Urbanisation in Sao Paulo

  • Created by: Megan
  • Created on: 04-03-14 13:55

Background Information

  • Largest city in the Southern hemisphere
  • Metropolitan population: 19million
  • Population Density: 21,000persons/km2
  • decentralisation is occuring
  • the growth rate of 16% is slowing
  • It grew as a centre for agriculture, exporting coffee and cotton but is now a major industrial centre with manufacutring and service industries
  • temperate climate due to its elevated position comapred with the tropical coastal lowlands
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The Environment

  • 25% of all vehicles in Brazil circulate in Sao Paulo - there has been investment in improving air quaility and reducing levels of sulphur dioxide and lead but levels of pollutants are still of concern
  • $1million a day is spent in rubbish collection 
  • two huge waste incinerators, each burning 7500 tonnes aday
  • no legislation to improve the environment
  • no idea of the level of pollution produced from hidden economy
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Many people who live in favelas are unemployed/underemployment and find work in the informal sector of the economy

professional jobs are taken by US and European immigrants

Rural migrant work is in civil construction - low paid, no job security, no pension or sickness provision, no contracts

MNCs use governement incentives and cheap labour forces

There is a hidden economy of sweat shops, child labour, drugs and prostitution

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Social Services

  • Poor, overwhelmed and underresources social services that often rely on charity
  • Transport - car deadlock has forced industry out of the city 
  • Infrastructure - collapsing roads and sewers as there is no money to maintain the level needed with increasing population
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Poverty and Inequality

Sao Paulo is prosperous compared with the country as a whole, but the city has the highest unemployment in the country - there is a huge divide between rich and poor

  • The richest district Moema had a HDI equivalent to the national average of Portugal but the poorest ditrict Marsilac, had a HDI lower than that of Sierra Leone
  • In 1999, Sao Paulo recorded 11,500 homicides (New York had 670) - the affluent elite use helicopters to escape the squalor and danger of the streets. It has 240 helipadscompared to New York's 10
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Three different housing types dominant:

  • Condominiums - luxury housing blocks for wealthy people both within the city and on the periphery, protected by high walls and security gates
  • Corticos - inner city dilapidates rental accomodation in subdivided tenement buildings - some had 4 people living in one room
  • Favelas - informal settlemts made of small, poorly built dwellings which tend to be built along transport links - 40% of the population line in Favelas
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  • occupy 70% of Sao Paulo
  • in the poorest, most peripheral and hazardous areas of the city - on floodplains and steep hill slopes
  • 100,000 people live in absolute and semi-poverty
  • buildings tend to be made of wood, corrugated iron and makeshift materials - some are made of concrete blocks and tiles
  • services are poor - little running water, drainage or rubbish collection
  • sewers flood when it rains
  • electrical power is limited
  • lack of schools, teachers, hospitals and healthcare professionsals
  • drinking water is often polluted, causing disease
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Attempts to solve the problem

Intergrated Programme of Social Inclusion to alleviate poverty - micro-credit facilities for small scale entrpeuners, community health-care workers and literacy programmes. Cooperation between the authorities and the local community is essential to provide the best services

Clearance of Slums for housing development - people just moved elsewhere if they can't afford the new flats

Site and Service Schemes - the government proivdes a site and basic amenities like water and sewer facilities. This is cheap, encourages community spirits and gives them a sense of control in their lives

Self Help Schemes - the migrant is given owership rights and building materials and then the migrants complete the work themselves and encourage to set up community schemes to improve education and medical services. it is cheaper than site and service schemes but hides the real problems. The germs may still be present in water, land still unsuitable and water/sewage systems are still in adequate

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Attempts to solve the problem

Charities - provide jobs and other benefits such as pensions and medical care

Transport - The underground metro system improves movement of people and redcues pollution, new roads, new train and bus services, pedestrianised CBD and parking restrictions 

Industrial Estates - New estates with water, sewerage and electricity are lcoated close to the favelas to provide business premises and jobs

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Evaluation of Solutions

Site and Service Schemes - This premise of the scheme is ideal as it gives communitiies the inital support that they need to be able to climb out of poverty. However, it did not help to increase employment or provide a source of income for these people to use to develop their homes and communtiy. The scheme is perhaps most effective when dealing with peeople who have a business within the Sao Paulo slum and will have money ot reinvest

Self-Help Schemes - This is perhaps the more effective scheme in Sao Paulo as it helps establish incomes for residents ao they can then invest in their own futures. the diffuculty with this system in Sao Paulo comes with overcrowding as it may encourage an influx of migratns yet sets no boundary as to the speace each resident is allowed to own.

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The Singapore Project

Housing blcoks were built nest to slum housing whose residents then received prority. Early buildings were low rise with high rise preffered as the project advanced. Each new project was assigned a social worker to oversee the transfer of families from the favel to the new housing units. LAndscapng and leisure areas were incldued in the layout of developments. A criticism has been that no provision was made for small-scale businesses witihin the projects

  • only 14000/100,000 house were built
  • unit costs escalated sharply
  • living standards were inadequate 
  • rents beyond the means of residents

The project had the right goals in mind and the provision of a social worker is an excellent way of mediating conflict and ensuring that families are integrating well.

The flaw of the project was the inability to build cheap homes of a high enough quality at a fast enough pace to rehouse the slum residents. 

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New Strategy

  • more funding from the federal busget
  • 1000 housing units from the Singapore project to be completed
  • financially assisting families to construct and upgrade their homes
  • lowering the housing unit rents
  • imrpoving schemems to alleviate poverty in favelas
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Sao paulo 

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