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Performance of Brazilian Capital Cities

Citylivinglab - Available online 5 may 2022

Ana Cristina Fachinelli, Tan Yigitcanlar, Tatiana Tucunduva Philippi Cortese,  Jamile Sabatini-Marques, Debora Sotto, Bianca Libardi


This report is an outcome of close collaboration between the Australia-Brazil Smart City Research and Practice Network's member institutions. The report focuses on understanding the smartness levels of the Brazilian capital cities through the lens of a smart city performance assessment framework. 

This report focuses on Brazilian cities to develop an evaluation model for smart cities and bring metrics that contribute to public managers seeking balance and smartness in the life of their cities.

The smart city concept in this report concerns of smart economy, smart society, smart environment, smart governance, and smart technology domains that seek community-enabled technology and policy to deliver productivity, innovation, livability, well-being, sustainability, accessibility, and good governance and planning.

This report informs public managers, through the indicators of productivity and innovation, liveability and well-being, sustainability and accessibility, governance and planning, and connectivity and innovation, on the smartness performance and levels of their cities. The report highlights strengths and weaknesses of Brazilian capital cities in becoming internationally renowned smart cities.

The analysis based on the smart city assessment framework revealed the following city types: the leaders, the followers, and the developing ones. Cities identified as leaders have a strong innovation ecosystem, with legislation for developing entrepreneurship and training of skilled labor and generating knowledge-based economic development, and facilitating fast and reliable internet access.

One of the most critical challenges on the journey to smartness of the Brazilian cities is connectivity. The internet needs to be available, affordable, reliable and fast in all regions of the country for all people. This way the digital inclusion problems could be avoided. The broadband and 5G internet are considered by many experts as a social right, and hence should be included a citizen's basic right to the Brazilian Constitution.

The arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted Brazilian cities but at the same time gave them the opportunity to develop a mobile workforce and attract brilliant minds, including internationally, especially as the concept of anywhere offices becomes increasingly present in the life of cities and contributing to their knowledge-based economic development.

Access to open data is another essential element for city smartness and can promote innovative entrepreneurship and the development of new technologies, governance, transparency, and impact on citizen quality of life. For this reason, municipalities should focus their efforts on collection of local data and their responsible use.

This report is relevant and strategic for the government to guarantee fair, ethical, effective, efficient and progressive public policies. It also offers an invaluable opportunity for the authorities to consider the adoption of the indicators used in this report in assessing their smart city performance and progress. We believe this report will inform smart city policy and practice in Brazilian cities.


Smart Cities; Sustainable Urban Development; Knowledge-Based Development; Environmental Metrics; Brazil; Australia; Cities; 

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