Horizon 2030


Belo Horizonte

Main actors

City Government, Supranational / Intergovernmental Institutions, Private Sector, Community / Citizen Group, Research Institutes / Universities

Project area

Whole City/Administrative Region


Ongoing since 2020

Localization of global development milestones and international best practices.

The City of Belo Horizonte is implementing a programme to localize actions of multiple global development agendas (SDGs, Paris Agreement, New Urban Agenda) in the municipality. Initiatives include education and training of municipal managers and technicians, monitoring the provision of public services, developing institutional skills and capacities and adopting public policies in line with international best practices. The Programme aims to improve public services and progress the city economically, environmentally and socially, without leaving anyone behind.

In addition to providing training for the public administration staff, the City will collaborate with academia, the private sector and civil society to ensure the dissemination and adoption of concepts related to global frameworks by various local actors.

The Horizon 2030 aims to promote intuitional links between municipal administration bodies and related agencies in the UN system and other international agencies by creating specific work plans to achieve technical and financial cooperation, as well as seeking international financing opportunities.

Sustainable Development Goals

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainablePromote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levelsStrengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Size and population development
Belo Horizonte is the sixth largest city in Brazil. According to the 2010 census conducted by IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics), there were 2,258,096 people residing in the city. The Greater Belo Horizonte Region is the 3rd most populous of Brazil after Greater Sao Paulo and Greater Rio de Janeiro. The city covers a total area of 330.9 km2, while the metropolitan region expands out to 5,156.21 km2with 5,156,217 million residents. Portuguese in the official language of the city. The 2020 IBGE census has been postponed until July 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however the IBGE 2019 population estimate for Belo Horizonte was 2,512,070 people.
Population composition
The 2010 census data recorded the population of Belo Horizonte was 53.1% female and 46.9 male. The ethnicity breakdown recorded 46.7% White people, 41.9% Pardo (Multiracial) people, 10.2% Black people, 1.1% Asian people and 0.1% Amerindian people. Belo Horizonte has a notable population of Italian origin, approximately 30% and people of German, Spanish and Syrian-Lebanese ancestries also are sizeable groups. Census data collected on religion showed 59.87% of the population identified as Catholic, 25.06% as Protestant, 8.02% as no religion, and 4.07% as Spiritist.
Main functions
Belo Horizonte is the capital city of the state of Minas Gerais, Brazils second most populous state. The city lies on the western slope of the Espinhaco Mountains, at an elevation of 830 metres and occupies a wide plateau encircled by the Curral del Rey Mountains. Belo Horizonte was one of the first planned cities in Brazil and was designed in a grid pattern with a focus on orderly growth and development. The planning of the city, with street blocks inspired by Paris and architecturally by New York, started in the late 19th century and it was officially founded on December 12, 1897.
Main industries / business
The service sector plays a very important role in the economy of Belo Horizonte, being responsible for 80% of the city's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The city has a developed industrial sector, being traditionally a hub of the Brazilian siderurgical and metallurgical industries, as the state of Minas Gerais is very rich in minerals, particularly iron ore. The city’s older established industries include publishing, textiles, furniture, auto parts and food processing. More recently a large number of small enterprises in the technological sector, particularly in the fields of computing and biotechnology have emerged.
Sources for city budget
Political structure
Administrative structure
Belo Horizonte is governed by a mayor and vice mayor with the assistance of secretaries who head administrative departments. Since 1984 the mayor has been popularly elected to a four-year term. The Metropolitan Region of Belo Horizonte comprises 34 municipalities.

The Horizon 2030 proposes the localization of recent Global Development Milestones (GDMs), including the 2030 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals, the New Urban Agenda, the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction among other international treaties. Even though these milestones are essential to promote sustainable development, public managers may be unable to produce public policies aligned with the GDMs. The Horizon 2030 will propose adjustments to the strategies, action guidelines and planning and management instruments for the various secretariats and agencies of the municipal executive branch, through a localization approach, to be achieved by 2030.

The objective of the programme is to  facilitate the implementation of public policies aligned with international best practices and global agendas:

  • to develop institutional skills and capacities
  • to educate the technical workforce in the respective areas
  • to carry out thematic studies
  • to provide access to funds, investments and technical and financial collaborations

Additionally, the Horizon 2030 will promote the adoption of concepts related to global development milestones by the private sector, academia and civil society. Thus, it is expected to enable the adoption of practices in line with the aforementioned milestones, bringing them closer to the reality of the municipality.

The Horizon 2030 will be implemented in 4 stages:

  • planning the means for implementation;
  • initial awareness and mobilization;
  • localization of global development milestones in the municipality;
  • evaluation of results and proposals for referrals;

Phase 1: planning the means for implementation

Actions will be identified and aimed at municipal managers and other relevant local actors from civil society, the private sector and academia. These actions will be applied at a later time in order to ascertain the degree of adoption of the concepts related to global development milestones in the municipality. In addition to identifying the main challenges for the localization process. A timetable for rolling out these actions will be completed. 

Phase 2: initial awareness and mobilization

The activities of the second stage will focus on mobilizing and educating the public administration staff on the importance of incorporating the goals, principles and objectives of the GDMs into the functional and institutional structure of the municipality, as well as on the relevance of the role of cities in the context of sustainability. Initial engagement will be boosted by holding meetings with relevant local actors that have been identified. Then, the actions related to Belo Horizonte City Hall managers will be applied and the data obtained will be consolidated. The communication strategy for the Horizon 2030 will be completed, and training will be organized to provide institutional capacity for the adoption of public policies in line with global development milestones. This includes the completion of the methodologies and materials that will be used, the training calendar and identifying the institutions and bodies that will provide the training. 

Phase 3: localization of global development milestones in the municipality

The third phase will initially consist of applying the actions to the relevant local actors. After consolidating the data obtained, this step will aim to build institutional capacity for Belo Horizonte City Hall to adopt practices aligned with the international development agendas in the municipality. Thematic training of municipal civil servants by results area of the MDGs will be organized offering seminars with national and international experts alongside workshops for the development of specific work plans. The training will also focus on preparing technicians and municipal managers to share knowledge within the public administration that will trigger dialogue and debate at the municipal level.

In parallel, discussions will be held with local actors. Within the education sector, topics of discussion will be identified for student and teacher training workshops. In relation to civil society and the private sector, workshops and activities will be promoted to generate appropriation of the concepts related to the GDMs. In addition, co-financing possibilities for the pilot projects proposed by PBH will be sought from the private sector. Possible partnerships with international organizations and foreign governments will be identified, in the form of technical and financial cooperation, and opportunities to access funds and awards. From the data collected so far, the partial results of the programme will be released. 

Phase 4: evaluation of results and proposals for referrals

The last phase of the project will be devoted to the compilation of data. The analysis of results will allow proposals for referrals to be made, in order to adapt the methodology or for the continuation of the model. After a final evaluation, a report will be produced and disseminated at national and international levels. In addition, there will be the systematization and dissemination of good practices in Belo Horizonte in relation to GDMs. 

The lead agency for the programme is the International Relations Directorate (IRD) of Belo Horizonte City Hall. IRD are responsible for the localization of global development milestones and provide both financial and human resources support.

ICLEI and UN provide staff resources and transfer of technical knowledge, respectively, as stated in the Technical Cooperation Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding signed by Belo Horizonte City Hall with these institutions.

The following results are expected:

  • expansion of the institutional capacities of Belo Horizonte City Hall regarding the localization of the Global Agendas;
  • implementation of public policies aligned to the Global Agendas;
  • dissemination of the Agendas/Goals within the municipality;
  • develop a more institutional approach to international organizations.

The expected impacts are:

  • increased resilience and the creation of opportunities for sustainable and inclusive development in the municipality;
  • localization of Global Development Agendas/Goals; reducing the impacts of climate change;
  • reduction of the impacts of disasters and the need for removal/resettlement of the population;
  • implementation of policies and guidelines for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and sustainable urban planning.

The challenges foreseen for the implementation of the programme are:

  • budget reductions due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • delay in implementing actions due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • low engagement of actors involved;
  • difficulty in replicating the model for some executive bodies of Belo Horizonte.

Faced with these challenges and in order to ensure that they will not prevent the implementation of the programme, the municipality has executed the following actions:

  • a specific budget from the International Relations Directorate for the localization of global development milestones;
  • signed technical cooperation agreements with ICLEI;
  • signed a memorandum of understanding with the UN;
  • revised the timetable according to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic;
  • promote successful cases from Belo Horizonte City Hall in order to demonstrate and raise awareness about the importance of the proposed activities. 

Localizing global development agendas, means more than just adopting internationally agreed goals at the local level. It means making the aspirations of these goals become real to communities, households and individuals, particularly to those who are at risk of falling behind.

LOCAL AND REGIONAL GOVERNMENTS 'REPORT TO THE 2020 HLPF 4th REPORT: TOWARDS THE LOCALIZATION OF THE SDGs - How to accelerate transformative actions in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak - Global taskforce of Local and Regional Governments - CGLU.

Paris Agreement

UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATIONS. New Urban Agenda: Quito declaration on cities and sustainable human settlements for all. Quito Declaration on Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements for All. 2016. Available at: http://habitat3.org/wp-content/uploads/NUA-Portuguese-Angola.pdf.

UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATIONS. Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 2015. Available at: https://hic-al.org/2018/12/28/marco-de-sendai-para-la-reduccion-del-riesgo-de-desastres/.

UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATIONS. Sustainable Development Goals in Brazil. Available at: https://brasil.un.org/pt-br/sdgs.

UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATIONS. Paris Agreement Available at: http://www.mpf.mp.br/atuacao-tematica/sci/normas-e-legislacao/tratados/convencoes-meio-ambiente/acordo-de-paris.pdf/view.

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Belo Horizonte City Hall
Belo Horizonte, Brazil

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