Time Out São Paulo

Gilberto Kassab: interview

São Paulo's mayor talks green solutions with Time Out

What does hosting the C40 conference mean to São Paulo?
This is a unique opportunity, not only for São Paulo, but for Latin America, since this is the first edition of the conference in the Southern Hemisphere. The C40 has always been focused on action and we expect that this action will be carried out through groups of cities working together on specific themes such as transport, landfill management and energy efficiency in existing buildings, with concrete policies and measurable results.

Do any C40 cities present challenges similar in scale to São Paulo?
Tokyo and Mexico City are even bigger than São Paulo, but precisely because their problems are the same, the collaboration between these cities is a fundamental factor in the efficiency of their policies regarding urban congestion, pollution, drainage, etc.

Can you cite a sustainable solution already in operation in São Paulo which could be an example to the world?
In 2007 and 2008, the city held two carbon credit auctions from three of our largest landfills, generating over R$71 million to be invested in environmental projects around the landfills to directly benefit local residents.

With 7 million cars on the streets, what measures are being taken to get citizens onto public transport?
This is the first municipal government to invest resources in the metrô since the state began to manage the system. And since 2005, we’ve reduced pollutants by replacing 65 per cent of buses – 9,773 vehicles.

How can the city encourage the use of public transport while raising bus prices?
The recent fare adjustment is related to increased investment in public transport, balancing the cost of that transport with the reduced-fare programme that benefits 1.7 million passengers (the elderly, who ride free, and students, who ride half price), generating savings that can be invested in other projects.

By Gibby Zobel
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