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What is ZISPOA?

ZISPOA is an independent citizens movement working together to transform parts of the Independencia and Floresta communities into the most sustainable and innovative place in Latin America by 2020.  ZISPOA is based on combining six key dynamic and interactive elements: Innovation and Technology, Entrepreneurship and Startups, Sustainability and Resource Efficiency, Creativity and Collaboration, Participatory Community Management, and Business-Friendly Environment.


The Paralelo Vivo Sustainable Innovation Hub,, located at Rua Pinheiro Machado 40 near Shopping Total, is a startup hub, coworking and maker space, and sustainable innovation ecosystem for ZISPOA businesses and organizations, and a major activity center for ZISPOA meetings, events, and courses. In addition, there are several other collaborative houses and coworking and maker spaces engaged in ZISPOA, including Vila Flores, Nos Coworking, Casa Cultural Tony Petzhold, Casa das Cidades, CC100, Marquise 51 Hub Criativo, Galpao Makers, and Translab.  More than 50 startups are actively involved in ZISPOA, along with dozens of sustainability and social action groups.

Where is ZISPOA, and why is it there?

As you can see from this detailed map, ZISPOA is located in part of Bairros Independencia and Floresta.  We chose this area because of the rapidly growing energetic and innovative activities promoting creativity, collaboration, and entrepreneurship, including many startups, small businesses, and social organizations.  


Beginning in September 2015, Paralelo Vivo and ZISPOA helped strengthen these existing movements by emphasizing a much greater focus on sustainable innovation, resource efficiency, and green technology for the zone.  In addition, we chose this area because it has many attractive small-scale traditional buildings, a vibrant community spirit, and a business-friendly culture.


ZISPOA is conveniently located in Porto Alegre, with good local and metropolitan transportation accessibility (including the Rodoviaria and Trensurb).  ZISPOA is walking distance from the Centro Historico, Bom Fim, Cidade Baixa, Moinhos do Vento, and other key neighborhoods.  It is well served by important institutions, ranging from Shopping Total to UFRGS and UFCSPA, with major hospitals, corporations, colegios, churches, and much more.

Is there something similar to ZISPOA?

The specific approach to ZISPOA – the combination of the six elements for sustainability together with the focus on bottom-up citizen empowerment– is unique. ZISPOA is the world’s first Sustainable Innovation Zone. However, ZISPOA is applying lessons from many inspiring international examples of sustainable community development and urban transformation, including Barcelona, Berkeley, Brooklyn, Freiburg, London (Tech City), Portland (EcoDistricts), San Francisco, Amsterdam, Stockholm, and Washington DC (NoMa). We are learning from these and many other cities, and they are learning from us. We expect that the ZIS model will spread from Porto Alegre to cities in Rio Grande do Sul, in Brazil, in Latin America, and throughout the world over the next 15 years.

What are the goals of ZISPOA?

The overall goal for ZISPOA is to become the most sustainable and innovative place in Latin America by December 2020, and to serve as the inspiration, catalyst, and role model for the entire state of Rio Grande do Sul to become the most sustainable and innovative place in Latin America by 2030.


In addition, ZISPOA has five specific goals for 2020: to become the most solar-powered, most energy efficient, most digitally connected, most renewable technology-friendly, and most bike-friendly place in Latin America.

Who is involved?

Hundreds of people and dozens of startups are involved in ZISPOA, including the 36 businesses and organizations that belong to Paralelo Vivo.  We enthusiastically welcome everyone getting involved – individuals, families, communities, organizations, businesses, universities, governments – as the best way for ZISPOA to become the most sustainable and innovative place in Latin America by 2020, and for Porto Alegre and Rio Grande do Sul to become the most sustainable and innovative place in Latin America by 2030.

Who can participate and how?

Anyone can participate, including in Monday night Zistalks at Paralelo Vivo, Green Drinks networking events, Sustainable Connections seminars, ZISPOA and Next Citizens courses, and many other frequent activities.  In addition, people and organizations can participate in ZISPOA projects.

Does ZISPOA finance its projects?

Each project works to obtain its own funds as necessary, and ZISPOA helps generate publicity and make networking connections.  Our most valuable resources are the many people participating voluntarily and working together collaboratively.  Volunteers coordinate and manage ZISPOA, with occasional small donations of funds for various events and activities.

Why is this movement important?

ZISPOA is an experiment in Sustainable Innovation and Inclusive Prosperity designed to show a better path for Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Latin America, and the entire world, for all people everywhere to be able to live and thrive in peace with each other and in peace with nature.  On the personal level, it is lots of fun and very rewarding both socially and culturally, and on the business level, it is highly valuable both economically and environmentally.

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