Neighborhood Impact Assessment an urban sustainability instrument analysis in medium-sized cities in São Paulo, Brazil.

Emanoele Abreu (1) , Renata Peres (2)
(1) Federal University of São Carlos, Department of Environmental Sciences , Brazil
(2) Federal University of São Carlos, Department of Environmental Sciences , Brazil

Abstract

The Neighborhood Impact Assessment (NIA) [1]is an important instrument of the Brazilian Urban Policy enacted in the City Statute, Federal Law 10.257/2001. Considered by the national academic literature as a relevant instrument for local urban environmental management. However, in Brazil, the understanding that the environmental and the urban are part of the same context is not yet a reality within the local public administration sectors, with a deep disconnection of management and governance between the urban and environmental departments. The objective of this work was to analyze the application of NIA in medium-sized cities in the state of São Paulo and to evaluate its contribution to the local urban environmental management of these cities. We also intend to evaluate the NIA integration with other sectors of local public management such as the environment, urban mobility, social housing, etc. As a methodology, we used NIA Process Components, verifying the absence or presence in the urban laws of four (04) medium-sized cities in the state of São Paulo. We also interviewed civil servants from the environmental and urban sectors, supplementing information that was absent in laws and official documents. The results reveal that most municipalities do not have a specific law that regulates the NIA, and Master Plans, Land Use and Occupation Law regulate this instrument. Civil servants emphasize the weaknesses and strengths of the instruments. As potentialities of this instrument, they observed public participation, increased state control in environmentally sensitive areas, greater urban-environmental compensation mechanisms, and so on. Weaknesses signalize were: conflicts involving urban land subdivision, interference of the real estate market in the use and occupation of urban land, changes in the Master Plans by the city councilman aiming to meet the interests of private financial capital. The four cities, which are part of the Case Studies, have not yet effectively incorporated elements of climate change in their local governance. Issues related to social housing, expansion of slums, occupation of protected environmental areas by poor populations are still the most urgent priorities in these cities, as well as in many Latin American cities. The improvement and advancement of the articulation of the urban and environmental sectors in Brazilian cities must require thinking about better scientific methodological and governmental improvements.


 


[1] Brazilian authors often use the terminology in English “Neighborhood Impact Study”. However, we chose to use “Neighborhood Impact Assessment” according to (Abiko & Barreiros, 2014) to facilitate the understanding of the instrument for the international audience, as it has similarities with the Impact Assessment. However, in Brazil, the NIA is known as the “Estudo de Impacto de Vizinhança”.

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Authors

Emanoele Abreu
emanoele@estudante.ufscar.br (Primary Contact)
Renata Peres
Abreu, E., & Peres, R. (2023). Neighborhood Impact Assessment an urban sustainability instrument: analysis in medium-sized cities in São Paulo, Brazil. International Journal of Environmental Science & Sustainable Development, 7(2). https://doi.org/10.21625/essd.v7i2.935 (Original work published December 30, 2022)

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