|O Município do Porto Alegre
The Municipality of Porto Alegre
From upper left: Usina do Gasômetro; the Laçador statue (symbol of the city); panoramic view of the port; Public Market; Monument to the Azorean people with the Administrative Center of the State of Rio Grande do Sul.
|Motto: Loyal and Valiant city of Porto Alegre|
|State||Rio Grande do Sul|
|Mesoregion||Metropolitana de Porto Alegre|
|Founded||26 March 1772|
|• Mayor||José Fortunati (PDT)|
|• City||496.827 km2 (191.826 sq mi)|
|Elevation||10 m (30 ft)|
|• City||1,509,939 (10th)|
|• Density||394/km2 (1,020/sq mi)|
|• Metro||4,405,769 (4th)|
|Time zone||UTC-3 (UTC-3)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-2 (UTC-2)|
|Area code(s)||+55 51|
|Website||Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul|
Porto Alegre (local Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈpoɾtʊ aˈlɛɡɾɪ] ( ); Happy Harbour) is the capital and largest city in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. Its population of 1,509,939 inhabitants (2010) makes it the tenth most populous city in the country and the centre of Brazil's fourth largest metropolitan area, with 4,405,760 inhabitants (2010). The city is the southernmost capital city of a Brazilian state. Porto Alegre is one of the top cultural, political and economic centers of Brazil.
Porto Alegre was founded in 1772 by immigrants from the Azores, Portugal. In the late 19th century the city received many immigrants from other parts of the world, particularly from Germany, Italy, and Poland. The vast majority of the population is of European descent.
The city lies on the eastern bank of the Rio Guaiba (Guaiba Lake), where five rivers converge to form the Lagoa dos Patos (Lagoon of the Ducks), a giant freshwater lagoon navigable by even the largest of ships. This five-river junction has become an important alluvial port as well as a chief industrial and commercial center of Brazil.
The port of Porto Alegre is important for transporting local produce. The "capital gaúcha" has a broad-based economy that lays particular emphasis on agriculture and industry. Agricultural production includes produce such as plums, peaches, rice and cassava grown on rural smallholdings. The shoe and leather industries are also important, especially in Novo Hamburgo, in the Metropolitan Region of Porto Alegre.
Porto Alegre has a long coastline on the Guaíba Lake, and its topography is punctuated by 40 hills. In the lake, a vast body of water, a maze of islands facing the city creates an archipelago where a unique ecosystem gives shelter to abundant wildlife. The city area concentrates 28% of the native flora of Rio Grande do Sul, with 9,288 species. Among these, there are many trees which are the vestiges of the Atlantic Forest. Fauna are also diversified, specially in the islands and hills. The Portoalegrense environs include many parks, squares and wooded streets.
In recent years, Porto Alegre hosted the World Social Forum, an initiative of several non-government organizations. The city became famous for being the first city that implemented participatory budgeting. The 9th Assembly of the World Council of Churches was held in Porto Alegre in 2006. Since 2000, Porto Alegre also hosts one of the world's largest free software events, called FISL.
- 1 History
- 2 The city
- 3 Geography
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Politics, government and citizenship
- 6 Economy
- 7 Alternative programs
- 8 Tourism and recreation
- 9 Nightlife
- 10 Education
- 11 Culture
- 12 Events
- 13 Transportation
- 14 Sports
- 15 Neighborhoods
- 16 Notable people
- 17 Sister cities
- 18 Partner cities
- 19 See also
- 20 References
- 21 External links
|This section requires expansion. (October 2013)|
Porto Alegre began as a large farm whose surroundings were inhabited by Indians from several different tribes. A small village formed in the area in 1752 by settlers mainly from the Azores, and in 1772 the parish of São Francisco do Porto dos Casais was formed. A year later the bishop changed the parish's name to Nossa Senhora Madre de Deus do Porto Alegre (Our Lady Mother of God of the Happy Port) and the city was selected as the location for the provincial government.
Porto Alegre had become a city of 12,000 inhabitants by 1822, the year the Brazil gained independence. The main port facilities were built between 1845 and 1860. By the end of the century the population had risen to 73,000. The city became known worldwide in 1963 through hosting the World University Games. In 1985 the people of Porto Alegre joined the movement for free elections and one of the largest demonstrations took place in the city.
The city is located on a delta resulting from the junction of five rivers, officially called Guaíba Lake (popularly mentioned as a river too). Although its origins date from the mid-18th century, when immigrants from the Azores settled in the area, the city was officially established in 1742. Porto Alegre is also one of the wealthiest cities in Latin America, and one of the most diverse. It has welcomed immigrants from all over the world, the largest numbers coming from Portugal, Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland. There are also significant Arab and Jewish contingents among its population. The Afro-Brazilian population is also large in the city.
Before this, Porto Alegre was the port of Viamão on the shore of Guaíba Lake. Its previous name was Porto dos Casais (Port of the Couples), and it was initially settled by Azorians. Many families of settlers also came from the city of Rio Grande in the littoral Lagunar region, to the south, a military fortress at that time. Today Rio Grande is the most important port of the State of Rio Grande do Sul. The city is also known as "Porto do Sol" (Port of the Sun) and "Cidade Sorriso" (Smile City). More than 70 neighborhoods (see below) are part of the city and two-thirds of the population are concentrated in the Zona Norte (Northern Zone), where most of the economic activity, including the city center, takes place.
Porto Alegre was the seat of the World Social Forum in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2010. As the second largest city in southern Brazil, it is also an important industrial center in this geographical area. It is also a center for gaúcho (the popular name for natives of the state) history and culture, famous for its churrasco (barbecue) and chimarrão (a strong and hot tea prepared from erva mate). Important Brazilian universities, such as UFRGS, UFCSPA and PUCRS are located there. In 2000, the literacy rate was 97%. The high quality of life is one of the city's main features.
The city of Porto Alegre is located at the northern end of the large coastal lagoon, Lagoa dos Patos in southeastern Brazil. The city lies on the east bank of the mouth of the Rio Guaiba, the estuary of which forms the enormous freshwater lagoon, Lagoa dos Patos. It additionally serves as the state capital of Brazil's southernmost state, Rio Grande do Sul.
Porto Alegre is located in the subtropical zone and thus features a humid subtropical climate (Cfa in Köppen climate classification). Average precipitation is high and regular throughout the year. Summer temperatures often rise above 32 °C (90 °F) and high levels of humidity make the season very muggy. Subtropical climate is a climate zone characterized by hot, humid summers and mild winters. Significant amounts of precipitation occur in all seasons in most areas. Most summer rainfall occurs during thunderstorms and an occasional tropical storm, hurricane or cyclone. . The city experiences the most prominent difference among seasons and between temperature extremes among all Brazilian capitals. One reason for that is the highest latitude, wich also contributes for the occurrence of 14 hours of daylight in December and 10 hours in June. There is a major concern involving the south of Brasil and its proximity to Antartida. The population is occasionally dangerously exposed to extremely high UV radiation.
The winter is mild, windy, and quite changeable, which is also a feature of this time of the year. Usual winter temperatures range from 4 °C (39 °F) to 16 °C (61 °F). In the coldest days of the year the temperature may fall slightly below zero, like in 2012, when it recorded −3 °C (27 °F). Snow is very rare, sometimes confused with sleet. The only snowfall events in Porto Alegre were in 1879, 1910, 1984, 1994, 2000 and 2006, albeit few of them with accumulation. Fall tends to be as changeable as winter, but is typically warmer. Spring, stabler akin to summer, is slightly drier than all the other seasons. Occurrence of radiation fog is common, causing several delays in early flights. Unlike other large Brazilian cities much farther north, notably Brasilia, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro who observe a pronounced summer maximum in precipitation amounts, the city of Porto Alegre experiences a prominent winter maximum in precipitation values and cloud cover, for the summer season is primarily hot and dry; though evidently high humidity levels often give a distinct mugginess to the air and negatively impacts air quality. Annually Porto Alegre receives an average-total precipitation amount of 1,348 millimetres (53.1 in). This average makes the city slightly wetter than Rio at 1,172 millimetres (46.1 in) yet, to a considerable extent, drier than both São Paulo at 1,457 millimetres (57.4 in) and Brasilia at 1,557 millimetres (61.3 in).
|Climate data for Porto Alegre|
|Record high °C (°F)||40
|Average high °C (°F)||30.2
|Daily mean °C (°F)||25.4
|Average low °C (°F)||20.5
|Record low °C (°F)||11
|Precipitation mm (inches)||100.1
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||11||10||11||9||10||12||12||11||11||10||10||10||127|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||238.7||209.1||201.5||180.0||167.4||135.0||148.8||151.9||150.0||201.5||216.0||244.9||2,244.8|
|Source #1: World Meteorological Organization., Hong Kong Observatory (sun only 1961-1990) |
|Source #2: BBC Weather (record highs, lows, and humidity)|
Porto Alegre lies in a transitional area between the subtropical forest and the Southern Brazilian grasslands (pampa). A number of conservation programmes have been established here to protect native trees. Many of the city's avenues have been planted with different tree species. One striking example of this is Teresópolis Avenue, where bottle trees have been planted. The city is covered in green vegetation and Lapacho and Jacaranda are the main species that can be found here. The trees from the hills are protected. Two environmental conservation areas can be found in this city: "Delta do Jacuí" (Jacuí Delta) State Park and Lami Biological Reserve.
The urban area has many parks and plazas, making Porto Alegre one of the greenest provincial capitals in Brazil. The first city squares date from the second half of the 18th century and were originally large public spaces used as food markets. The city has 39 km2 (9,600 acres) of green space, occupying 31 percent of the city's area. This is an average of 17.6 m² per person. More than one million trees line the public streets and SMAM plants an average of 30,000 seedlings each year. The four main parks are: Parque Farroupilha, a 37-hectare (91-acre) park; Jardim Botânico (The Botanical Garden of Porto Alegre), with some 725 species of vegetation on about 43 hectares (110 acres) of land; and Parque Marinha do Brasil (The Brazilian Navy's Park), a vast park of more than 70 hectares (170 acres) which offers a wide variety of sports fields and tracks. The city's cycleway is called the Caminho dos Parques, which at over 5 km (3 miles) long links the Moinhos do Vento, Farroupilha and Guaíba shore parks.
Sewer service is available to 84 percent of the city, and with 99.5 percent of the population serviced by treated water. While in most Brazilian cities the water is supplied by large state companies, in Porto Alegre the Municipal Department of Water and Sanitation Services, (DMAE) is the provider. It is the largest municipal water supplier in the country and enjoys operational autonomy and financial independence. As a separate entity from the municipal government it can make its own decisions on how to invest revenues it has collected, and such decisions are not directly subject to interference from the municipality. It receives no subsidies and makes no payments to the municipality itself. As a municipal undertaking, DMAE enjoys tax-exempt status, which allows it to keep water prices lower.
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approves US$ 83.2 million to support the Integrated Socioenvironmental Program of Porto Alegre. The program will be carried out by the Municipal Department of Management and Strategic Support and will focus on: Improving water quality in Guaíba Lake and the Cavalhada River; Developing urban infrastructure to reduce flood risk along the Cavalhada River; Improving the environmental management in the Municipality of Porto Alegre; and Promoting efficient municipal water, sanitation and storm drainage services. This program will improve the quality of life of the population of Porto Alegre by restoring water quality along the west side of Lake Guaíba and directly benefitting more than 700,000 residents through expanded public sanitation services and urban environmental improvement.
Motor vehicles are responsible for up to 80 percent of the main atmospheric pollutant emissions. In the last 40 years, the population of the city has doubled and the number of cars has multiplied 22 times, about one vehicle for every two inhabitants. The use of new buses along dedicated busways has decreased pollutants as there is less idling time. SMAM (the Municipal Council of the Environment) has encouraged the use of the cleanest fuels and has played a role in monitoring pollution levels.
A partnership between SMAM, the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, the State Environmental Protection Foundation (FEPAM) and Petrobrás has created a network of five air monitoring stations in Porto Alegre. By utilizing a Petrobrás product called city diesel, sulphur levels in the air have dropped from 1.2 percent in 1989 to 0.5 percent. Hybrid buses which run on both diesel and electricity are also being considered for the future. Because Porto Alegre has a ready supply of natural gas, the city's taxi fleet is gradually being converted to it from gasoline.
According to the 2010 IBGE Census, there were 1,365,039 people residing in the city of Porto Alegre. The census revealed the following numbers: 1,116,659 White people (79.2%), 143,890 Black people (10.2%), 141,411 Brown (Multiracial) people (10%), 4,062 Asian people (0.3%), 3,308 Amerindian people (0.2%). In 2010, the city of Porto Alegre was the 10th most populous city in Brazil. In 2010, the city had 269,519 opposite-sex couples and 1,401 same-sex couples. The population of Porto Alegre was 53.6% female and 46.4% male.
Porto Alegre is mostly composed of Brazilians of European descent. Its colonization started in the mid-18th century, mostly with the arrival of Portuguese colonists from the Azores Islands. From 1748 to 1756, 2,300 Azoreans were sent to the region by the King of Portugal to protect Southern Brazil from neighboring invaders. These colonists, mostly composed of married couples, established the city of Porto dos Casais (literally translated "harbor of the couples"), nowadays Porto Alegre. In 1775, 55% of Rio Grande do Sul's population was of Azorean Portuguese origin. Porto Alegre was composed mainly of Azoreans and their African slaves until the first half of the 19th century.
The first non-Portuguese people to settle Rio Grande do Sul were German immigrants. In 1824, the first immigrants from Germany arrived in Porto Alegre, but they were sent to what is now the city of São Leopoldo (28 km (17 mi) away). From 1824 to 1914, 50 thousand Germans arrived in Rio Grande do Sul. Most of these colonists had rural communities in the countryside of the State as their first destination. The large rural exodus in Brazil in the early 20th century brought many German-descendants to Porto Alegre and, nowadays, they compose a large percentage of the population. The second largest group of immigrants who arrived in Porto Alegre were the Italians. They started immigrating to Brazil in 1875, mainly from the Northern Italian Veneto region. As the Germans, Italians were also first sent to rural communities, mainly in the Serra Gaúcha region. After some decades, many of them started to migrate to other parts of Rio Grande do Sul, including Porto Alegre. Minority communities of immigrants, such as Central Europeans from Poland and Eastern Europeans from Ukraine; Arabs from Palestine, Lebanon and Syria; Asians from Japan and Jews also made Porto Alegre their home. According to an autosomal DNA genetic study from 2011, the ancestral composition of the population of Porto Alegre is: 77,70% European, 12,70% African and 9,60% Native American.
- Changing demographics of the city of Porto Alegre
Politics, government and citizenship
The executive branch is represented is by the Municipality, its Departments and other public administration bodies directly and indirectly. In 2010 the mayor of Porto Alegre is José Fortunati. The Legislature is represented by the City Council. The Legislature XV (2009/2012) is composed of 35 aldermen, as follows: PT June 6, the PMDB, PTB 5, 5 PDT, PPS 3, 3 PP, 2 of the PSDB, the PSOL 2, 1 the DEM, a PSB and one of the PRB. The Steering Committee is chaired by councilor in 2010 Nelcia Tessaro, the PTB. The judiciary is represented by the Central Court of the District of Porto Alegre. In 2010 the director of the Central Court is judge Alberto Delgado Neto.
It excelled in recent years the completion of the first three editions of the World Social Forum in 2001, 2002 and 2003. The third edition attracted 20,763 delegates from 130 countries, with a total audience of 100,000 people from all parts of the world According to Oded Grajew, one of the mentors of the Forum, the initiative sought to denounce the risks of the neoliberal model. The events inspired the creation of similar movements in different countries, and many patrons of the WSF since its inception are now presidents of their countries and occupy important positions in government. The 10th edition of the WSF was also held in Porto Alegre, focusing their discussions on the reflection on the results achieved so far. The conclusions, however, been controversial. In the opposite direction, another important event is the Freedom Forum, held annually since 1988 and has the goal of finding alternative viable objective and solve problems for Brazilians, the defending liberal or neoliberal line.
A feature of public administration Porto Alegre is the adoption of a system of popular participation in the definition of public investment, called the Participatory Budget. The first full participatory budgeting process was developed in the city starting in 1989. Participatory budgeting was part of a number of innovative reform programs to overcome severe inequality in living standards amongst city residents. One third of the city's residents lived in isolated slums at the city outskirts, lacking access to public amenities (water, sanitation, health care facilities, and schools).
Participatory budgeting in Porto Alegre occurs annually, starting with a series of neighborhood, regional, and citywide assemblies, where residents and elected budget delegates identify spending priorities and vote on which priorities to implement. Porto Alegre spends about 200 million dollars per year on construction and services, this money is subject to participatory budgeting. Annual spending on fixed expenses such as debt service and pensions, is not subject to public participation. Around fifty thousand residents of Porto Alegre now take part in the participatory budgeting process (compared to 1.5 million city inhabitants), with the number of participants growing year on year since 1989. Participants are from diverse economic and political backgrounds.
The participatory budgeting cycle starts in January and runs along the year in many assemblies in each of the city's 16 districts, dealing with many areas of interest to urban life. The meetings elect delegates to represent specific neighborhoods. The mayor and staff attend to respond to citizen concerns. In the following month's delegates meet to review technical project criteria and district needs.
City department staff may participate according to their area of expertise. At a second regional plenary, regional delegates prioritize the district's demands and elect 42 councillors representing all districts and thematic areas to serve on the Municipal Council of the Budget. The main function of the Municipal Council of the Budget is to reconcile the demands of each district with available resources, and to propose and approve an overall municipal budget. The resulting budget is binding, though the city council can suggest, but not require changes. Only the Mayor may veto the budget, or remand it back to the Municipal Council of the Budget (this has never happened).
A World Bank paper suggests that participatory budgeting has led to direct improvements in facilities in Porto Alegre. For example, sewer and water connections increased from 75% of households in 1988 to 98% in 1997. The number of schools quadrupled since 1986. According to Fedozzi and Costa, this system has been recognized as a successful experience of interaction between people and the official administrative spheres in public administration and, as such, has gained a broad impact on the political scene nationally and internationally, being interpreted as a strategy for the establishment of an active citizenship in Brazil. The distribution of investment resources planning that follows a part of the statement of priorities for regional or thematic meetings, culminating with the approval of an investment plan that works and activities program broken down by investment sector, by region and around the city. Also according to Fedozzi, this favors:
The high number of participants, after more than a decade, suggests that participatory budgeting encourages increasing citizen involvement, according to the paper. Also, Porto Alegre's health and education budget increased from 13% (1985) to almost 40% (1996), and the share of the participatory budget in the total budget increased from 17% (1992) to 21% (1999).
Located at the junction of five rivers, it has become an important alluvial port as well as one of the chief industrial and commercial centers in Brazil. With the advent of the Mercosul accord it should grow and prosper. Products of the rich agricultural and pastoral hinterland, such as soybeans, leather, canned beef, and rice, are exported from Porto Alegre to destinations as far away as Africa and Japan.
According to SENAES (National Office of Solidarity Economy), it is considered a solidarity economy, the ensemble of economic activities with the following characteristics: cooperation, self-management, economic feasibility and solidarity. In 2005, the office identified 14,954 solidary enterprises in Brazil, among which 85 are located in Porto Alegre.
Among the main business located in Porto Alegre are Gerdau, Petroleo Ipiranga, Zaffari and RBS. Since 2000, General Motors (GM) is operating in Gravataí – located in the Metropolitan Region. Also in this Region but in Triunfo, there is a Petrochemical Pole,[clarification needed] and in Eldorado do Sul Dell Computers has established a plant. In the health sector, there are three hospitals considered[by whom?] among the best in Latin America: Hospital Moinhos de Vento, which is a private, JCAH-accredited hospital, (Santa Casa de Misericordia Hospital and Clinicas Hospital). The latter are university-affiliated, referral hospitals for the South of Brazil. Commerce is a very important economic activity, with many malls (like Praia de Belas Shopping, Shopping Iguatemi and the smaller though posh Shopping Moinhos). The Metropolitan Region of Porto Alegre, directed to the production of shoes (around Novo Hamburgo) and to petrochemical industries, as well as services.
In the city is located the Electronics Technology Center (CEITEC), focused on the development and production of application specific integrated circuits (ASICs), today announced the opening of Latin America's first IC design center. To create state-of-the-art semiconductor products for high-volume markets that will be consumed in Latin America as well as exported to global markets. CEITEC S.A will accelerate the growth of Latin America's electronics industry by leveraging Brazil's regional influence, leadership and economic strength. The company will add 60 engineers to its ranks who will design RFID, digital media and wireless communication chips for its fabrication facility now ramping up for production. The total investment by the Brazilian government is almost US$ 210 million. The company is implementing a fab-lite strategy with the ability to manufacture analog/digital chips at its facility in Porto Alegre. The in-house design center with more than 100 engineers.
Its rural hinterland yields a variety of agricultural and pastoral products, including meat and hides, wool, rice, beans, cashews, avocados, wheat, grapes, and tobacco. From the forests comes lumber. The city's industries are chiefly concerned with processing these products and include meat-packing, lard refining, leather tanning, shipbuilding, and the manufacturing of textiles, metallurgic goods, electrical and communications equipment, plastics, pharmaceuticals, perfume, beer, and chemicals. There are also steel mills, an oil terminal, and a petrochemical complex. Power comes from coal mined at nearby São Jerônimo and from a hydroelectric plant at Salto. The city has many business and financial institutions and is also an educational centre.
About 98 percent of the Porto Alegre's residents are connected to the power grid. The vast majority of the city's power comes from hydroelectric sources, at 94 percent of grid output. In Brazil, there are also a few coal-fired plants, fuel-oil fired plants and one nuclear facility. Increased utilization of natural gas and other sources is planned in order to reduce Brazil's overdependence on hydroelectric power. In 1999, a natural gas pipeline from Bolivia to Brazil was completed, with its terminus in Porto Alegre. Brazilian investment group Central Termoeletrica Sul (CTSul) has plans to invest US$698 million in a 650MW coal-fired power generation plant in Cachoeira do Sul, located in Rio Grande do Sul.
The largest wind energy park in Brazil, which is being built east of Porto Alegre in Osório, will add 150 megawatts (MW) to the Brazilian energy matrix. The production represents 5 percent of the energy consumed in the state of Rio Grande do Sul and would be sufficient to meet two-thirds of Porto Alegre's energy demands. The Farm opened in 2008 with 75 2MW turbines and has been approved for a 300MW expansion which would make it the largest wind farm in the region. The project is part of the Alternative Energy Sources Program (Proinfa) from state-owned Eletrobrás, which will purchase the energy produced for the next 20 years.
Porto Alegre was one of the first cities in Brazil to develop a recycling program and has been acknowledged as having the best management practices in the country. Since 1990, household waste already separated by residents has been collected in all neighbourhoods on a weekly basis. The city produces about 900 tonnes of household waste per day. Waste is sorted in recycling units, which are large sheds containing crates for the unsorted waste and benches for manual sorting. Once sorted, the waste is compressed and baled up to be sold as raw material to recycling factories. The units are managed by autonomous cooperatives with directors elected every two years. Organic waste is used to generate thermal energy and to make compost. Since 1997, all non-recyclable waste has been disposed of in landfill sites. Infiltration into the soil is prevented by the double-walled construction of a clay layer and a high-density polythene geo-membrane, the lowering of the water table and the draining off and treatment of any effluent.
The community of Belém Novo is benefiting from a municipal, citywide project to recover the Guaíba Lake and its margins. Discussions with local fishermen led to the inclusion of a pier and two storage and cleaning facilities for the fishermen to use. The group also approved the creation of a multipurpose cooperative, called "Coopeixe", to organize the fishing community. Fish is sold at markets, to restaurants and directly to consumers.
Tourism and recreation
- Piratini Palace
The seat of State Government, its construction begun in 1896 after a project by Affonso Hebert, but soon the plan was changed and another project was designed by Maurice Gras, which was erected from 1909 on, and completed only towards the 1970s. It shows a blend of baroque and neoclassical features inspired after the French palace Petit Trianon, with rich inner decorations and furniture, and a big garden behind the main building.
- Public Market
The Public Market is a neoclassical building opened in 1869. From 1995 to 1996 it underwent a major restoration process, which covered the inner yard and restored its original structure. With over 100 shops and stores, there is great variety of options: restaurants, fruit and fish stores, and a famous ice cream parlor.
- Praça da Matriz
The "Praça da Matriz" (Mother Church Square) is a very special point located at the very heart of Historical Downtown Porto Alegre, close to many other historical places of outmost importance, being immediately surrounded by the Piratiny Palace, the House of Justice, the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Saint Peter Theatre (Theatro São Pedro). Also, it is farly close to the Stone Bridge, the Azorians Monument, the Mario Quintana Culture House, and the Solar Palmeiro, all located in downtown.
- Mario Quintana Culture House
It is located in downtown Porto Alegre, near many other historical places. Because of its beautiful historical architecture (formerly a high-profile hotel, Majestic), and its many cultural events, it is a very pleasant place where the porto-alegrenses meet and socialize.
- Paleontological Tourism
Although Porto Alegre is not in the geopark of Paleorrota, it has the largest number of paleontologists of Rio Grande do Sul. The city has a large number of museums, and the UFRGS as a center for the study of paleontology and there one can see fossils from the Triassic such as Rhynchosaur, thecodont, exaeretodon, Staurikosaurus, Guaibasaurus, Saturnalia tupiniquim, Sacisaurus, Unaysaurus and many others.
Also known as "Parque da Redenção", it is located between Bom Fim and Cidade Baixa Neighborhoods, close to downtown. Its 370 thousand sq. meters of extension hosts 45 copper and marble monuments, a luminous fountain and the "Expedicionário" (The Expeditionary) monument, a double Triumph Arch with relief sculptures which are a homage to Brazilian soldiers who fought in Italy in World War II. It also hosts a mini-zoo, an amusement park for children, a solar retreat, a market, football and bowling fields, cycleways, athletic sports track, gymnastics equipment, and an auditorium for 4,500 people. At Sundays, crowds of locals gather and socialize, play sports, relax and drink Mate (beverage), visit the very famous flea market "Brique da Redenção" from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, where one can buy antiques, handicrafted goods, art, and food items, basically.
- Maurício Sirotsky Sobrinho Park (Harmony Park)
Known by locals as the "Parque da Harmonia", it is located at Cidade Baixa District, occupying 300 thousand sq. meters, hosting in its area a replica of a traditional gaucho farm, the Harmonia Ranch, designed to maintain and practice the regional culture. It also has an aero modelling track, a nautical modelling tank, playground, football and bowling fields, volleyball courts, and over 100 barbecue grills available in different areas of the park.
- Botanical Garden
With an area of approximately 43 hectares, Porto Alegre Botanical Garden is located in the neighborhood named after it, between Cristiano Fischer Avenue and Salvador França Avenue. It harbours scientific collections with over two thousand issues, 725 plant species, spread over the different open areas of the park. It also has a Germplasm Bank, a Seed Bank and a Sapling Terrarium, in addition to developing environmental educational activities. The Natural Sciences Museum is headquartered at the Garden and preserves flora and fauna species from the State Natural Heritage.
- Saint Hilaire Park
Located on RS-040 highway, at about km 02, this park is 17 km (11 mi) away from Downtown Porto Alegre. It occupies 11.8 square kilometres (4.6 sq mi), 240 hectares of which are designed for leisure and 940 hectares reserved for permanent conservation. Its name is a homage to scientist Augustin François César Prouvençal de Saint-Hilaire, an internationally renowned French traveller and naturalist who lived in Brazil for many years. The park infrastructure has football fields, bowling fields, volleyball courts and indoor football fields, aero modelling and skating tracks, a playground and approximately 100 barbecue grills.
- Lami Biological Reserve
The city has a Biological Reserve 170 hectares long within its territorial limits. Lami Biological Reserve shelters a meteorological station and a terrarium of native saplings. The diverse atmospheres enable growing over 300 vegetal species and a higher number of animal species; the swamps and reeds are home to many aquatic livings.
- Rural Area
The rural area is also a chief attraction in this place and turns Porto Alegre into an ideal holiday destination, especially in the south area. An opportunity to forget about the stress of the bustling city life at least for some days and get back to nature, to enjoy the flavours, smells, sounds and colours with the five senses. Picking fruits to eat them later, wandering along the countryside or visiting the conservation areas are some of the activities that can be enjoyed in these rural routes.
- Usina do Gasômetro
This is an old powerplant built in 1928 which was refurnished recently and now hosts movie theaters and art exhibitions. During the sunset, lots of people get together in front of the Usina to watch the sun diving into Rio Guaíba (Guaíba Lake).
Known by locals as Parcão (Big Park), this is a pleasant park with a lake and jogging paths.
Porto Alegre is well known in Brazil for its diverse nightlife. The city's clubs, pubs, bars and restaurants provide entertainment for a wide range of tastes and budgets, going from the cheap, traditional beer-'n-bite in a corner bar to all-night raves, and classy nightclubs. In the "SoHo" area of Porto Alegre, there is a block full of great bars, restaurants and clubs.
Bars, some with live music, are spread out along, and just off, alongside the Parque Farroupilha and near the Federal University. Throughout the year, Porto Alegre's numerous Centros de Tradição Gaúcha organize traditional meals, music and dance performances. .
Porto Alegre boasts a popular music scene and a considerable theatrical tradition. Foreign performers of all kinds usually include Porto Alegre on any Brazilian or wider South American tour. The Sala Jazz Tom Jobim, features the city's best jazz, or there are live afternoon jazz sessions at the Café Concerto (within the Casa de Cultura), which also has a good arthouse cinema. There are three more screens at the Espaço Unibanco (Unibanco Cultural Space), another art house cinema. Finally, the Centro Cultural Usina do Gasômetro, a converted 1920s power station on the banks of the river just west of the centre, is well worth a visit; there's always something going on in its cinema, theatre and galleries, and it also has a cafe and a good bookshop.
In Cidade Baixa (translates as "Downtown") neighborhood, the historical street João Alfredo has many excellent options. Discotheques include Dado Bier, Beco, Opinião and Nega Frida. The corner between Gal Lima e Silva Street and República Street is the center of the neighborhood's nightlife. In the weekends, its streets gets crowded of people drinking and having a good time. Cavanhas, Pingüim, Copão, Cotiporã and Panorama are some of the bars where people can drink beer and grab some french fries. To dance MPB (Brazilian popular music), historical street João Alfredo has many excellent options. Small bars on "Republica" street are great. 
In Calçada da Fama, Padre Chagas Street is full of more fashionable bars, like Lilliput and Dado Pub. Goethe Avenue has a concentration of bars (Tri Bar, Arsenal, Dolphin's), great hotdog called "Bagé Dog" and dance clubs, like "Verde". There is also a vibrant more alternative scene with clubs such as Ocidente, Beco and Cabaret. Rua Fernando Gomes has a nice concentration of pubs, cafes, bars. Avenida Osvaldo Aranha, alongside the Parque Farroupilha and near the Federal University has bars with a predominantly young and trendy clientele. Moinhos de Vento is one of the richest neighborhoods in the city. Its bars and clubs are more likely to be fashionable, including upscale Pink Elephant Club, Faro and Box 21, which feature mostly house music. Along Padre Chagas Street people can find typical Irish pubs and cafes. A fictionalized view of the Porto Alegre nightlife could be seen in the Érico Verissimo's novel Noite.
In the south of the city, the most notable clubs are Chalaça Bar in the neighborhood of Ipanema, and Planet Music Hall, which is owned by soccer player Ronaldinho Gaúcho, in the Cavalhada neighborhood.
Portuguese is the official national language, and thus the primary language taught in schools. But English and Spanish are part of the official high school curriculum. There are also international schools, such as the Pan American School of Porto Alegre.
- Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS);
- Universidade Estadual do Rio Grande do Sul (UERGS);
- Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS);
- Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre (UFCSPA);
- Faculdades Riograndenses (FARGS);
- Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing (ESPM-RS);
- Faculdade Porto-Alegrense de Educação (FAPA);
- Universidade SEBRAE de Negocios (USEN);
- Centro Universitário Ritter dos Reis (UniRitter);
- and many others.
It is the Brazilian capital with the highest level of education, 20% of family leaders have a university degree. There are two important universities in Porto Alegre: the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), which has been ranked among the top universities in Brazil and Latin America, and the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS). UFRGS is also one of the 3 main universities in the country for post-graduation work. The PUCRS technological park – TECNOPUC – is one of the largest scientific and technological parks in Latin America with interaction of graduate courses, research] and innovation. In the Metropolitan Region of the city, there are other important universities, such as ULBRA and UNISINOS, and many university centers.
Rio Grande do Sul Museum of Art – MARGS
With an eclectic style, the building was designed by German architect Theo Wiederspahn. Originally it was the headquarters of the Fiscal Surveillance Agency of the Federal Revenue Office. Nowadays, it hosts the largest public collection of art works in Rio Grande do Sul.
Júlio de Castilhos Museum
Created in 1903, being the oldest museum in the state. Its collection comprises thousands of pieces related to the local history, from Indian relics to objects and iconography about the Ragamuffin War and the Paraguayan War, including an important section showing fine sculptures from the Jesuitic Reductions.
Joaquim José Felizardo Museum
An important museum with a large collection of archaeological artifacts and fotographies of Porto Alegre's old times. Its historical building, dating from 1845–55, is one of the few intact relics of colonial architecture inside the modern urban environment.
Rio Grande do Sul Memorial
Showing a huge collection of documents, maps, objects, prints and other items related to the state's history. Its building, designed by Theodor Wiederspahn, is one of the finest examples of eclectic architecture in the city.
Iberê Camargo Foundation
An iconic landmark in the southern part of Porto Alegre, the Iberê Camargo Foundation houses the permanent installation of gaucho artist, Iberê Camargo. It also hosts traveling exhibitions which change several times a year. The building, designed by Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza was opened in 2008 and offers views of the Guiaba river as well as downtown Porto Alegre.
The Porto Alegre Carnival began in the 18th century with the entrudo, a prank brought over by the Portuguese from the Azores, whereby people threw flour, water, and "limão de cheiro" missiles at each other. At the end of the 19th century, two important Carnival associations were born. Rivalry between the two long dominated the city's Carnival. The corso, a parade of floats down Porto Alegre's streets, was a celebration enjoyed by the more well-to-do of the city's inhabitants.
One of the most important Carnival personalities is King Momo. At the beginning of Carnival, usually in February, he receives the keys to the city from the Mayor of Porto Alegre, symbolically governing the Carnival during the four days of revelry. Vincente Rao was the most popular King Momo.
One of the most famous foods of Brazil, churrasco (slow-grilled and -roasted meat), originated in Rio Grande do Sul. But cuisine is eclectic here, and rice and beans sit on southern tables beside Italian and German dishes, thanks to the South's many European immigrants. Colonial coffee is the elaborate 5 PM tea, with breads, pies, and German kuchen, popular among the Germans in the South.
The traditional beverage is the "erva mate". The Chalet of the XV de Novembro Plaza is located along the Glênio Peres Square, it is one of the most traditional bar-draught beer-restaurants in the city, where the last "lambe-lambe" photographs of the region work. "Lambe-lambes" are photographers who develop pictures outdoor using the oldest method known. In the Bavarian style, with art nouveau traits, the centenary Chalet was built up on a demountable steel structure, keeping its original chandeliers and tiles even nowadays.
A wide range of cultural events are held in Porto Alegre. In addition to the traditional celebrations, a wide variety of activities are organized at Porto Alegre during the different seasons.
- World Social Forum: At several occasions (2001, 2002, 2003, 2005) the World Social Forum has been hosted in Porto Alegre. This event gathered more than 100,000 people from more than 100 countries each year. The main aim of these meetings is to discuss and deal with social issues.
- Porto Verão Alegre: during the summer, for example, the "Porto Verão Alegre" or (Porto Summer Alegre) takes place in this city. This celebration consists of a number of performances and exhibitions. In 2005 about seventy plays could be enjoyed.
- International Free Software Forum: the Fórum Internacional de Software Livre (International Free Software Forum or simply FISL) is an event sponsored by Associação Software Livre (Free Software Association), a Brazilian NGO that, among other objectives, seeks the promotion and adoption of free software.
- Farroupilha Week: this cultural celebration takes place in mid September with parades, food and musical exhibitions. The "Acampamento Farroupilha" takes place in Harmonia Park, where thousands of people set up their tents and eat typical food to commemorate the Farroupilha Revolution.
- Bookfair: Held each November at Alfândega Square. In October Porto Alegre holds the greatest Book Fair in American continent, an event that has been taking place since 1955. Each year about 2,000,000 people attend this fair.
- Handicraft Fair: the "Brique da Redenção" is a handicraft fair where a wide variety of antiques can be found. Each Sunday this fair takes place in the well known Farroupilha Park or "Redenção" Park. Crafty pieces and antiques are exhibited in shows. Clowns and acrobats attend this fair as well.
- Worldwide Pinhole Photography: this is an international event created to promote and celebrate the art of pinhole photography. The event is held each year on the last Sunday in April.
- Mercosur Biennial Exhibition: is held in Porto Alegre every two years between October and December. This is an important art and cultural event that attracts a large number of people as well.
- Carnival: As other Brazilian cities, Porto Alegre holds extensive festivities during the period immediately preceding Lent. Among them, there is an Escola de Samba contest, featuring Academia de Samba Puro, Acadêmicos da Orgia, Bambas da Orgia, Estado Maior da Restinga, Fidalgos e Aristocratas, Império da Zona Norte, Impeadores do Samba, among others.
- Concerts:Porto Alegre is considered the second best Brazilian city for international events and major concerts, beating Rio de Janeiro because of safety concerns and just behind São Paulo, despite its smaller size Porto Alegre possess great preparation for large events. That's why since 2008 has been visited by more international artists such as Green Day, James Cullum, Akon, James Blunt, Justin Bieber, Avril Lavigne, Eric Clapton, Shakira, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Kiss, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney.
Salgado Filho International Airport serves flights operated by major Brazilian airlines to many areas in Brazil, other South American countries, Panama and Portugal. Salgado Filho International Airport also has an air cargo terminal, built in 1974, with 9,500 thousand square meters of area and capacity to handle 1,500 tons of export cargo and 900 tons of imports each month. The average daily movement (arrivals and departures) is 174 aircraft, flying scheduled routes connecting Porto Alegre directly or indirectly to all the country's other major cities, as well as smaller cities in the interior of the states of the South Region and São Paulo. There are also international flights with direct connections to cities of the Southern Cone and Lisbon in Europe.
The Port of Porto Alegre is situated in the Eastern margin of Guaíba Lake. The port lying on the eastern bank of the Guaíba lake at the point where its waters empty into the huge Lagoa dos Patos is one of Brazil's largest port. Located near the main access roads to Porto Alegre, is 4 km (2 mi) away from the Salgado Filho International Airport and has access to the railway station, through the docks of Mauá and Navegantes. Its geographical position enables a permanent traffic between Porto Alegre and Buenos Aires, transporting steel-industry products and mainly agricultural produce.
Trensurb is operated jointly by the federal government, the state government of Rio Grande do Sul and the city of Porto Alegre through the company Trensurb S.A. (Company of Urban Trains of Porto Alegre S.A.) and has 19 working stations, with a total extension of nearly 40 kilometres (25 mi), carrying about 130,000 users a day. Building of the (sole) Line 1 of the metro started in 1980. The choice of path was made to relieve the heavy traffic of highway BR-116, which already presented serious problems with the transit at the time. The line was inaugurated on March 2, 1985, between the Central Public Market and Sapucaia do Sul. In December 1997, it was extended to Unisinos. An extension of 2.4 miles (3.9 km) São Leopoldo–Museum was added in November 2000, after two months of trial service. As of 2013, an extension to Novo Hamburgo is being completed, with the first station already fully functional.
A metro system inside Porto Alegre is currently planned and it is already subject of much publicity and speculation. However, no project has been approved so far and the beginning of the constructions is yet undefined.
There are two federal highways in the city, BR-290 and BR-116, both running close to its northern and northwestern border. The small number is due to the inexistence of many destinations southeast or south of Porto Alegre (considering the landmass east of Lagoa dos Patos), if not for the cities of Pelotas (the third-biggest in population in the State) and Rio Grande (which hosts the State biggest port). Nonetheless, when coming from west, both highways bond in the neighbor municipality of Eldorado do Sul, running mostly jointly within the borders of Porto Alegre, only coming to separate at the very interchange to Canoas. This way, BR-116 has virtually no sole run within Porto Alegre.
BR-290 highway runs east-west across the state, linking the northeast coast of the state to the Uruguay–Argentina–Brazil border. It runs close to the northern border of the municipality. Coming from west, as it reaches the urban area of Porto Alegre, BR-290 highway becomes a high-standard 100 km (62 mi) long freeway that connects to the coast and to the BR-101 highway. The latter is an important way to get to Porto Alegre from the north of the country, by the city Osório. BR-101 connects to Curitiba, Florianópolis and northern Santa Catarina state, and has been recently upgraded to highway standards, with multiple lanes. By entering the BR-290 freeway/BR-101 system, and the other highways it connects to, it is possible to drive from Porto Alegre to as far as Rio de Janeiro or Belo Horizonte almost entirely through 4-lane (or more) highways.
The other road, BR-116, is a longitudinal highway, running northeast-south across the state, linking Porto Alegre to several satellite cities and other Brazilian capitals to the north, and Pelotas and Uruguay to the south. Within the municipality, it only touches the northwest side of the city, close to the end of Rio Gravataí (Gravataí River), sharing its entire run with BR-290, only separating when heading north onto Canoas.
A third road, BR-448, is currently under construction. BR-448 is planned to connect the northeast of Porto Alegre to Sapucaia do Sul, as an alternative to BR-116, notably jam-packed on its Canoas-Novo Hamburgo stretch during traffic rush hours.
The connection between downtown Porto Alegre and the highways is made by Avenida Presidente Castelo Branco (President Castelo Branco Avenue), which is a short - 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) - avenue also bordering the northwest side of the city, Avenida dos Estados (States' Avenue), which is the access way to the Salgado Filho International Airport, and Avenida Assis Brasil (Assis Brasil Avenue), the main Avenue in the northern Porto Alegre.
This city has a functioning transportation system, especially the autobuses. The city has also mini-buses from and to all the main neighborhoods in the city, with sitting-only transport and possibility to hop on and off at any point, but higher fares. Linha Turística (Tourist Line) is a bus that leaves from Usina do Gasômetro tourist terminal around six times per day. During 90 minutes, it traverses the various districts of Porto Alegre, for a modest price. Exclusive bus lanes in the median of seven radial corridors that converge on the city center are used by both urban and regional lines. The bus fleet totals 1,600, with 150 minibuses. About 325 million people use the system annually.
Those lines have no prefix. It is quite common to switch buses at downtown but, considering there is a myriad of lines there, it can be challenging to find the right terminal to hop on the next bus. Transversal lines prefix "T" (T1, T2, ..., T11), connect different neighborhood without going through the downtown area, effectively eliminating the need of changing buses for the most common trips. Circular lines prefix "C" (C1, C2, C3), as the name indicates, run in a circular manner, usually connecting parts of the downtown area to the nearest neighborhoods. Mayor José Fogaça renewed his agreement with EMBARQ and the Center for Sustainable Transport Brazil (CTS-Brasil) to improve accessibility and mobility in downtown Porto Alegre. The agreement, signed on March 11, includes a new partnership with the Andean Development Corporation, a Latin American multilateral financial institution that is expected to provide $1 million in non-reimbursable technical assistance this year to help Porto Alegre complete the preparation phase of the "Portais da Cidade" bus rapid transit project, a groundbreaking transport system designed to reduce pollution and congestion downtown. The system will include a southern extension to accommodate activities for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. CAF's technical assistance will be administered through CTS-Brasil, which has been working to expand sustainable transport in Porto Alegre since 2005.
Porto Alegre Bus station is located downtown, and is served by several national and international lines. It is also connected to a Trensurb station (Porto Alegre Metro) and several municipal bus lines. Northbound passengers can rely on good bus connections throughout Brazil. However, an express bus might be recommended if traveling to Uruguay or Argentina in order to avoid several stops while en route.
Porto Alegre has a total of 3,922 authorized taxicabs, with 317 taxi stops. Regular taxis are colored orange, whereas airport taxicabs are colored white, both with blue strips on the sides containing white lettering.
Football is a passion of the people from Porto Alegre. There is a big rivalry between two football clubs, Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense, founded in 1903, and Sport Club Internacional, founded in 1909. Both teams belong to the national elite and have also won South American top honours by winning the Copa Libertadores, and the highest global trophy for football clubs, the Intercontinental Cup, respectively its successor, the Club World Cup.
Porto Alegre will be one of the host cities of the World Cup 2014, for which Brazil is the host nation. The modernization of the Beira-Rio Stadium, home of SC Internacional, at this stage having a capacity for 58,000 spectators, is currently in progress with a view of becoming the city's World Cup venue.
Neighborhoods of Porto Alegre are geographical divisions of the city. There is no devolution of administrative powers to neighborhoods, although there are several neighborhoods associations devoted to improve their own standards of living. Porto Alegre has nowadays 81 official distinguished neighborhoods.
- José Lutzenberger, as a bilingual German-Brazilian he successfully projected himself internationally as an environmentalist
- Ronaldinho, Brazilian footballer
- Paulo Cesar Tinga, Brazilian footballer
- Adriana Calcanhotto, musician
- Humberto Gessinger, leader of the band Engenheiros do Hawaii
- Carla Körbes, ballet dancer
- Roger Manganelli, bassist and singer of American ska punk band Less Than Jake
- Elis Regina, singer
- Lupicinio Rodrigues, composer
- Daiane dos Santos, Brazilian gymnast
- Moacyr Scliar, author
- Luís Fernando Veríssimo, author
- Lily Safra, philanthropist and social figure
- Fabricio Werdum, heavyweight Mixed Martial Arts fighter
Porto Alegre has the following partner city:
- In other Brazilian dialects, such as that of Rio de Janeiro, it is pronounced [ˈpoʁtu aˈlɛɡɾi], and also colloquially [ˈpoʁtwɐˈlɛɡɾi] or [ˈpoʁtaˈlɛɡɾi]. The European Portuguese pronunciation is [ˈpoɾtu ɐˈlɛɣɾ(ɨ)].
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- (Portuguese) (English) Porto Alegre Convention & Visitors Bureau page
- (Portuguese) Official homepage (some pages available in (English))
- Porto Alegre travel guide from Wikivoyage
- (Portuguese) Maplink - Porto Alegre Street Guide and Maps