State type
Type of government
República Presidencialista
Administrative Division

National Level

Gobierno Central

Intermediate/Regional Level

Estados 26

Distrito Federal 1

Local Level

Municipios 55

Official names of subnational and local governments

Governo de Estado (Estado)


National Urban Policy

  • The National Policy for Urban Development, implemented by the municipal government, according to general guidelines established by law, aims to order the full development of the social functions of the city and ensure the welfare of its inhabitants.

    1st The master plan, approved by the Municipal Council, mandatory for cities with more than twenty thousand inhabitants, is the basic instrument of the urban development and expansion policy.

    2nd Urban property fulfills its social function when it meets the fundamental requirements of ordering the city expressed in the master plan. (Art. 182)

    A new national urban policy is under development and its main guidelines are defined in the attached study. The new document foresees the adoption of sustainable urban development, deployed in socio-cultural, economic-financial and urban-environmental aspects, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda and the New Urban Agenda, in addition to an update of the national urban development agenda, the adoption of a multi-scale approach and the commitment to the reduction of socio-spatial inequalities in the territory.


    National urban policy type:
    Policy temporality:
  • Brazil is a federative republic formed by the union of States and Municipalities and the Federal District, all with political, administrative and fiscal autonomy guaranteed by the Federal Constitution of 1988.
    Brazilian municipalities enjoy considerable autonomy, even in fiscal matters. The municipality, as well as the Union, the States and the Federal District are authorized to impose taxes, fees for police power or the actual or potential use of specific and divisible public services, provided to the taxpayer or made available to them, and the contribution to the improvement resulting from public works. Examples of municipal taxes are the Urban Property Tax (IPTU), including the progressive IPTU over time, the Tax on Services of Any Nature (ISS), the Real Estate Transmission Tax (ITBI), as well as the municipal fees and the Contribution to Improvement.
    In addition, municipalities also receive government revenue, mandatory and voluntary transfers, and can participate in public-private partnerships, credit operations, and decentralized international cooperation programs.
    It is also worth noting that Brazil is recognized as one of the region's leaders in land value capture tools, even adopting explicit legislation in this regard. In this sense, the Granting of the Right to Build (OODC) and the Additional Construction Potential Certificates - CEPACs stand out for financing urban development.

  • Brazil is a federal republic that is divided into three levels, the Federal Government (the Union), the States and the municipalities. Brazil approved its City Statute in 2001, and the Ministry of Cities was created in 2003 to coordinate urban policies and public investment. The City Statute regulates urban law instruments that were not yet present in the legal system or that needed to be regulated. In addition, Brazil also has the National Council of Cities and the National Conference of Cities, which were established in 2004. The Union convenes the National Conferences, with the purpose of formulating urban policies in coordination with civil society. The Council of Cities (ConCidades) is the permanent academic advisory body of the Ministry of Cities that contributes to the formulation, implementation and monitoring of inclusive multi-level policies of the National Policy for Urban Development. A new NUP is currently being formulated.