Global Urban Development, Paralelo Vivo, and Sustainable Innovation Zones in Porto Alegre, Brazil

Global Urban Development, Paralelo Vivo, and Sustainable Innovation Zones in Porto Alegre, Brazil

Global Urban Development (GUD) is working with a group of environmental entrepreneurs in Porto Alegre, Brazil, who have recently created Paralelo Vivo, a Sustainable Innovation Hub located near Shopping Total and Nós Coworking in the 4th District’s Independencia community. Paralelo Vivo (PV) is the first innovation ecosystem/startup hub/shared workspace in Latin America to focus primarily on promoting and supporting sustainable/green/cleantech businesses.  

The Paralelo Vivo Sustainable Innovation Hub currently involves nearly 20 separate organizations, including Agile, BAZ- Negócios de A a Z, Cesta Feira, Esfera Sustentável, Gênese Social, GUD, HidroCicle, Inclusão Transformadora, Instamart, Instituto Lixo Zero, Instituto Soleil de Pesquisa, Net Impact, PGF Compósitos, Pulsar, Purus Soluções Ambientais, Reserva Consultoria Ambiental, Saúde na Barra, Senda Viva, and ULIS. Soon GUD and Pulsar will be organizing a new course at Paralelo Vivo on “Strategic Planning for an Independencia-Floresta Sustainable Innovation Zone.” This course will help enable PV to serve as an anchor and catalyst for developing a Sustainable Innovation Zone in these two 4th District communities, Independencia and Floresta.   

Sustainable Innovation Zones combine six key elements: 1) innovation and technology; 2) entrepreneurship and startups; 3) sustainability and resource efficiency; 4) creativity and collaboration; 5) participatory community management; and 6) business-friendly environment. Sustainable Innovation Zones are among the major actions recommended in GUD’s recent World Bank-funded economic strategy for the State of Rio Grande do Sul to become the most sustainable and innovative place in Latin America by 2030: http://www.globalurban.org/2015_RS_LEAPFROG_ECONOMIC_STRATEGY.pdf. Sustainable Innovation Zones are a centerpiece of the RS 2030 Leapfrog Economic Strategy.  These many special areas in municipalities throughout the state will be among the leading centers for research and development of new technologies, entrepreneurial startups and business incubation and acceleration, state‐of‐the‐art methods for improving sustainability and resource efficiency in business and daily life, reducing burdensome rules and regulations to create a more business‐friendly environment, establishing public‐private collaboration in strategic investments and participatory urban management, and much more. Sustainable Innovation Zones in Rio Grande do Sul will be located in mixed‐use communities near colleges and universities, technology parks, and technology business incubators, with commerce, housing, and other key amenities and services. They will be magnets for international talent and experiments in 21st century technology.


Photo Credit: Porto Alegre - Arena do Gremio by Victor F Kalsing