On November 23, 2016, the seminar “The Governability of the Urban Nexus” was held at the Institute of Advanced Studies (Instituto de Estudos Avançados), University of São Paulo.

The meeting was attended by researchers: Leandro Giatti (FSP/USP and IEA/USP), Pedro Roberto Jacobi (IEA/USP, FE/USP and IEE/USP), Patrícia Constante Jaime (FSP/USP), Célio Berman (IEA/USP and IEE/USP), Michele Dalla Fontana (University of Venice, Italy) and Joshua Daniel Shake (FSP/USP).

The meeting was divided into two blocks, in the first block, the issue of “Sectorial Governance of the nexus at the municipal level” was addressed. In this block, was discussed (i) the municipality and the extent of public policies that connect healthy and sustainable food; (ii) municipal energy management; and (iii) water as the main focus of the nexus interlacing and the performance of the municipality of water resources. The second block deliberated about the “Interdependence and Synergy”, and was discussed (i) the investigation of the urban nexus of the chains in the city of Guarulhos and the perspective of urban planning; and (ii) identification of interdependence and possibilities of viable synergy  at the municipal level.


  • The paradigm of an adequate and healthy diet and access to healthy food x social inequity;
  • The relationship between urban waste, production and consumption of ultra-processed foods;
  • Food deserts (desertos alimentares) – usually in the peripheries of large cities, where there is no supply of fresh food;
  • The relationship between PNAE (Programa Nacional de Alimentação Escolar) x the absence of the state government;
  • Autocracia energética” – The State centralizes the energy management;
  • The impossibility of decision, at local level, about what kind of energy need and want to consume;
  • It’s essential for both population and managers, energy education programs;
  • Inefficiency and lack of selective waste collection policies;
  • Distribution of food – lack of management in food distribution (e.g. “migração das melancias”)
  • Water governance – Centralization of water management (sanitation companies and state government), corroborating a scenario in which municipalities are not responsible for water and citizens only remember water when they are lacking;
  • The environmental liability x lack of sanitation;
  • Extreme events and climate change – water scarcity (e.g. 2014-2015);
  • The difficulty of motivating municipalities to manage energy issues, since in Brazil the energy is mostly generated from renewable sources (hydroelectric).
  • The population density of Guarulhos (and the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo), creating a situation that, in scale, makes it difficult to compare with other urban systems;
  • The 3 sectors (energy / water / food) are in a constant crisis and they are not thinking in a long term, how to solve problems;
  • How to plan and think systematically in the 3 scales of government (federal, state and municipal level);
  • How to face the challenges of the nexus – privatization processes and contracts (specifically in the energy and water sectors);
  • How to plan cities – set of tools to help cities to address their problems. Need to reflect the city as a set of systems.



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