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.”
Land area (km2)
Population growth rate (annual)
Population density (hab / km2)
Rate of population density change over last decade
Main economic activity
Tourism, Industry, Commerce
Metropolitan area. Fortaleza is the capital of Ceará State, Brazil.
Prefeitura de Fortaleza
Official name in English
Municipality of Fortaleza
Number of municipal employees
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
Member of regional/national/global initiatives
Brazilian National Front of Mayors (FNP)
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.
% with access to electricity
% served by municipal water system
Water consumption per inhabitant
% served by municipal wastewater drainage system
% served by municipal solid waste collection system
% living in informal settlements
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.
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.
For more information on the city's mitigation activities, visit their profile on the carbonn Climate Registry.
GCC tracking Fortaleza
GreenClimateCities Methodology - Legend
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.
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.
The city is in the process of analyzing data in order to stipulate concrete commitments.
City’s main challenges
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.
Lessons learned and replication
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