Gestão Urbana SP
Secretaria Municipal de Desenvolvimento Urbano da Prefeitura de São Paulo

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Before the implementation of the Urban Management platform, one of the problems encountered by the municipal administration was talking to people in an effective way with regard to planning and management of urban development policies. This subject is not easy to understand, and the challenge was to build an efficient communication, enabling popular participation and creating mechanisms for transparent disclosure. In addressing these issues, the initiative would not only benefit the population of the city of São Paulo, but also those that make up the daily life of that space, whether for work, walk, study or any other activity conducted in the city.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
Being identified the problems presented, the solution was proposed by the Municipal Department of Urban Development of the City of São Paulo. The initiative was to develop a platform of popular participation that enabled the urban planning of the city by the internet (Gestão Urbana/Urban Management). But before people give their contributions on a participatory process, it is necessary that they take ownership of the subject being treated. Thinking about it, the first strategy for the platform to fulfill its function was to communicate the project's secretariat with objectivity and clarity. This goal has become a reality of the availability of books and support documents, videos and explanatory texts, illustrations, news, manuals, and documents. With the contents properly explained, the Urban Management continues in order to consolidate itself as a collaborative platform by providing planning tools and management of urban development policies. With drafts participatory, collaborative mapping and evaluation forms and online contribution, citizens might suggest proposals for important tools for urban planning of the city, such as the Strategic Master Plan and the Law of Subdivision, Use and Occupancy (LPUOS). Both during and after participation in each phase of project, you can track the results of what was proposed, check the schedule of upcoming activities, watch some live events and have access to records of all participatory process, which includes the list of presence, proposals, presentations and photos. Additionally, you can also check out maps, pictures and documents in an open format, a way to move toward public transparency, facilitate access to information, promoting research and strengthen the political debate. All these strategies together are enabling closer ties between citizens and the government, either through information or the actual collaboration in matters involving the present and the future of the city.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
Gestão Urbana/Urban Management emerges as an innovative platform from the moment that allows citizens to participate in decisions made by the government with respect to the direction of the city. A complete process that involves the dissemination of information, explaining the content, implementation of collaborative tools and presentation of results, objectively and clearly. Within the platform as a whole, the planning tools and collaborative management used in the review of the Strategic Master Plan (SMP) process are noteworthy. With the revision in the executive divided into four stages, three of them relied on online participatory tools. Through "plug proposals" it was possible to send contributions directly to the organizers of the participatory review in the office. With the "collaborative mapping", anyone connected to the Internet could indicate directly on the city map that was good or needed improvement; and "participatory draft", citizens were able to compare the current law with what was being proposed in the bill and make comments (contributions followed by explanations) about the proposal. All these possibilities of collaboration and their results were used to support the participatory process of reviewing the Master Plan in the executive.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
This whole process is catalysing the administration’s openness, spreading free software in the administration along with the creation of an Intersecretarial Committee for the Open Government movement. The public vehicle of this committee is the São Paulo Aberta ( ) (Open São Paulo, in English) initiative, a program that seeks to embrace society in public policy's discussion through electronic channels and thematic and territorial actions within a partner network that supports, collaborates and shares the City Hall's actions and policies. Also, the Café Hacker’s project already mentioned is a product of this digital achievement. Created to attend GestãoUrbanaSP’s necessities, the project was appropriated by the Municipal General Comptroller and it also has a structured website that reunites public data opened to discussion. The project promotes regular meetings between Communication professionals like journalists, programmers, and researchers interested in data that involves the city’s administration and technicians or representatives aware of these procedures and information - people in general who deal with a big amount of data but doesn’t necessarily know about the population’s demands and needs regarding it. The last event conducted by Café Hacker was about the investment transparency of the administration regarding the 2014 World Cup.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The technical body responsible for the formulation and implementation of the system was exclusively formed by servers government of the City of São Paulo. The development process of the system involved employees from different Departments of the Municipality and mobilized on two occasions an event called Cafe Marathon Hacker for convening experts who were willing to discuss and rehearse the experience of implementing the system by testing the level of interaction the digital platform structure, dynamics and operation.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
Resources used, both human and material, were entirely from public sources.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The most successful results of Urban Management were given during the participatory review of the Strategic Master Plan. During the process, the platform received 3,932 contributions, ie almost 40% of the total. The result was due to the availability of three different types of participation tools: the proposed form, collaborative, participatory mapping, and participatory draft. The dissemination of news, developing support and feedback stages of materials also contributed to the success of the initiative.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
In addition to the monitoring the amount of accesses - growing substantially when a collaborative tool is available - the result of the participatory process of revising the Strategic Master Plan itself showed that the platform is efficient for government interaction with society. Today, we no longer live the vertical structure where the State "reigns" over society. Now, we are experiencing a horizontal structure of interaction, where society has the will to be part of and transform the State, participating in its public policies. In Brazil, 102,3 million people are connected, according to the Index from Ibope Media. This is 50% of the population, what might not look great if compared with developed countries, but is very expressive to our reality. The good news is: this percentage will only grow. And, with it, the social participation into public policies will develop. Therefore, it is not extreme to say that we are witnessing a true revolution regarding social participation in São Paulo, and GestãoUrbanaSP’s platform was our first evidence of success for that matter.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The main challenges for the implementation of the system are derived from the innovative character of the Interactive Digital Platform. Particularly, the Urban Management led to an innovation process in the debate on the regular participatory process of formulating and proposing urban policy. The overcoming of this challenge occurred with the practice of the everyday use.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
The digital platform Urban Management has been used as a complementary and innovative instrument to the participatory process involving society in decisions to revise the regulatory framework of the City of São Paulo. Provides the society with drafts of bills of Law for the receipt of comments and proposals for the revision of the Master Plan, Zoning and the Regional Plans of the City of São Paulo, and the various urban development projects in the City of São Paulo to the debate public about it. It is, therefore, not only an increase in the transparency of political data (open data with maps, pictures and texts of the proposals, along with recording all the information of the participatory process) and transparency of proposed guidelines on urban city, but a tool for expanding the reach of participatory urban planning process of the city by society.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The initiative is being promoted exclusively by public material and human resources and, from its implementation by the Department of Urban Development the experience has been replicated in other departments of São Paulo City Hall. Note also the fact that the system is based on Open Source to allow the tool is appropriate for any institution that wants to work integrated to the system.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
The philosophy spread by GestãoUrbanaSP is stimulating other administrations to embrace the same digitalization process. With this new way of thinking public policies and how it can get to the citizen in an openly way, the “Programa de Metas” website - Administration's Program, in English - ( ) shows the administration’s performance, in projects and budgets reports, even permitting the citizen to create its own visualization, through open data, of the government. After all, with it, society can follow the government's actions and therefore watch it out closer, in an accountability process without precedents. Therefore, as one can notice, the GestãoUrbanaSP platform might have triggered a new paradigm of accountability, transparency and openness.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Secretaria Municipal de Desenvolvimento Urbano da Prefeitura de São Paulo
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   Weber Sutti
Title:   Chief of Staff  
Telephone/ Fax:   55 11 3113-7753
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   Rua São Bento, 405, 18º andar
Postal Code:   01011-100
City:   São Paulo
State/Province:   São Paulo

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