Case and Materials

Driving Change in São Paulo

  • Authors Carlos Paiva, Carin-Isabel Knoop, Jorrit de Jong, Rawi Abdelal

Last Updated


South America


After months of challenging negotiations, the city of São Paulo, Brazil passed an ordinance regulating transportation network companies. It resulted in innovative services for citizens, significant savings for the city, and unprecedented transparency and data access for government officials. But internal responses to the ordinance included strong opposition as well as passionate support. Learn more about how the initiative was implemented and key lessons learned along the way.

  Resources in this collection


In 2016, after many months of negotiation, the City of São Paulo approved a new ordinance regulating Transportation Network Companies (TNC). The new regulation allowed citizens to take advantage of innovative services and it enabled city leaders to manage the fleet with significant savings, as well as unprecedented transparency and data. São Paulo, the first Brazilian city to adopt this model, faced internal responses ranging from vehement opposition to overwhelming support.

The case chronicles the road to implementation, including lessons learned from the TNC ordinance process and the previous pilots. It examines the efforts of key players—including Administration Secretary Paulo Spencer Uebel—to fulfill Mayor João Doria’s public commitment to fix the transportation model, consider public opinion, and minimize disruption during Doria’s first year in office. The case also explores strategies for implementing innovative practices in government, as well as dealing with resistance to change in organizations, especially in the public sector.

Learning Objectives

Naming and examining stakeholder interest and position to assess potential support or resistance.

Determining the appropriate pace of implementation.

Learning by doing; simultaneously designing and managing a process of adaptation.

Reflecting on how to prepare for sustainable success and creating the conditions for consolidation and institutionalization.

Stay up to date on our latest work to improve cities

Follow us