"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."

Buckminster Fuller, philosopher, futurist and global thinker (1895 - 1983)
"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

The Report of the U.N. Brundtland Commission, Our Common Future, 1987
"History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives"

Abba Eban

Useful information


Because of its geographical location, seasons in Brazil are in the reverse period of the year (spring - September 22 to December 21; summer - December 22 to March 21; autumn - March 22 to June 21; winter - June 22 to September 21).

Coastal cities such as Rio de Janeiro have tropical climates with warm temperatures offset by the constant sea breeze. While most of the country experiences no significant seasonal variation because it lies within the tropics, in the Southern region temperatures during winter can drop below freezing.


Voltage is not standard throughout the country. Most cities, including Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Manaus, Salvador, use 110/127V electricity. Brasília, Florianópolis, Fortaleza, Recife, and São Luis use 220V electricity.


The Brazilian monetary unit is the Real (R$) (pronounced Rey owl). Cash and traveller’s checks are easily exchanged at hotel cashiers, banks, and travel agencies. Most hotels and shops accept foreign currency and international credit cards.


Chauffeured or self-driven rental cars are available at all major airports and in most large cities. Taxis are plentiful in most cities throughout Brazil. Regular metered taxis can be hailed on the street. The taximeter will show the exact fare to be paid (fares are indicated in Brazilian currency: R$ - Real). Radio dispatched taxis can be called by telephone. Taxi drivers do not expect to be tipped, although the common practice is to tell the driver to "keep the change".


Most shops in Brazil open from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays. Shopping centres stay open as late as 10:00 p.m., including on Saturdays, and from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays and most of the holidays. Banks open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays in most parts of the country, with slight regional variations.


Benchmarking the performance of cities across energy, water and environment systems
related metrics presents an opportunity to trigger policy learning, action, and cooperation to bring cities closer to sustainable development.