Case of the month - Rio de Janeiro

JULY 2014


Porto Maravilha Urban Operation Policy

Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
Rio de Janeiro municipal government and Port Region Urban Development Company (Cdurp) 

The renewal project "Porto Maravilha" and the creation of the port urban development company was subject of a new supplementary law implemented in 2009, which established the Urban Operations Consortium and also establishes sustainability criteria for all construction activities covered by the urban operation. The urban and construction activities began in 2010 and its completion is scheduled for June 2016.

Territorial scope

City level

Target buildings  




Public buildings

 New buildings    

Private buildings
 Existing buildings
 Industrial, services, etc.

Main Targets

  • 5 millions m2 of revitalized urban areas;
  • Increase the green area from 2.5% to 10%;
  • Construction of 700km of water systems, sewage, telephone, drainage and gas networks among other services;
  • Achieve 650.000 m2 of sidewalks and 15.000 trees planted.

The Porto Maravilha Urban Operation is a large-scale urban revitalization of the Rio de Janeiro’s city port, by reintegrating the port area on the city center, expanding and revitalizing public spaces, and improving quality of life for residents while safeguarding the area’s environmental features. 
A new legal and funding framework was created to enable this urban operation, by adding a new public policy and market tools to foster investment in new and recovered buildings and stimulating the residential density and mixed use development increase.

Urban Renewal development context
Designed to be an urban operation planned over the next 15 years, the Porto Maravilha Urban Operation is a large-scale revitalization project covering an urban area of 5.000.000 m2 and a planned investment of 25,732,000.00 € (3.5 billion US Dollars).
The urban consortium operation was decreed in municipal law in 2009 enacted it as a special interest urban area of Rio de Janeiro urban port area, and representing a planned and innovative initiative of the state and federal government support to rebuild the city under its urban revitalization, real estate development, and socioeconomic development potential.
By stipulating specific sustainability parameters, the urban operation projects should include the following aspects: setbacks spacing and distancing, easy access and use of bicycles, the use of environmentally certified materials, measures for reducing water use and recycling of rainwater and greywater, green and reflective roofs equipped with solar water heating, energy savings and/or local generation of clean energy, and the maximization of ventilation and natural lighting.
The initial interventions which run until June 2012, have already restored to the city genuine archaeological treasures, and included the construction of new water networks, sewage and drainage in the avenues Barão de Tefé and Venezuela and urbanization of Morro da Conceição, besides the restoration of the Hanging Gardens of Valongo.
The second stage initialized in July 2012 includes the redevelopment of the entire region until 2016, the implementation of great cultural impact projects, and the execution of a new standard of quality urban services, such as selective waste collection and efficient public illumination.
Besides the construction activities, Porto Maravilha urban renewal operation has come on the scene to record all these different actions and establish another channel of communication and transparency for sharing the transformation story line with every citizen.

Urban Consortium institutional and financial models
The Port Region Urban Development Company of Rio de Janeiro (Cdurp) was created with the mission to manage initiatives that will fully integrate urban areas into the concepts of sustainable city, and ensure the following relevant institutional roles: granting authority, project manager, and development agency.
By assuming a granting authority role, the Cdurp will ensure the administrative management of the consortium constituted through a huge public-private partnership model, by coordinating the consortium and other public agencies. The PPP contract was signed in 2010 between the Cdurp and public winning bidder, designated Porto Novo S/A (constituted by the construction company OAS Ltda, Norberto Odebrecht SA and Brazil Carioca Christiani-Nielsen Engenharia SA).
As a project manager, the Cdurp ensures the accounts to Brazil’s securities and exchange commission, and takes part in approving ventures in conjunction with municipal secretariat of Urbanism.
The stimulation of the economic dynamism and social performance in the region is the objective of the development agency role, being responsible for making new land urban markets changes in land use and increased construction potential for plots, and collection of funds on increased construction potential through sale of Additional Constructive Potential Certificates (CEPACs), used to finance urban operation on the consortium, which recover degraded areas in the cities. The use of additional construction potential should be requested by the interested parties to purchase CEPACs, which can vary according with the location and type of use of the project.
CEPACs allow increased building potential in the region, ie, allows the construction beyond the current limits, with the exception of the areas of preservation, cultural and architectural heritage, and buildings intended for public services. All money raised from the sale of CEPACs should be compulsorily invested in the improvement of urban infrastructure and services in the region.
This operation of urban revitalization incorporates an important and innovative social commitment in their financial management model by determining that at least 3% of the value raised through the sale of the CEPACs is of mandatory application to the recovery of the region’s historical and cultural heritage, and on social development programs for residents and workers.
By varying the number of CEPACs required for different types of construction and in different areas, the municipality can stimulate the increase of residential density and mixed use development.