Porto Alegre is located at the banks of an estuary of Lagoa dos Patos, the largest lagoon in Brazil. Despite being the capital of ‘gauchos’ state Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre is surprisingly cosmopolitan.

With over 190 species of tree, the ‘Happy Port’ is also the greenest state capital of the country.

Sophistication galore in Porto Alegre, by being both host city of the Bienal do Sur, a biannual manifestation of contemporary art and also of the largest book fair in South America (yearly in October and November).

Perhaps the best example of Porto Alegre’s progressive nature is the phenomenon of ‘participatory budgeting’.

Since 1989, the people of Porto Alegre have been deciding how to allocate part of the municipal budget. This innovative form of democracy attracted the attention of the Alter Globalization movement and the city was host to the first three editions of the World Social Forum.