Brazil is well known for the natural beauty of beaches and landscape, and for beautiful people. It may be less well known that Brazil also has a very progressive vibrant research community dealing with urban drainage. There are no less than 12 consolidated research groups working in urban drainage in different regions of the country. Brazil plays a prominent role in the urban drainage research in South America, mainly due to the high quality of its universities and the diversity of problems which researchers deal with. In order to fulfil this task Brazilian groups have established research networks at the national and international levels, leading to the development of cooperative programs link research groups from Brazil with other groups in South America, North America, Europe and Africa. Also, there is a strong cooperation between Brazilian municipalities and academic groups in urban drainage allowing the implementation of research results in practice to solve current problems.
Porto Alegre will be the host of the 12 ICUD. It is the capital of the State of Rio Grande de Sul and it is the geographical capital of the Mercosul. Buenos Aires and Montevideo are close as neighbour cities, while Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo are not far away. In common with the Prata countries (Argentina, Uruguay, etc.), Porto Alegre exhibits the same cultural refinement in art, theatre, music and literature. In common with the other parts of Brazil, we offer cordiality, musicality and "joi de vivre". It is a multicultural city with a well-established tradition of hosting international events. It also holds a solid tradition in the field of urban drainage, with reference to both the Brazilian and international scenes.
Among all the Brazilian state capitals, only Porto Alegre has a municipal department that deals specifically with urban drainage issues: the DEP (Department of Storm Drainage Systems), which was created in 1973. Also, Porto Alegre was the first Brazilian city to develop an Urban Drainage Master Plan. As a result of this planning, several source and distributed runoff control facilities have been already built in the city and many others are being constructed.
All these characteristics make Porto Alegre one of the best and safest places in Brazil to host a meeting like the ICUD where professionals from the whole world gather to study and discuss urban drainage issues.