ICLEI World Congress 2012 Banner

Discover Belo Horizonte


The City of Belo Horizonte

The name Belo Horizonte means ‘Beautiful Horizon’, an appropriate reference to its scenery since the city is surrounded by the mountains of Serra do Curral. BH (pronounced ‘bay-ahgah’) or Belo, as it is also commonly called, holds an extremely rich cultural life, being recognized as trendsetter in areas such as music, literature and architecture.

The origins of Belo Horizonte go back to a gold-diggers' settlement called Curral del Rei founded in 1701. As the mines were drained, the pace of local development was reduced, but in 1890 the location was chosen to host the new Capital of the State of Minas Gerais, having been renamed Belo Horizonte, planned and developed to fulfil such role.

Reaching a population of 2 375 444 inhabitants in 2010; BH has been nominated the Metropolis with the best quality of life in Latin America and between parks, preserved areas and reservations, has twice the green area recommended by WHO guidelines.

Curiosity: The hills around the city are so full of iron that in many of the outer areas, automobiles in neutral gear are drawn uphill by magnetic force (!): all the local guides and taxi-drivers know of such places.

A long standing ICLEI member, Belo Horizonte was thw generous host to our World Congress and welcomed all participants with open arms, as is the Brazilian tradition.



Learn more about ICLEI and Belo Horizonte and Sustainability in Belo Horizonte and find out why it was chosen as a host to this historic edition of the ICLEI World Congress.

Discover BH  and be conquered by all its charm and attractions!