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BNDES supports revitalization of historic centers in Brazilian cities


The president of the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), Gustavo Montezano, visited on Monday, March 1st, the Porto Digital of Recife, where the Bank will structure a pilot model for large-scale rehabilitation of historical areas and cultural heritage of Brazilian cities. The support for the Porto Digital project, which has been revitalizing degraded areas and attracting technology companies, will be up to R$ 2.75 million under the BNDES’s Cultural Fund Line.

BNDES’s participation focuses on the development of new models for the revitalization of historic centers in Brazilian cities. Through diagnostic construction and instrument provision, the Bank believes that the social benefits of urban revitalization will also generate good opportunities for private consortia. Thus, the project aims to develop a pilot management vehicle, reconciling public and private efforts, aimed at the large-scale rehabilitation of historical areas and cultural heritage.

In the specific case of Porto Digital, the activities will include detailing the reference model, defining the perimeter, consolidating methodology, selecting a management model, developing guidelines, presenting results and holding international seminars. Once these actions are finalized, an entity will be created to manage real estate investors’ resources, capital contribution, executive projects, works and assets.

“Recalling the past, while looking at a sustainable and innovative future, is to preserve and recognize the history (of the country),” said Montezano, in Recife. “Porto Digital is a case of success in Brazil, so we came here not only to support, but also to learn from this successful 20-year experience.”

Tracking the obtained results, BNDES can adapt the Porto Digital model in different locations. The Bank may also prospect new ways of management and support to promote urban development.

According to the National Historic and Artistic Heritage Institute (Iphan), Brazil has 88 protected urban complexes throughout the country, a great potential for application and replication of the model. If the values predicted initially for Recife are extrapolated, the potential impact would be 880 restored properties and R$ 4.4 billion raised in private funds. This is an expressive value that, even in projection scenarios, reinforces the reasons to implement the project, in which the initial contribution of BNDES can unlock relevant private capital investments.

The Porto Digital Technological Park is an initiative of the state of Pernambuco to create an attractive business environment for technological institutions. Since the beginning of the project, R$ 33 million has been invested with resources from the state of Pernambuco in infrastructure; in addition to the associated urban improvements, which have added more than R$ 90 million in public investments for urban renewal over the last decade. In the capital, its area comprises the neighborhoods of Recife, as well as part of Santo Amaro, Santo Antônio and São José. Besides, the Park also occupies the Armazém da Criatividade, in the city of Caruaru, in the dry region of Pernambuco.

Porto Digital is now home to more than 300 companies and institutions in the sectors of creative economy and technology for cities. It also has three business incubators, two business accelerators, six development research institutes and associated service organizations, as well as several government representations. Porto employs 9,000 people. To implement the governance model, the Porto Digital Management Center (NGPD) was created. The entity operates in municipal public policies of technological incentive in communication actions and creative economy.

“This BNDES’s project is the pilar of modification for this important neighborhood of Recife,” said Pierre Lucena, president of Porto Digital. “The service sector is the largest employer of the country. We have a gigantic attractive pole here, hundreds of attractive properties that allow large renovations at low cost.”

BNDES Cultural Fund – Structuring Support to the Productive Chains of the Culture Economy. This modality aims to support projects focused on strengthening the business, institutional, technological, organizational or human resources foundations necessary for the sustainable development of the culture economy production chains.

About BNDES – Founded in 1952 and currently linked to the Ministry of Economy, BNDES is the main instrument of the Federal Government to promote long-term investments in the Brazilian economy. Its actions focus on the socioenvironmental and economic impact in Brazil. BNDES offers special conditions for micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, as well as social investment lines, directed at education and health, family agriculture, sanitation and urban transport. In crisis situations, BNDES acts in an anticyclical manner and assists in formulating solutions for resuming economic growth.

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