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The growth of squatter settlements in São Paulo: a study of the perverse effects of the state housing policies

The growth of squatter settlements in São Paulo: a study of the perverse effects of the state housing policies


Man and his environment L 'homme et son environnement C6Iine Sachs The growth of squotter settlements in Sczo Poulo: a study of the perverse effects of the stote housing policies Introduction In Brazil, as in other countries of the Third World, a very rapid process of urbanization is taking place as a result of the moderniza- tion pattern adopted by those countries. The vertiginous growth of Sao Paulo's agglomeration - the metropolitan area of Grande Sao Paulo passing from 1.5 million inhabitants in 1940 to 12.5 million in 1980, out of which 8.5 million in the Municipio de Sao Paulo itself - raises major problems of housing and explains the impor- tance of sub-standard housing. In today's Municipio de Sao Paulo sub-standard housing shelters more than half of the population and is composed of three major forms: peripheral subdivisions, slums and squatter settlements (favelas). Unlike other cities in Brazil, and Latin America in general, Sao Paulo had relatively few invasions until 1972. However, the grow- ing number of squatter settlements since 1972 has deprived Sao Paulo of its singularity as the only Brazilian metropolis without favelas. By 1982 one million people already lived in favelas, that is, fourteen
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