Mogi das Cruzes has found a winning combination. The City of more than 470,000 in São Paulo State is setting itself up for success by using data and community engagement as the foundation of its strategic plan.
Part of this plan includes giving the mic to Mogi’s youngest residents. Mogi das Cruzes wants to be a child-centered city. City officials are asking children for ideas for improving their neighborhoods so that the next generation engages with their government and community. In December 2022, Mogi announced its first “Our Neighborhood Detectives.” Between the ages of 9 and 12, these 24 children will participate in discussions and make suggestions about how to improve the quality of life and urban landscape for all children and adults living in Mogi.
The Neighborhood Detectives project is part of the Mogi Cidade da Criança (City of Children) program, which uses an innovative community engagement and design approach to inform the City’s investments in the wellbeing of its children. Another project within Mogi Cidade da Criança is monitoring air quality for its impact on children’s health. The air quality data is used to make decisions and create action plans, such as enhancing green spaces and encouraging active mobility to reduce emissions.
In addition to engaging its children in planning, the City seeks feedback from residents through regional meetings and neighborhood visits. By thoughtfully and rigorously soliciting resident input, the City is able to use this qualitative data to deepen community impact and better serve residents’ needs. For instance, the City asked for resident feedback about public transportation by conducting surveys in-person on the bus. Bus users were interviewed and the resulting data was used to optimize bus routes.
Mogi das Cruzes also created the Participia Mogi platform for residents to provide input on planning and budget priorities online. The City is opening its internal data up to residents as well, by hosting Open Data Days and making geospatial data available on the GeoMogi website.
Additionally, under the guidance of Mayor Cunha, the formula of data and resident input is being used to create a long-term, 40-year plan for the City. The ultimate success of the plan requires institutionalizing recent progress on collecting, managing and analyzing the City’s data. The Mayor’s hope is that residents will expect future administrations to continue the shared vision within a long-term plan: “We wanted this to be a plan for everyone, so we are building a sustainable program that represents the needs of the City as a whole, for today and for the next generation of Mogi residents.”