Catalyzing Investment in Urban Sustainability
U.S.-Brazil Joint Initiative on
Urban Sustainability


Porto Maravilha: Urban Waterfront Revitalization

Project Overview

Since the 1970s, the Port of Rio de Janeiro has fallen into disrepair-currently 1 million m2 of real estate are under-occupied and many historic buildings have not been kept up. With the impetus of rising real estate prices, a series of world-class mega-events, the 450th anniversary of Rio de Janeiro, and continued economic growth, the City has cooperated with the federal and state governments, private interests, and the local community to create the extensive Porto Maravilha (Marvelous Port) project to revitalize the area. Porto Maravilha aims to increase the number of residents in the region and provide new commercial and industrial space in a sustainable, equitable, and livable way. The plan includes installing 700 km of water, sanitation, drainage, electricity, gas, and telecommunications networks; 650 km2 of sidewalks; 17 km of bike paths; 15,000 trees; and three sanitation plants alongside historic preservation, social inclusion, and cultural and education initiatives. The Port area will also connect to other public transit hubs through a new light rail system (VLT), estimated to carry 200,000 people per day in its initial years. The area is meant to host mixed-use buildings as well as high-density mixed-income housing centered on several anchor projects, including the two museums and some Olympic sites.

How to Apply this Project

Much of the area around the Port was owned by the federal, state, or municipal government, and with the acquisition of this land by the City and its declaration of this area as an area of special interest in 2009, Porto Maravilha was born. Managed by the publicly traded CDURP (Port Area Urban Development Company), the revitalization effort is primarily financed through CEPACs, linked to the real estate development rights. CDURP works closely with the Caixa Economica Federal (government bank) and with the Novo Porto consortium, a concessionaire responsible for the renovation and maintenance of urban infrastructure through 2025. In order to incentivize sustainable development and cultural and historical preservation, the City created incentives for developers to take steps that would improve their buildings and the surrounding area.

Contact Information
Companhia de Desenvolvimento Urbano da Região do 
Porto do Rio de Janeiro (CDURP)
Phone: +55 (21) 2976-6640
Environmental, Social, and Economic Benefits

The revitalization of this waterfront area is intended to help address environmental, social, and economic challenges by attracting new economic activity to a degraded area and doing so in a greener and denser way. It may also pull new residents to an area that was previously primarily industrial and expand green transportation networks.