Graham Sustainability Institute

Making Santa Marta Home: Fostering Community Ownership and Environmental Stewardship in Vila Santa Marta, Brazil

October 2016

Vila Santa Marta is a community in São Leopoldo, Brazil, which faces a number of socio-environmental challenges. This factsheet provides an overview of these challenges, including trash build up in public spaces, difficulties with waste management infrastructure, inadequate water, and sewage systems that can lead to flooding, and deteriorating road infrastructure. The local government employs a municipal budgeting strategy that provides the public with the opportunity to decide how to allocate resources and determine the city’s public budget allocation for specific initiatives and capital improvements. However, issues of poor communication have historically led to limited involvement of Santa Marta residents in the participatory budgeting process.

Keywords: Dow Sustainability Fellows Program, Vila Santa Marta, São Leopoldo, Brazil, socio-environmental challenges, infrastructure participatory decision-making, global impact series