Housing development has direct and indirect impacts on the environment. Through its design, construction, and operation, housing represents a significant point of direct consumption of natural materials, water, and energy.
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Therefore, greenhouse gas emissions embodied in housing can be very significant. Moreover, in Brazil, civil construction is responsible for the largest percentage of solid waste volume generated in cities, resulting in additional environmental impacts. The housing sector also has substantial indirect environmental impacts associated with extended commuting distances from residents of housing developments and their resulting greenhouse gas emissions.The housing sector in Brazil offers substantial opportunities to improve enviromental performance. Housing developments, particularly large-scale low-cost programs, provide opportunities to minimize local and global environmental impacts through the use of energy efficient materials, design and construction guidelines, as well as performance standards. Many of these technologies and practices are appropriate to Brazilian conditions, and a number of them are already in use. Low-cost housing programs can be designed to incorporate sustainable materials and guidelines, with potentially large-scale impacts. With the launch of the Minha Casa, Minha Vida (MCMV) economic stimulus program to subsidize the construction of 1 million low-income housing units (and recent approval of a second round of subsidies for 2 million homes), Brazil is in a unique position to achieve the triumvirate of sustainable growth the social goal of reducing the national housing deficit, the economic stimulus goal of creating jobs in the construction industry, and the environmental goal of developing healthy homes and communities. Centralized funding sources like MCMV provide can be also used as models for other assisted housing programs and, potentially, market-rate housing developments as cities, developers and construction product manufacturers become more experienced in green housing technologies.
Many green construction and technology programs are already in place. Brazil has a history of promoting programs and policies related to sustainable housing design construction and maintenance, such as product certification, supply-chain, research and development, and Green Building programs. The Selo Azul Program, launched by CAIXA in 2010 with the goal of promoting green housing development in Brazil, is particularly promising. Enhancements to current programs can greatly improve sustainability of housing sector. With increasing awareness on sustainable construction, there are currently major opportunities to promote the incorporation of green construction technologies, as well as hazard-resistant technologies for climate adaptation, within formal and informal low-income housing in Brazil. Based on a review of current practices at the national and international level, as well as on interviews with public and private sector practitioners, this Policy Note presents recommendations aimed at enhancing the sustainability of low-income housing approaches in Brazil, through the provision of high quality, energy-efficient housing with minimal environmental impacts. See Less -
Other Urban Study 70187 MAY 01, 2011
Urban sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Brazilian cities are growing. At the national level, the dominance of greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation in Brazil masks the fact that emissions from other sectors, like Energy, Transport and Waste, are growing quite rapidly in cities.
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Compared to other cities around the world, Brazilian cities have low per capita GHG emissions because of the high level of renewable energy production; but as Brazilian cities continue to grow, the pressure towards higher emissions will persist. The majority of emissions from Energy in Brazil result from the use of fossil fuels and electric power by industry. Industrial processes using fossil fuels will continue to be the largest contributor to emissions growth over the long-term, but electricity generation will produce the highest emissions increase in the period up to 2030. For the past three decades, the trend has been for industries to move away from city centers to peripheral locations that are cheaper and have easier access to distribution networks. However, all the GHG emissions inventories completed to date by Brazilian cities are limited to municipal boundaries, making it difficult to assess the role of industrial emissions at the metropolitan level. One clear trend within city boundaries is that residential consumption of electricity is increasing. As households become wealthier, the size of housing units tend to get larger and the number of domestic appliances increase and residential consumption of electricity is expected to grow drastically in the next two decades.Transport emissions are rapidly growing, especially in urban areas. Fossil fuelbased emissions in Brazil are low compared to other countries due to the prominence of renewable-energy sources for electricity and fuels. In fact, ethanol substitutes for two-fifths of gasoline fuel. However, transport-sector emissions are rapidly growing due to increased motorization and congestion. This is coupled with a tendency for smaller agglomerations to grow in a sprawling manner, which is directly impacting the growth of GHG emissions, since the amount of vehicle travel is linked to urban form, i.e. the location of housing, jobs, commerce and entertainment.
A distinguishing characteristic of Brazilian cities is the high percentage of emissions from waste. The waste sector constitutes about 4 percent of GHG emissions on average in cities.1 A key driver of waste emissions is the amount of waste produced and collected. In Brazil the amount of waste collected has increased by about 4 percent per year since 1970. The amount of solid waste collected in urban areas is expected to continue increasing in the next two decades due to increased generation of waste and improvements in the collection system. This will likely result in an even higher share of GHG emissions for the overall sector.
Climate change impacts are widespread. Climate impacts from global warming in major Brazilian cities have been identified and include flooding from intense storms, increased temperatures, and droughts. Sea level rise is also identified as a concern for Brazil because 25 percent of Brazils population lives in coastal cities. Brazilian cities are taking action against climate change. In response to concerns about global climate change, Brazilian cities have been world leaders in defining GHG emissions reduction targets and adopted local climate change laws. Some cities have completed GHG inventories, established reduction targets, and taken measures to mitigate emissions. See Less -
Other Urban Study 70186 MAY 01, 2011
|Title||Document Date||Report No.||Document Type||Also available in|
|Green cities : Sustainable low - income housing in Brazil (English) See More +||MAY 01, 2011||70187||Other Urban Study|
|Green cities : Cities and climate change in Brazil (English) See More +||MAY 01, 2011||70186||Other Urban Study|