CH2M HILL meets with Brazilian mayor to expand project opportunities in Brazil
June 24, 2013 - In late May our Portland office was visited by a delegation from Jaraguá do Sul (JdS), Brazil to discuss potential development opportunities in Brazil. This follows our recent award of an Economic Master Plan for the 664-square-mile Belo Horizonte Metropolitan Region in Brazil's State of Minas Gerais, where we are developing "smart growth" concepts to improve quality of life for the 4 million people living in the region.
CH2M HILL staff presenting to the Brazilian delegation included CH2M HILL Urban Programs Managing Director Jo Danko/CVO, I&AT Belo Horizonte project manager Alfred Voegels/PDX, Water group Sustainable Cities Program manager Steph Stoppenhagen/PDX and Transportation group technologist Michael O'Halloran/PDX.
The meeting came about through our relationship with the Portland Development Commission's Urban Development Department. The Commission arranged a previous visit by another Brazilian delegation in late 2012 that led to an opportunity we're pursuing for CH2M HILL to develop an Eco Map for the City of Rio de Janeiro.
"We see a real opportunity for leveraging city-to-city relationships (i.e. Portland and Jaragua do Sul) in order to identify new project opportunities for firms such as CH2M HILL that are either not yet formulated or still in concept phase," said a Portland Development Commission representative.
"The current thinking from the JdS Mayor's Office is that they would like to see Portland firms eventually bid as a team on the various projects. They have seen projects here in Portland that were accomplished in that collaborative model and want to replicate that in their city."
Portland has an international reputation for progressive urban planning. Jaraguá do Sul views Portland as a model for planning of urban spaces and transit worthy of emulation. Like Belo Horizonte, Jaraguá do Sul also wants to establish an "Aerotropolis" to serve as an economic development engine as well as transportation hub for the region. There are also aspirations to redevelop ports, rail and highway systems to support the city's projected growth.
During the visit Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and Jaraguá do Sul Mayor Dieter Janssen signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the two cities to "expand the possibilities for business cooperation, provide support for setting up business and joint ventures, facilitate partnerships between technology and business development institutions, with special emphasis on direct collaborative projects, including public-private linkages, to bolster economic development and export performance."
Feedback from the Portland Development Commission indicated that the Brazilians were much impressed by our team's presentation of CH2M HILL's expertise related to urban planning, smart cities, eco districts and our numerous eco tools.
Our team followed up with a June meeting in Jaraguá do Sul to create next steps with the leaders involved in the region.