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About Fortaleza

Fortaleza is the capital of Ceará State, Brazil. The city was founded on April 13th, 1726. It is now the 5th most populous city in Brazil, with a population of 2,452,185 (2010). Fortaleza has a land area of 314.93 km2 (2010), and from 2000 to 2010 its population growth was 14.29%.

Fortaleza's Mayor Roberto Cláudio says about the participation in the Urban-LEDS project:

“Fortaleza aims to develop a municipal governance model based on social inclusion, participation, cooperation, and having transparency and sustainability as the transversal elements in public administration. The Urban-LEDS project offers a platform to help us obtain the leadership, technical know-how and methodologies to implement appropriate policies.”

About the City

Land area (km2)



2,452,185 (2010)

Population growth rate (annual)

1.45% (2000-2010)

Population density (hab / km2)


Rate of population density change over last decade

1.3% growth/year

Main economic activity

Tourism, Industry, Commerce

Community type

Metropolitan area. Fortaleza is the capital of Ceará State, Brazil.

About the Local Government

Official name

Prefeitura de Fortaleza

Official name in English

Municipality of Fortaleza

Number of municipal employees

35000 (2012)

Annual income in USD

USD 1,79903 billion (2012) 

Annual expenditure in USD

USD 1,62402 billion (2012)

Mayor or senior elected representative

Roberto Cláudio Rodrigues Bezerra

Municipal Commissioner or senior appointed representative

Walter Cavalcante, President of Chamber of Municipal Representatives

City vision and mission statement

"The actual city administration has a vision that seeks a sustainable city able to make compatible the economic growth with environmental preservation, guaranteeing the use of renewable energy and an effective waste management policy.

The city aims sustainability by developing itself economically with environmental preservation, it seeks to improve its environmental management by professionalization and evaluation of its environmental policies.

The priority sectors of Fortaleza are public health, education, environmental policy, mobility and accessibility. Fortaleza plans to connect public policies to its environmental policy, there is also a project of renewable energy in the public hospitals."




Urban systems, infrastructures and services managed by the Local Government

Health care facilities, Parks, Roads construction, Road maintenance, Schools, Waste management 

ICLEI Membership


Member of regional/national/global initiatives

Brazilian National Front of Mayors (FNP)

Original vision and practise

Description of relevant existing development policies

Policy on risk areas and the cities Agenda 21 ensures sustainable construction with the use of recycled material and photovoltaic panels in the “Minha Casa Minha Vida” program. The Sustainable Development of Urban Conservation Areas, represents the low carbon city objective.

Relevant past and current projects

Due to the condition factors of mobility and accessibility within Brazilian municipalities, the Federal Government established guidelines of the National Urban Mobility Policy. It establishes priority for the public transportation.

Fortaleza has a big long term challenge; it wants to prioritize pedestrians and cyclists and offers the possibility to use public transport with safety and comfort for any citizen within the next 10 years. 

Regarding public transportation Fortaleza has implemented a temporal integration, which enables users to transfer among different bus lines with no cost at any bus stop without having to go to the terminal station.

Fortaleza has a monthly Project called “Pedala Fortaleza”, promoting bicycle rides through the city. This program has o budget of R$ 8,000,00 per edition and incentives people to use zero emission mobility.

In 2011 Fortaleza produced 1.758 million tons of waste, an average of 4.8 thousand per day, which are sent to Caucaia landfill.  

To overcome the problems regarding waste management the city of Fortaleza has developed the Municipal Integrated Waste Management Plan, and is also creating screening and recycling with an R$ 900 million investment.

The LEDS is a way to achieve a better waste management process, with the implementation of the screening and recycling systems will result in emission reductions by reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills.


At a glance

% with access to electricity


% served by municipal water system


Water consumption per inhabitant

84,792 (2009)

% served by municipal wastewater drainage system


% served by municipal solid waste collection system


% living in informal settlements


Energy profile

Energy consumption per inhabitant

Data available only for electricity consumption: 2.794.880 mwh (2007)

Total GHG emissions from the community: 3.827.521 tCO2e (2012)



For more information on the city's GHG emission reporting, visit their profile on the carbonn Climate Registry.

Fortaleza Afforestation Plan

Fortaleza’s actions concentrate on energy, waste and climate change activities. The ‘Fortaleza Afforestation Plan’ is being established to increase tree cover in the municipality, aiming at neutralizing CO2 and hence mitigating atmospheric pollution. Additional benefits are an increased quality of life through increased comfort and air quality in the city.

Minha Casa, Minha Vida (My Home, My Life)

Fortaleza also runs a program called “Minha Casa, Minha Vida” for installing solar systems on homes for water heating (solar thermal) and electricity (photovoltaics).

Green Factor Program

The Green Factor Program will scale up green building initiatives by creating sustainable codes for green construction and a certification scheme. 

Municipal Integrated Waste Management Plan

In 2011 Fortaleza produced 1.758 million tons of waste (average of 4.8 thousand kilograms per day) which is sent to the Caucaia landfi ll. To deal with waste management problems the local government has developed a Municipal Integrated Waste Management Plan, and is also establishing a separation and recycling process with R$ 900 million (about USD 372.000) investment.

"Recycling Attitudes" Program

As part of the City's climate action strategy, from 2013 -2017 the Recycling Attitudes environmental education program will promote sustainable recycling processes for enhanced resource efficiency, social equity and green jobs. A major focus of the program is geared towards the inclusion of waste pickers. 

Fortaleza’s first GHG inventory

Fortaleza developed a GHG inventory as part of the project and now has a better understanding of where and how emissions can be decreased. In addition, the city’s low carbon vision is currently being outlined, planned for finalization in early 2015.

Energy Efficient Schools

Most recently an efficient building pilot project was launched, with 13 schools being made more energy efficient. The city is currently hiring construction companies and Acqua certifiers for the first pilot plant.

Low-emission transport

In December 2014, the Mayor Roberto Cláudio launched Fortaleza's first bike sharing scheme, which in early 2015 had grown to 55 stations throughout the city.

Low Carbon Development Plan

In February 2015, the City of Fortaleza's Planning and Environment Secretariat held the 2nd meeting of the Climate Change Forum to discuss the City's Low Carbon Development Policy Plan. Guidelines were prioritized in the following sectors: transportation, energy, waste and construction. The Urban-LEDS project is supporting this process. For more information on the sectoral priorities, see here.

Further engagements

  • Reporting in the carbonn Climate Registry (www.carbonn.org)
  • GHG inventory is compliant with the Global Protocol on Community-Scale Gas Emissions (GPC)

For more information on the city's mitigation activities, visit their profile on the carbonn Climate Registry.

GCC tracking Fortaleza
Step I
Step II
Step III

GreenClimateCities Methodology - Legend

GreenClimateCities Methodology - Chart

Urban LEDS

Main factors for city selection

ICLEI SAMS has identified many potential activities to implement Urban LEDS particularly regarding Waste Management and Renewables as these are areas prioritized by the current municipal administration. Urban Mobility is also one of the main themes in the city agenda. The selection also took into account that the Northeast region in Brazil has lacked opportunities for cooperation on sustainable urban projects and is one of the fastest growing regions in the country. It is a great opportunity to jointly address social development, low emissions strategies and resilience. Fortaleza expressed in its submission the acknowledgement that climate change is an urgent issue and a priority in its agenda.


  • State capital of Ceará, located in North-eastern Brazil.
  • Rapid population and urban growth (2002-2012: +360.000 inhabitants)
  • Co-host of FIFA World Cup 2014. The city was part of the “Carbon Footprint for 2014 Brazil World Cup and beyond”, implemented by Useful Simple Projects (USP) in partnership with ICLEI and with the financial support of the British Embassy.


Low carbon vision 

Become a sustainable city able to make economic growth compatible with environmental conservation, guaranteeing the use of renewable energy and with an eff ective waste management policy. Fortaleza has to take responsibility and leadership to drastically reduce GHG emissions, becoming an eco-effi ciency, resilient city. 


  • Final energy consumption in the community: Data available only for electricity consumption (per inhabitant): 2.794.880 Mwh (2007)
  • GHG emissions from the community: 3.827.521 tCO2e (2012)
  • Main economic activity: Tourism, Industry, Commerce
  • Main priority sectors for Low Emission Urban Development: Waste, Mobility, Urban Planning and Spatial Development, Street Lighting, Renewable Energy 



The city is in the process of analyzing data in order to stipulate concrete commitments.


City’s main challenges


  • Restructure of current administration, financing
  • Prepare to co-host the FIFA World Cup 2014.
  • Asymmetric geographic distribution of income and infrastructure. Growth in the number of illegal settlements in the urban area, particularly near coastal and forested lands.
  • Waste and wastewater management deficit. Inefficient waste management system , contamination of river basins and the urban beaches by slurry
  • Rapid growth in the vehicle fleet creating serious problems in the urban mobility.


Main LED priorities of the city /city´s aspirations

The actual city administration has a vision that seeks a sustainable city able to make compatible the economic growth with environmental preservation, guaranteeing the use of renewable energy and an effective waste management policy.


  • Interested in strengthening capacity on climate change and environment.
  • Intends to incorporate the National Policy on Climate Change and to establish a legitimate strategy for sustainable development.
  • Interested in exploring institutional and process related issues. Has established a unit dedicated to climate change and renewable energy, and a new administrative unit will be created exclusively to address issues relating to climate and sustainable urban development.

Lessons learned and replication 

  • Learning from others Urban-LEDS examples: Fortaleza looked to Belo Horizonte’s successful approach to green building and construction, resulting in the replication of their sustainable codes for green construction and certification schemes under the Green Factor Program. 
  • Securing LED longevity through smart investment: for example the Municipal Integrated Waste Management Plan and the Energy Efficient (EE) Schools Pilot Project required investments of R$ 900 million (USD $372,000) each but they will save significant costs from the recovery and efficient use of valuable resources while benefiting the environment in countless positive ways.

Urban-LEDS process / GreenClimateCities methodology implementation

Urban-LEDS MoU with ICLEI (name of document, date)

Memorando de Entendimento, April 23, 2013.

Local Government department responsible for Urban-LEDS activities and implementation

Planning Institute of Fortaleza