighborhoods outside of the city center, so everyone can get good produce.”

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