Scholarly article on topic 'Niterói's central area urban redevelopment project: planning to achieve sustainable mobility in metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro'

Niterói's central area urban redevelopment project: planning to achieve sustainable mobility in metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro Academic research paper on "Social and economic geography"

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Abstract of research paper on Social and economic geography, author of scientific article — José Renato Barandier Jr.

Abstract The planning of sustainable urban mobility has recently become a top priority on the political agenda in Brazil. In 2012, Federal Government established the National Policy on Urban Mobility, determining that municipalities must prepare Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMP). In this context, the integration of land-use and transport is expected to be an essential part of sustainable mobility in Brazil. This paper discusses the urban redevelopment plan for Niterói's central areal, which seeks to integrate land use and transport policies by creating a transit-oriented neighbourhood around a ferry station. The central area is within the ferry catchment area, which represents structural transport access through the metropolitan area. This also represents a shift in the existing urban growth model and an attempt to create economic conditions, that use value capture and market-based instruments, to finance and to foster urban redevelopment in the region that faces population and economic decay.

Academic research paper on topic "Niterói's central area urban redevelopment project: planning to achieve sustainable mobility in metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro"

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Transportation Research Procedía 25C (2017) 3120-3132 * * * **

World Conference on Transport Research - WCTR 2C16 Shanghai. 10-15 July 2C16

Niterói's central area urban redevelopment project : planning to achieve sustainable mobility in metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro

José Renato Barandier Jr.*

Niterói Municipal Secretariat for Urban Planning and Mobility, Av. Visconde de Sepetiba, 987/12° andar, Niterói 22081-032, Brazil


The planning of sustainable urban mobility has recentl y become; a top) priority on the political agenda in Brazi l. In 20122, Federal Government established the National Policy on Urban Mobility, determining that municipalitie s must prepare Pustainable Urban Mobility Pl ans (SUMP). In this context, the iutegration vf land-use and tran sport is expected to be an esse ntial p art of sgstainable mobility in Brazil. This paper discusse s the urban redenelopment plan for Niteroi's central areal, which aeeks to integrate lany use hnd Oranrport po^iee bye creating; a transit-oriented neighbourhood around a perry otatifn. The central area in within the ferry catchment area, whthh repre sents ntructural transport access through the me1ropolitan arca. This also lekresentr a shift in the existing urban growth model and an attempt to create etonomic conditions, that use value capture and market-based instruments, to finance and to foster urban redevelopment in the region that faces population and economic decay.

© 2017 The; AuthOTis. PiMidred by EkCTter B.V.


Keywords: urban planning; sustainable mobility ; traosit-orifotfd development; urban operation; developing countries.

1. Introduction

The importance of sustainable urban mobility has long been discussed (Banister, 2008) and plays a critical role in the quaHty of life for the 2.° biniom new inhabitants who will live in cities by 2050 (UN DESA, 20]_4). The role of knd use in achieving sustainable mobility is undisputed. When weR integrated with investments in transport

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2352-1465 © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.

Peer-review under responsibility of WORLD CONFERENCE ON TRANSPORT RESEARCH SOCIETY. 10.1016/j.trpro.2017.05.341

planning, land use becomes crucial in promoting the increased use of public transport by creating a favourable environment for pedestrians and cyclists, offering more local travel patterns (Hickman et al., 2013), and contributing to the development of social sustainability (Kamruzzaman et al., 2014).

However, the current individualistic transport model, which is based on the automobile, continues to generate a number of negative externalities in Brazil. Traffic accidents are responsible for killing 40,000 people a year, according to data from the Ministry of Health. The increase in travel time is also a negative impact, especially in large urban centres. The travel time for workers has risen 12% (IBGE, 2011) in the last 20 years. Air and noise pollution are also negative externalities of transport systems. The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows that the level of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from fossil fuel consumption in Brazil is higher than the total level of emissions from the country's industrial production (Seto et al., 2014). Investments in the efficiency of public transport systems allow for the reduction of pollutant emissions and noise, among other environmental impacts (Hickman et al, 2013; Ministerio das Cidades 2015). Therefore, urban planning must change to allow for the provision of a transport infrastructure that incorporates a land occupation model for the integration of urban and activity space. The aim is to decrease the distances travelled by car, reduce urban sprawl and the need to travel within cities, reduce energy consumption, VKT, and GHG emissions levels (Banister, 2011), and decrease the social cost of transport (Lucas, 2012). These changes should also encourage shorter commutes and increase connectivity, which will lead to a greater variety of available modes of transport (Cervero and Kockelman, 1997; Banister, 2011). Nevertheless, the difficulty of raising resources for local transport investment means that more innovative forms of finance are needed, which would involve the public and private sectors, as well as the use of value-capture instruments (Hickman et al., 2013).

In this context, urban mobility planning must balance transport supply and demand and combine sustainable practices with high-quality transport accessibility in a way that substantially reduces the environmental impact associated with car-based suburban development (Herce, 2009; Cervero and Sullivan, 2011; Santos et al., 2013). UN-Habitat (2009) addresses four key urban development drivers for sustainable cities: density (Banister, 2005; Cervero, 2009), land use mix (Kockelman, 1997; Cervero, 2002), connectivity (Gehl, 2010; ITDP, 2014), and accessibility (Hankey and Marshall, 2010; Banister, 2011). These drivers have a direct effect on transport activity and influence transport demand and travel patterns. Consequently, urban planning strategies can significantly promote public transport and non-motorised modes of travel, thereby reducing sprawl and car dependence. Seen from another angle, transportation hindrances reduce accessibility to urban opportunities (e.g., jobs, housing, and services) and people and places in cities, which may create or reinforce poverty and social disadvantages (Lucas, 2012; Stanley and Lucas, 2008; Delbosc and Currie, 2011) or increase the risk of social exclusion (Stanley and Brodrick, 2009; Barandier and Bodmer, 2013).

Understanding this importance, the Federal Government established the National Policy on Urban Mobility, determining that municipalities must prepare Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMP) to eliminate the constant waste of resources resulting from project discontinuity, disconnected transportation and land use projects, the lack of inter-municipal integration and social control, and public disregard for environmental issues, among others. May (2015) indicates areas in which further research may contribute to overcoming barriers, encouraging good practice in the development of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans, including: assessing the effectiveness of different approaches to financing, identifying good practices in stakeholder involvement at all stages of the policy process, understanding effective political decision-making and leadership, and evaluating alternative approaches to policy implementation. Thus, this article discusses the main challenges of Niteroi's central area urban redevelopment project as a transit-oriented development (TOD) that would contribute to the formulation of goals for the Niteroi's SUMP.

2. Sustainable urban mobility framework in Brazil

In Brazil, urban mobility has historically been treated as a matter of traffic engineering. This process can be described by the road infrastructure provision — specifically, building new motorways, prioritising individual transport to the detriment of public transport and non-motorised modes of transport — and complete separation between urban and transport planning (Silva et al. 2008). This conventional approach results in a dependence on itself: by seeking to facilitate increased mobility, investments in new roads eventually led the establishment of a car-

based suburban development model that prompts the need to travel by car, which ultimately requires further investment in road infrastructure.

More recently, the planning of sustainable urban mobility has become a top priority on the political agenda. However, sustainable urban mobility is not yet part of a consolidated structure, and a gap persists between political discourse and practice in the form of the implementation of large-scale urban interventions (Lentino, 2014). The investments for public and non-motorised transport were recently renewed with a view to address the mobility crisis present in most Brazilian cities, but uncoordinated action also resulted in the loss of financial resources, the lack of social control and the neglect of environmental issues in urban transport planning in Brazil (Silva et al., 2008). Therefore, it is necessary to foster a policy that guides and coordinates efforts, plans, actions and investments to ensure that Brazilian society has rights to the city with social equity, greater administrative efficiency, expansion of citizenship and environmental sustainability (Ministerio das Cidades, 2015).

2.1. National Policy on Urban Mobility

In April 2012, Federal Law 12,587 came into force, instituting the guidelines for the National Policy on Urban Mobility. This law prioritises public and non-motorised modes of transport in cities — rather than focusing on individual, private and motorised transport modes — and opposes the current fiscal incentives issued by the federal government for the purchase of cars and motorcycles. The National Policy on Urban Mobility is the result of a lengthy debate in Congress, which began in 1995 with the presentation of the bill to a body that issues national guidelines for urban transportation. Other projects were presented during the proceedings in Congress, and a new bill was forwarded for consideration by the Senate in 2010 and was approved in December 2011.

The law sets out the principles, guidelines and tools to guide municipalities in the planning of transport systems and road infrastructure for the movement of people and cargo. To meet the public's needs and contribute to sustainable urban development, the law provides mechanisms to ensure affordable prices for using public transport, exclusive lanes for buses and bicycles, traffic restrictions in city centres and charging for the use of urban infrastructure units, such as roads and public parking lots.

The most interesting aspect of the National Policy on Urban Mobility is the condition that municipalities with more than 20,000 inhabitants have to develop a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan within three years. The plan must be formulated in an integrated manner to the municipal master plan and is a requirement for accessing federal funding for investment in urban mobility. Municipalities that do not present a SUMP would be prevented from receiving federal funds for this sector. Another significant issue is that each municipality has to elaborate a SUMP, even if the municipality is part of a metropolitan area whose plan has already been determined. The justification is that the mobility plans of metropolitan areas include issues related to the inter-municipal integration, but can rarely address all the specificities of each municipality (Ministerio das Cidades, 2015).

In practice, the municipalities with this legal requirement must also elaborate municipal master plans, which means that 3,065 of the 5,560 Brazilian municipalities must meet the legal obligation mentioned above initially until April 2015. Although there are no official data on how many municipalities are in compliance with the legislation, the Ministry of Cities estimates that more than 70% of Brazilian cities with over 500 thousand inhabitants and 95% of municipalities with over 50 thousand inhabitants could not complete the requirement on time. Congress is now leading to a renewal process for another three years. In 2001, the City Statute issued a similar obligation for municipal master plans, but what could be observed was a 'master plan fever', especially in 2006, which was the deadline ending for approval of the plans. The plans were copied from one municipality to another with inconsistencies and commonly included errors such as the changed name of one city by the first one that created the document.

3. The urban context

The Brazilian urbanisation model has not contributed positively to the structuring of mobility and still encourages land speculation and contributes to urban sprawl, resulting in the unsustainable and inefficient functioning of the cities. In spatial terms, the cities grew horizontally, according to a model of continuous low-density peripheral expansion, and could only be accessed from car-based road systems. The suburbanisation process is done through

licensing or the tolerance of new settlements far beyond consolidated areas that provide the essential infrastructure (Barandier and Bodmer, 2013). Therefore, the process incorporates increasingly distant plots, where it is cheaper to install new housing units, whereas extensive intermediate vacant lots are reserved for speculation (Ministerio das Cidades, 2015). The regions for business and residence became, respectively, congested central areas and dormitory neighbourhoods.

This type of urbanisation caters to two different economic segments of the population; low-income groups migrate to the suburbs to obtain cheaper lots, and higher income segments do the same in the pursuit of larger lots and lower population density. The first case demands the extension of public transport services, whereas the second generates an increase in car-based trips. The combination of specialised land use functions with low-density urban growth creates the need for increasingly distant commuting. As a result, the population that sought refuge in remote areas to take advantage of the natural amenities is now impaired. The ones that desired the freedom provided by 'automobility' are now hostage to it.

3.1. Changes in the urban form

In 400 of its 440 years, Niteroi was a paradigm of integration between transport and land use as a walkable city with the historic centre surrounding the ferry station and, later, growing along the tramlines. For most of its history, the population has lived in a walking distance from public transport or urban activities. However, as with most medium and large cities in Brazil, Niteroi city centre currently faces problems and challenges related to the declining population and economy as a result of the automobile-oriented policy of the second half of the 20th century, particularly after two events in the 1970s. The first event was the transfer of the capital of Rio de Janeiro state, in 1974. Fourteen years early, the federal capital changed from the city of Rio de Janeiro to Brasilia and, after becoming former state capital, Niteroi stopped managing the administrative activities of the state government. The second was the completion of Rio-Niteroi Bridge in 1976, which led to an intense expansion of urban sprawl on the Metropolitan Eastern Side. 'The Bridge' was a milestone in the automobile-oriented policy in the second half of the twentieth century, which was characterised by a series of top-down institutional investments in the national cultural context of the military rule.

This model persists in Brazilian cities through the expansion and establishment of new urban fringes. Had the urban design not been adapted to the car, this incredible invention would not have had much value in use and would not have become central to the functioning of society and people's lives. 'Automobility' seems to provide the solution to the congestion problems that itself generates. It externalises dangers for those who are 'outside' the system as provides enhanced security for those who are 'inside' the system, also being central to the consumerist and individualistic culture of contemporary society (Sheller and Urry, 2004). As part of the state ideology in 20th century Brazil, the modernist automobile oriented transportation and land use patterns have become hegemonic.

In this context, the city centre and other traditional neighbourhoods of Niteroi declined in a model where economic growth was spurred by the geographical expansion of the city toward growing suburban areas — Pendotiba and Oceanic (see Figure 1). The result of this process of rapid and spontaneous urban growth was a 15% reduction of the city centre population between 1970 and 2010. During this period, the municipal population grew 50% and the urban area grew 130%. Urban sprawl has reduced the density of Niteroi by 38%, from 13,400 people per km2 in the 1970s to 8,400 people per km2 in the current decade. The motorisation rate now increases 2.61% per year in the city in addition to VKT and GHG emissions, and homes in suburban areas generate four times more car trips per unit than those located in central neighbourhoods (Barandier, 2015). Urban density has decreased as a whole in the municipality. The functional specialisation of land use has created a predominantly commercial city centre and exclusively residential suburbs, and the car-based expansion model has reduced connectivity between activities and decreased urban accessibility.

Metropolitan Land Use Transport Network

Undeveloped Land -Tram Network (until 1968)

1975 Urban Area---Ferry Network

2014 Urban area Main Roads

Fig. 1. Changes in the urban form after Rio-Niteroi Bridge: from transit-oriented city towards car-based urban sprawled fabric.

In terms of transport, the city is now facing problems related to traffic congestion, increased VKT, and increasing travel time. Today, the municipal administration has invested in new lines of BRT / BHLS as a response to problems caused by urban expansion that disregards the transport infrastructure. At the same time, the state government has been investing in the implementation of a program to make the ferry a high-quality transport system. However, the current pattern of urban growth may put these transport network investments at risk because the increase in transport activity is likely to offset infrastructure expansion, which will require a new cycle of investments. Thus, proactive planning is crucial not only for inducing sustainable travel trend-breaks but also for avoiding risking current investments in the public transport network.

4. Strategic planning: Metropolitan TOD

The increasing level of motorisation and population growth now lead to challenges that must be faced as the impact of the growing level of car usage in the city design can be seen. Barandier (2015) demonstrates that these problems will become worse in Niteroi in the Business as Usual Scenario (BAU) for 2030, but the author also shows that different futures are possible across different scenarios. At the strategic planning level, the scenarios developed for Niteroi indicates that a shift in travel patterns is possible based on the trend breaking in the current land-use planning model.

Currently, Niteroi's central area comprises 40% of all non-residential areas in the city but only 4% of the population, in addition to vacant historic buildings or areas that have been converted into parking lots. The waterfront area has 110 square meters of urban void that serve as an extensive car park area with 2,000 spaces. There are also three transport terminals through which 300,000 people circulate every day. All these features make the central area the largest home-based work trip attraction pole of the Metropolitan Eastern Side.

In 2013, the municipal administration initiated an urban renewal project for Niteroi's central area in an attempt to balance this situation. Redirecting the growth of the city to the main centrality of the Metropolitan Eastern Side following TOD principles, the project strengthens the metropolitan hub of transport and is in line with the guidelines of the National Urban Mobility Policy. At the metropolitan level, the urban renewal project is integrated with metropolitan planning to promote densification with mixed use surrounding the ferry station. In other words, the project supports changes in the urban structure by producing residential units in the region that is the largest home-based work trip attraction pole in the municipality. However, this assumes that the future 'towards city compaction' (Barandier, 2015) can be delivered and that cars can be removed from use in daily life, which also creates new challenges to be faced by the project.

4.1. Niteroi's Central Area Urban Operation

The redevelopment project covers an area of 3.2 km2, including the historic centre of Niteroi, and seeks to address problems and challenges arising from the population and economic decline process observed in the last four decades. The project represents the first 'Consortium for Urban Operation' undertaken by a medium-sized city in Brazil. This project can be defined as a value-capture instrument whereby financial resources will be sold (worth development air rights) to finance an innovative scheme for infrastructure and amenities.

The Urban Operation for Niteroi's central area establishes a financial model of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) consisting of three main stages. Firstly, City Council approved a new law (#3,061) in 2013, modifying the previous limit set on the height of new buildings to be constructed in the Urban Operation coverage area, and establishing minimum, basic and maximum floor area ratios and limited the supply of buildable area in order to foster real estate developments and assure investments for infrastructure works. Secondly, the right to build additional floors must be purchased, constituting a funding mechanism for the project. Financially speaking, the developer offers economic compensation to the public administration in return for new building rights (Sandroni, 2010). Therefore, developers must acquire the Certificates for Additional Construction Potential (CEPAC) or pay Charges for Additional Building Rights, which are required for each floor to be built, up to the height limit stipulated for each different area of the project. In the case of CEPAC, these bonds are auctioned through an investment bank and the national Securities and Exchange Authority oversee the sales. The amount of additional construction potential available for building ventures varies according to its location sector and the type of use. For instance, fewer certificates are necessary for residential development than for non-residential one. Finally, the funds raised from the Urban Operation public offer constitute a real estate trust fund and finance all public infrastructure works and services, generating new opportunities for socio-economic development. The creation of this fund aims to improve liquidity and diversity of investors in the operation.

4.2. TOD principles: challenges and opportunities

The Urban Operation for Niteroi's central area adopts TOD as a model by densifying and mixing uses in the catchment area of the high-capacity Metropolitan transport network. Eight classical principles have been applied, which aim to directly impact transportation activities, influencing the demand for transport and travel patterns (ITDP, 2014).

4.2.1. Compact

The first principle adopted by the project is 'toward city compaction' (compact cities), in which the focus is to drive two-thirds of the demand for new housing in the city by 2030 to the city centre (Barandier, 2015). The trend of urban growth towards the expansion areas — Pendotiba and Oceanica — is broken by setting up the production of new housing for 40,000 people within existing urban area, around the metropolitan ferry station, and near to the largest concentration of urban opportunities (see Figure 2). The project breaks radically with the Brazilian logic of urban growth through the spontaneous expansion of the territory, which also promotes the efficient use of urban land, which will avoid consuming 14% of the municipal territory with new housing and will reduce pressure on remaining natural areas of the expansion areas.

Public investment in the transport infrastructure is also maximised as ongoing investments are possibly fostered by reversing the commuting pattern. On the other hand, the project's main challenge is attracting investment back to the city centre, ensuring that new buildings will improve the deteriorated occupied urban areas. In order for new buildings to give value to the city and not detract from this value, value capture instruments are used to fund the urban renewal of public spaces in the centre. Financial resources from the sale of building rights will be applied to the redevelopment of streets, focusing on people and non-motorised modes of transport, such as item enhancement in the region.

Another critical factor is the effective containment of sprawl. To this end, aside from addressing the support capacity in the central area, municipal planners need to create occupation control tools in the low-density expansion regions for both new formal and informal settlements.

Fig. 2. Towards city compaction: TOD within existing urban area.

4.2.2. Densify

Urban growth in low-density areas have driven people away from urban opportunities, especially with regard to local consumption, leisure, and work, which ultimately leads to the increased use of individual low-capacity transport — also known as the car — but residential and employment density enable high-quality transport and local services.

Niteroi currently has 487,000 inhabitants, which is expected to increase by 60,000 over the next 15 years. The current city centre population is around 26 thousand inhabitants, or 8,125 inhabitants/km2. This extremely low density for a central area will increase by targeting up to 40,000 new residents to the area, increasing the density to 20,000 inhabitants/km2. In other words, at the end of the 15 years provided for full implementation of the project, if all housing units permitted by law materialise and none of the original population of the central area relocate, the project will have absorbed two-thirds of the expected municipal population growth by 2030 without requiring an extension of urban occupation.

As a challenge, density distribution is needed to foster greater proximity. To meet this goal, the project area is divided into sectors with maximum inventory building potential, allowing the density to balance throughout the service area of the ferry station, especially throughout the urban voids (see Figure 3).

Fig. 3. Urban redevelopment perimeter, ferry catchment area and urban voids.

4.2.3. Transit

Aside from being the main centrality of the municipality, the metropolitan hub of transport provides a strategic location to the Niteroi Centre within the metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro. Approximately 400,000 people move between the intercity bus and ferry terminals. The state government has been investing in a program to transform the ferry into a high-quality transport system, including the construction and expansion of the passenger terminal and the purchase of new and improved vessels. To enhance the quality improvements of the investment and to balance demand with transport supply, it is necessary for the system to be accessible by foot. Thus, the option of increasing density within its catchment area is natural. From this location, people can be connected and integrated with the most distant parts of the city and the metropolitan area without having to use a car.

4.2.4. Mix

A density increase is needed to ensure proximity between the different types of activities and environments such as housing, commerce, and services, reducing the need for long motorised trips. A density increase would also provide a balance between transport supply and demand. Currently, the centre comprises 40% of the non-residential constructed areas of the city but only 4% of the population. Aside from the balance in constructive distribution, the spatial division of the sectors must also adjust the mix of land use. The challenge for this goal is to ensure the construction of residential use in an area that is very attractive to commercial developments due to its location and accessibility attributes (e.g., proximity to the metropolitan transport hub). Another common non-residential use in

the central area is car park areas. At the waterfront, 110,000 square meters of urban void serves as a large car park with nearly 2,000 parking lots, which increase the attraction of trips by car.

In this context, each sector of the project area has a minimal construction potential percentage that can be designated for residential use. In total, the operation has assigned at least 60% of the construction potential for residential use. Furthermore, decades of decay have made it necessary to create a set of amenities to renovate the centre for residential use. Finally, some benefits include improving the proximity of non-residential activities to transport hubs to encourage the use of public transport at the moment of modal choice. In addition to promoting proximity between the origin and destination, the change in land use pattern also transforms the centre, a major home-based work trip attraction pole, into an area that generates trips in the opposite direction in response to the higher demand.

4.2.5. Walk

To promote sustainable mobility, the project establishes different street typology to create coherent networks that serves the different modes of transport. Figure 4 shows the proposed circulation scheme for Centre, in which a few streets were chosen to create external motorised circuits (buses and cars), while four inner circuit streets create pedestrian priority zones known as the 30-Zones.

Fig. 4. Proposed centre circulation scheme.

To stimulate walking, the cleanest, most sustainable and healthiest mode of transport, the streets renewal project focuses on people rather than merely considering as roadwork. This represents a design challenge that complements the network of sustainable mobility in terms of micro-accessibility. To function as a non-motorised feeder system, public spaces in the pedestrian priority zones must be upgraded to include traffic reduction and an environmental

redesign to make these areas attractive and accessible to everyone. Another important aspect, the climate, makes the shade offered by the newly planted trees also necessary as tool for thermal comfort when creating mobility spaces. To enhance the project, another 30-Zone should be created in the urban void and waterfront sector. To this end, a new set of street is needed to create connectivity through two great lots.

4.2.6. Cycle

The project deploys more than 20 km of safe cycling networks and full interconnection between pedestrian priority zones and the transport hubs, improving streets and offering an efficient and convenient way to travel. The new buildings are required to provide a minimum number of bicycle parking spaces. The provision of facilities for bicycles offers a comparative advantage over the car and helps to enhance the cost of the public cycle paths investment. However, the challenge of making bicycles an efficient mode of transport includes the lack of bike sharing services and public facilities, which are not included in the project scope.

4.2.7. Connect

The historic fabric of the city centre is a facilitator from the connectivity perspective. The compact network of roads originates from the time when Niteroi was a walkable city, and the network now allows for a wider range of mobility options to ensure the most seamless travel. However, the waterfront is still disconnected from the rest of the city and contributes to the degradation of the Centre. It is also difficult to access the 'Caminho Niemeyer', a set of buildings that Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer designed as a tourist attraction on the bay side, enhancing the landscape potential of Guanabara Bay. A significant challenge in this context is to ensure permeability for a large tract of landfill area that blocks the integration of the city and its seafront. Thus, it is necessary to create non-motorised roads (for walking, bicycles, etc.) offering connectivity to the sector through short connections that are direct and varied, as well as invest in infrastructure for pedestrians with the redesign of sidewalks and the creation of connections between roads and paths for pedestrians within courts. These changes are important for accessibility to transport and security in traffic circulation.

Fig. 5. Proposed street extending.

4.2.8. Shift

Cars become less and less necessary in everyday life when travel distances are decreased using compaction, a mix of uses, and the promotion of non-motorised modes. The integration of the urban voids into active building blocks also has a positive impact on current patterns of unsustainable mobility. However, other challenges remain to be addressed to deepen the modal shift. Thus, the central area still requires effective management of parking on public streets. Charging for parking, for instance, can finance the bike-sharing system, and this option is one of several traffic reduction tools that encourage people to move away from cars.

5. Discussion and conclusions

Niterói is one of 21 municipalities in the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area and is now facing problems related to transport such as increasing motorisation, vehicle-kilometres travelled (VKT) and traffic congestion. Metropolitan administrative fragmentation increases the complexity of these problems, which has led municipalities to disregard metropolitan transport interests when implementing land use and mobility plans. Despite the importance that the planning of sustainable urban mobility is gaining in Brazil, only a few cities have begun to plan effectively. The Ministério das Cidades (2015) has established the consolidation of the centres and areas already occupied by the town, promoting improved use of existing infrastructure, guaranteeing public use of public space, prioritising pedestrians, resolving or minimising conflicts between foot and vehicle traffic, providing quality guidance and treatment of urban areas favouring pedestrian displacement, implementing solutions to ensure the viability of public transport and non-motorised modes of transport, and prioritising investments and the use of the road system for pedestrians and public transport as the primary challenges of SUMPs and land use planning.

This paper has documented Niterói's central area urban redevelopment project, which creates a transit-oriented neighbourhood within the ferry station catchment area to ensure the reduction of motorised trips by 2030. The project aims to strengthen the transport hub as a centre for the neighbourhood and surrounding areas by forming a centre of activity with structural transport access through the metropolitan area. This represents a shift in the existing urban growth model and an attempt to create economic conditions that use value capture and market-based instruments to finance and to foster urban redevelopment in a region that faces population and economic decay.

The project utilises the 'Urban Operation' as an important instrument for financing sustainable mobility and value capture in urban interventions. In the financial context, the approach seeks economic compensation from the public administration in return for new building rights for real-estate development. The funds will then be applied to finance infrastructure and amenities that can reverse the degradation of buildings and the urban environment. From the perspective of public policy, it is expected that the project can contribute to reversing the current trend of separation of uses that contributes to wasteful sprawl development, the loss of open space, heavy infrastructure costs, and reliance on automobiles. The project also aims to renovate idle properties and the construction of new buildings in empty urban plots, provides decentralised and diversified public facilities, and encourages and provides guidance for increasing the density of mixed-use private ventures while controlling the proportion of each activity.

By reviewing the central area project, this paper also looks forward to promoting the paradigm of sustainable mobility in the metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro, whereas the urban renewal project has a direct impact on transport activity, influencing the demand for transport and travel patterns for next two decades. In this sense, Niterói's central area urban redevelopment project is aligned with the objectives of the National Policy on Urban Mobility, which seeks to reverse the sprawl process and unsustainable mobility that has been observed in the last four decades in the metropolitan area. In parallel, the city is preparing the municipal SUMP to also be in compliance with the determination of the National Policy. To this end, some challenges that can assist in the formulation of objectives for the municipal SUMP, in accordance to the National Policy for Urban Mobility, were identified.

The first challenge is the effective containment of sprawl, which can be addressed by creating tools for the control and restriction of occupation in regions of expansion with low population densities, Pendotiba and Oceanic. The plan must embrace both types of new settlements — formal and informal. Density control is critical, not only to reduce the negative effects of sprawl on individual transport travel patterns but also to offer an advantage to the city centre compared with more distant areas. Although these distant areas have cheaper and broader lots and lower density, the extension of public transport services will be required in the long term. Central areas are those for which cities must

converge all modes of transport: motorised (e.g. bus, car, trams) and non-motorised (e.g. bicycling and walking) and a city's design and layout strongly influences travel demand, so a proactive plan is crucial to ending the 'predict and provide' spiral. Additionally, it is important to generate non-residential use in regions of expansion to reduce reliance on the central area of Niteroi and leverage current investments in BRT/BHLS new lines.

The municipal SUMP should also embrace models like 'Complete Streets' and '30-Zone' in the central area, with road integration of pedestrians, cyclists and motor vehicles, as well as the effective management of parking in public spaces. Finally, the municipal SUMP must consider the feasibility difficulties that small and medium-sized cities in Brazil have when implementing bike-sharing systems. Hence, the allocation of funds from parking charges for public streets is shown as an effective alternative to promote sustainable mobility.


The author expresses sincere appreciation to the members of the Niteroi Municipal Secretariat for Urban Planning and Mobility for the support provided.


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