C40 Summit Video Blog Series: Gustavo Fruet, Mayor of Curitiba - Mayors have the capacity to lead

*Editor’s note: In partnership with the City of Johannesburg we conducted a series of video interviews with mayors, leading sustainability officials and partner thought leaders during the C40 Mayors Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa on February 4-6, 2014. Take a look at our growing catalogue of video blogs to date…and stay tuned for more over the coming weeks.

During an interview at the C40 Mayors Summit in Johannesburg, Curitiba Mayor Gustavo Fruet discussed his city’s long-standing commitment to sustainability, as well as the unique, challenging, but ultimately rewarding role mayors play in the long-term health and vitality of their cities.

Mayor Fruet said it is important that cities be able to connect through C40, explaining that when it comes to climate change, “we cannot think about one city isolated from other ones.”

He also spoke of the importance of revisiting city goals from time to time in order to continue meeting citizens’ needs. For instance, though Curitiba was the first city with Bus Rapid Transit in 1974, today the city continues to be a transit innovator, recently participating in a program to implement hybrid and electric buses.

To that end, every 10 years the city puts together a revised master plan, and this year the revision will include a comprehensive urban sustainable development plan for the next 50 years. Mayor Fruet explains that a long-term plan is critical for the city’s future:

“There is no easy solution. This equation is very difficult…To have a macro vision of the big investments, the [national] governments are very important. But the small local actions – participation, dialogue, and the change of behavior – this is a challenge for the mayors, who have the capacity to lead this process, and to know that democracy requires patience, dialogue, but [also] decision.”

Watch Mayor Fruet’s full interview below: