Global Network

São Paulo, Brazil



  • Pedro Jacobi, Researcher and vice-president of CEDEC, Professor, Faculty of Education, University of São Paulo.


  • Aldaiza Sposati, Vereadora, Cãmara Municipal, São Paulo
  • Helena Laeira Werneck R. Goyano - Centro de Estudos de Administração Municipal - CEPAM.
  • Mauricio Faria, Vercador, Cãmara Municipal, São Paulo
  • Sergio Carneiro e Luiz Pedretti, EMPLASA


  • Alex Abiko, Professor da Escola Politécnica, USP
  • Candido Malta, Professor da Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo, USP
  • Helena Sobral, Professora de Geografia, PUC São Paulo
  • José Eduardo Faria, Professor da Faculdade de Direito, USP
  • Eduardo A. Vasconcellos, Consultor de Transportes
  • Ladislas Dowbor, Professor da Faculdade de Economia e Administração, PUC São Paulo
  • Laura Parente, Consultora de Administração Pública
  • Laura Tetti, Consultora Ambiental
  • Maria do Carmo Falcão, Professora da Faculdade de Serviço Social, PUC São Paulo
  • Siegbert Zanettini, Arquiteto
  • Paul Singer, Professor da Faculdade de Economia, USP
  • Peter Spink, Professor da Fundação Getulio Vargas, São Paulo
  • Regina Meyer, Professor da Faculdade de Arquitectura e Urbanismo, USP

Private Sector:

  • Ana Maria Wilhelm, Secretaria Executiva, Fundação ABRINQ Para os Direitos da Crianças
  • Eliane Pinheiro Belfort Mattos, FIESP, Subcoordenadora, Grupo de Ação Social
  • Marco Antonio Ramos de Almeida, Associação "Viva o Centro"
  • Percival Maricato, PNBE - Pensamento Nacional das Bases Empresariais.
  • Rebecca Roposo, Fundação VITAE


  • Célia de Gouvêa Franco, Gazeta Mercantil, São Paulo
  • Clarice Herzog, Agência Standard Propaganda
  • Julio Moreno, Agência Estado


  • Flávio Jorge, FASE
  • Nalú Faria, SOF - Sempre Viva, Organização Feminista
  • Nilza Iraci Silva, GELEDES,
  • Regina Monteiro, Associação Defenda São Paulo
  • Terezinha de Oliveira Gonzaga, União das Mulheres



Founded by Jesuit priests in the sixteenth century, São Paulo had its beginnings on a wide plateau, 80 kilometers inland and almost 740 meters above sea level. The modern metropolitan area of São Paulo consists of 39 municipalities in a 8,051 square kilometer area.

Urban agglomeration: 16.3 million (1990); 22.1 million (projected for 2000)

Growth rate: 1.7% (1990)

Density: 1,914.84/square km.

Life expectancy: 68.2 (1985)

The principal market for coffee growers was the city of São Paulo, which by 1920 was producing 80% of Brazil's coffee and 60% of the world's supply. By the 1900s, manufacturing—initially for agriculture—developed and by 1950, São Paulo was Brazil's chief manufacturing center. The proportion of persons employed in the secondary sector is almost twice as high as in Brazil as a whole. In 1980 São Paulo's contribution to total value added was about 40%.

1987 median family income: $Cr 21.6

Health and Environment
The presence of excessive levels of carbon monoxide, ozone, and particulates has degraded air quality in São Paulo. Increases in air pollution levels have been associated with increases in mortality and with an increased incidence of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. As of 1989, motorized vehicles produced more than 800,000 tons of carbon monoxide.

Infant mortality rates vary from 42 per 1000 in the core areas to 75 per 1000 in one of the peri-urban municipalities. In some of the favelas, it is over 100 per 1000 live births. The overall mortality rate for the city, according to 1992 statistics, is 28 per 1000 live births. Infectious diseases account for one-third of all infant deaths in the core areas and almost one-half in the periphery.

There are on average 2.2 physicians per 1000 inhabitants.

Infrastructure and Social Services
—The housing situation in São Paulo has reached crisis proportions. Many of the city's poorest inhabitants, no longer able to afford housing on the periphery, have crowded into corticos (multi family tenements) in the inner city areas. An estimated 7.7 million inhabitants currently live in substandard housing.

Transportation—The public bus system is poorly-maintained, slow, crowded, and a major source of air pollution. The São Paulo Metro, well-planned and well-maintained, still accounts for only about 5% of total person trips in the metropolitan region. The east-west line reaches 65,000 passengers per hour in one direction at peak periods, one of the highest figures in the world.

Education—The proportion of persons with a middle or higher level education in São Paulo has risen from 11 to 22 %. State schools are attended by 48% of São Paulo's students, while 25% attend municipality-run schools and 27% receive their education in private schools.

Environment and Public Health
—São Paulo is served by a vast network of river basins and man-made reservoirs. 95.5% of the population and 91.5% of the greater São Paulo have indoor plumbing.

Solid Waste—The city is served by three sanitary landfills, three incineration plants, two composting plants and a recycling center. Many of these facilities are not strategically situated, and the entire system is now saturated.

Sewage—In 1980, 64% of the people living in the metropolitan area lived in houses not served by the sewage system.



Urbanization of Slums in the Municipality of Diadema
This program was begun by the first democratically elected Mayor in 1983 and has been continued by his successors. The positive outcome of the program is based on the implementation of a basic infrastructure of sanitation and health in all urbanized areas. The program has already benefited 70% of the slum population in the city, representing 56% of the overall population.

Cooperative of Autonomous Paper Scavengers and Recyclable Materials (COOPAMORE)
This cooperative was founded in 1989, based on the community work developed by the Catholic Church in the central part of the city. The program gathered homeless to encourage them to think strategically to survive and re-incorporate themselves into society. Their work is based on a code of ethic that establishes professional values and basic rules of action. The cooperative stimulates its members to recover their motivation to work. The experience is important because it generates economic benefits (ensuring on some level a stable income to around 80 families), environmental benefits (increasing the recycling of different materials), and social benefits (enabling a certain level of social integration to people who had always been marginalized). 


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