The city of Belo Horizonte, founded on the 12th December 1897, was studied and constructed to be the administrative and political capital of the state of Minas Gerais. It is located in a mountainous region in the south-west of Brazil, at 716 km from Brasilia, the national capital. With a surface of 331 km2, following the 2010 census by the Statistics Institute of Brasilia (IBGE), it has 2.375.444 inhabitants and it’s the sixtieth most densely populated city of the country.
Belo Horizonte has to face the same challenges of the other big Brazilian cities where, during the history, the property and the use of the public space has followed a logic linked to the economic disparities and to the social and cultural differences between their inhabitants. The reversal of this logic requires a big political effort and the development of new social pacts of the city. It requires a democratic political power which has a primary attention in the public interest.
Since several years, the city of Belo Horizonte invest in the creation of a new agreement, and in the research of a stable dialogue with all the political and social actors.
The popular participation on a local level had been consolidated and the government tries to level the communal budget with the demands and requirements growing from day to day.
The city has the fifth gross national product (PIL) between the communes, 42,2 billion dollars, equal to the 1,38% of the total wealth produced in the country.
The Municipal Department of Education of Belo Horizonte (BH-RME) provides a service for 193.760 students in 173 communal primary schools, 63 communal units for children education (UMEI) and 193 communal Crèches financed by the city. The communal schools like so the UMEI and daytime centers are located above all in the suburban areas of the city, in areas subjected to a high social vulnerability.
The educational system is also formed by public schools by the side of the State which work in primary and secondary schools, and private schools that work in the basic school. In this way, all the students are registered in a commune or the State net Education Network Private.
The Department City of the Public Instruction aims at guarantee a school of quality for all the citizens.
As holder of the title “ Educational City”, Belo Horizonte tries, going beyond the limits of the different schools, to transform the urban spaces into educational spaces. With the involvement of social sectors and shared decisions and acting in the public politic of the commune, the city and its spaces are understood as spaces for everybody.