Innovation Observatory for Sustainable Cities (IOSC)

Published: 08 November 2021
Last edited: 08 November 2021
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The Innovation Observatory for Sustainable Cities (Observatório de Inovação para Cidades Sustentáveis, in Portuguese) is an initiative within the scope of CITinova, a multilateral project carried out by the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations (MCTI), with support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implementation of the United Nations Environment Program (UN Environment). It acts as a collaborative platform for mapping and disseminating innovative urban solutions contextualized to the Brazilian national territory through city-regions typologies.


The objective is to connect public managers, civil society, companies, entrepreneurs and universities in favour of the urban agenda, creating alternatives for the transition of cities, especially the Brazilian ones, towards sustainability. To this end, this Observatory prepared a bank of solutions for sustainable cities, a map of typologies and a bank of co-creators (solution providers).


South America
Scale of implementation
Area-wide development
Buildings and facilities
Connective infrastructure, networks and corridors
Green roofs / Green walls
Green spaces (parks, gardens, urban forests)
Urban ecosystem and build environment
Urban wetlands
Cities and infrastructure
Connectivity / transboundary conservation
Disaster risk reduction
Flood management
Gender mainstreaming
Health and human wellbeing
Infrastructure maintenance
Land management
Legal & policy frameworks
Peace and human security
Renewable energies
Sustainable financing
Sustainable livelihoods
Terrestrial spatial planning
Urban planning
Waste management
Wastewater treatment
Water provision and management
Watershed management
Urban and Disaster Risk Management
City management, governance and finance
Resilience and disaster risk management
Sustainable urban infrastructure and services
Territorial and spatial development
Urban poverty and housing
Erratic rainfall
Extreme heat
Increasing temperatures
Land and Forest degradation
Loss of Biodiversity
Conflicting uses / cumulative impacts
Ecosystem loss
Inefficient management of financial resources
Infrastructure development
Lack of technical capacity
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Poor monitoring and enforcement
Lack of infrastructure
Poor governance and participation
Lack of food security
Unemployment / poverty
Sustainable development goals
SDG 1 – No poverty
SDG 2 – Zero hunger
SDG 3 – Good health and well-being
SDG 4 – Quality education
SDG 5 – Gender equality
SDG 6 – Clean water and sanitation
SDG 7 – Affordable and clean energy
SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth
SDG 9 – Industry, innovation and infrastructure
SDG 10 – Reduced inequalities
SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities
SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production
SDG 13 – Climate action
SDG 14 – Life below water
SDG 15 – Life on land
SDG 16 – Peace, justice and strong institutions
SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals
Business engagement approach
Direct engagement with a company
Direct engagement with associations


Edifício Parque Cidade Corporate, SCS Qd. 9, Lt. C, Brasília, Federal District 70719, Brazil


Solutions are divided into six different themes: low carbon mobility and access to the city; renewable, decentralized and efficient energy; low carbon and social interest built environment; solid waste and efficient treatment; water and sanitation; and nature-based solutions.


As the Observatory's objective is to connect public managers established in Brazilian municipalities with solutions engaged in responding to local socio-environmental challenges, the local governments can benefit, when having access to a bank of solutions, from finding different arrangements and possibilities to address previously identified issues, in addition to learning about successful experiences in similar geographical and socio-economic contexts. It is even possible to establish contact with those responsible for the execution and implementation of solutions.


In this sense, as it is characterized as a facilitating tool for decision making, the Observatory brings as economic benefits the reduction of costs of implementing the necessary actions to minimize the effects of negative environmental impacts. Regarding social and environmental benefits, we can consider them as intrinsic to the solutions and cases present on the platform.

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Cidades Sustentáveis Centro de Gestão e Estudos Estratégicos