Photo: AVINAPhoto: AVINAPhoto: AVINA


According to UN data, between 2007 and 2050 the urban population of our planet will swell by an additional 3.1 billion. This growth will result in an increased burden on existing infrastructure, government services, natural resources, emissions and many other critical aspects of quality of life in urban areas. Latin America is a leader in this global phenomenon. It is the world’s most urbanized developing region.

Seventy-five percent of the population in Latin America lives in urban areas, which in absolute terms translates into 375 million of the region’s 500 million residents; 120 million of these live below the poverty line. Many of the challenges facing Latin America today are likely to be repeated on an even larger scale in Africa and Asia in coming years. If Latin America is successful in meeting this challenge, its solutions may well be highly replicable.

Avina identifies opportunity

To demonstrate that the mobilization and coordination among different sectors of society can transform the management of Latin American cities.

To encourage a public administration that is guided by indicators and specific goals to improve the quality of life for all citizens.


Impact Vision

Contribute to the consolidation of cities, which generate social progress and equity within the limits of nature.

Shared Agenda for Action

Participatory Governance: Strengthen the citizen participation and social oversight in the management of cities.

Public policies and territorial planning: Promote public and corporate policies that contribute to building inclusive, democratic and sustainable cities.

Public Space: Influence the transforming and revitalizing of the PS as a space for coexistence, economic inclusion and cultural expression, key to generating fair and sustainable cities in LAC.

Alliances/ Partnerships

 UN Habitat: fosters the impact on public space inclusive policies in Latin America and installing the debate around urban inequality by spreading the publication “Building more equitable cities: public policies for inclusion in Latin America”, prepared with participation of the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF).

 OAK Foundation – Arapyaú Institute: Support the Program Sustainable Cities and the Brazilian Network for Fair, Democratic and Sustainable Cities in its positioning for the urban sustainability.

 Climate and Land Use Alliance y Latin American Regional Climate Initiative (LARCI): Support the strengthening of the Brazilian Network for Fair, Democratic and Sustainable in its strategy of monitoring and influence in climate policies, waste management and mobility.

 IBM: Collaborates in the strengthening of national networks of Sustainable Cities

ciudad sustentable


Distill methodology and develop indicators for urban quality of life that can be shared and compared across countries.

Connect with and incorporate best practices from other regions.

Expand to Central America, Venezuela and the Caribbean.

Increase awareness and best practices when managing risks of climate change on cities in Latin America.

Some achievements with our allies

Through the adoption and monitoring Plans of Goals, planning and citizen information tool, produce by the local government, Avina Foundation and its allies have contributed to the strengthening of democracy and citizens’ participation in the municipal governance in more than 40 cities in Latin America.
Currently, 35 million of Latin Americans live in cities that are managed with plans goals and systems of citizen participation. This means that in the region live more people in cities managed in this way, that those who live in Uruguay, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Bolivia

Observa Sampa: new portal that promotes and facilitates the participatory an transparent planning in São Paulo

As part of fulfilling the Plans of Goals, on 2014 the portal Observa Sampa in São Paulo (Observatory Indicators of the city of San Pablo) was created. Platform in which all citizens can know, comment and monitor compliance with the established goals by the São Paulo municipal management. The portal was created based on a proposed model and driven by the Nossa São Paulo network and has been adopted as public policy by the Mayor of the city. This model is inserted into the Open Government program, consisting of several initiatives that benefit the involvement of citizens in the planning, monitoring and evaluation of goal achievement by the public sector. The experience in São Paulo constitutes an important step in the consolidation of substantive democracy in Brazil and the region; arises from the articulation of actors from civil society and the municipal public sector, it uses and innovative tool to ensure access to information and public participation in the management of cities.

Improving quality of life in Latin American cities through citizen influence

It has improved the quality of life of the inhabitants of Latin American cities through citizen implication on the urban transport system and the expansion and transformation of public space. Thanks to the work of Observatorio La Paz Cómo Vamos, it has been able to substantially improved public transport in La Paz, Bolivia. This observatory influenced the operation of PumaKatari, the new Integrated Mass Transit System in the city, administrated by the newly created Municipal Transport Service (SETRAM) for its acronym in Spanish.

Peru has also progress in citizen participation and public influence and is a noticeable the transformation potential of public space as a space for coexistence and cultural expression. In Miraflores, Lima the first parklet (minipark) of the city was inaugurated.

This area, built with recycled materials, invites citizens to occupy it and make a pause on the very often-frenetic urban city life. In addition, in the Santa Cruz de Medellín, Colombia, a placemaking (a multifaceted approach to planning, design and management of public spaces) was performed. Constituted by many cultural activities, which improve the infrastructure of the neighborhood.

In all these cases, articulated work between neighbors, local organizations, businesses, academia and local governments, about improving the quality of life in the city, are highlighted. These experiences in La Paz, Lima and Medellin are laying the groundwork to influence public policies that institutionalize their replication and scaling in the construction of city.

Completing surveys of public opinion and perceptions in 20 cities, as previously noted.

Decree of the Plan of Goals in three cities in Argentina: Mendoza, Córdoba and Maipú.

Declaration by Forest Reserve Thomas Van der Hammen in Bogotá, Colombia.

Decree of the Plan of Goals in two cities in Brazil: Campinas and Rio de Janeiro.

Organization of the II Meeting of the Network Fair and Sustainable Cities in Salvador, Brazil.

New networks of national efforts: Chile, Argentina, Mexico, and Uruguay.

San Pablo, Brazil, and Valdivia, Chile, carried out its second public citizen account.

Datos Claves

  1. Almost 75% of citizens in Latin America has a little or no confidence in political parties, despite the progress reported in the Electoral Democracy Index of the UN in the last four years. Half of those interviewed citizens for the regional surveys expressed, that democracy could be conducted without political parties.

  2. According to the latest Report on Human Development, Latin America remains the most unequal region in the world. This disparity represents a risk for democracy in several countries of the region and reinforces the public mistrust in government institutions.

  3. The Inequality is manifested on incomes, apathy on citizens participation, gender discrimination, difficult access to land and political representation

  4. Surveys show that informality, socio-spatial segregation, social exclusion persistent poverty, pollution, deficient transportation system and other challenges, are increased by the phenomenon of a growing rural exodus to the cities throughout the region