Urbanization in Brazil

We already know that urbanization is the proportional increase of the urban population in relation to the rural population. According to this concept, urbanization only occurs when urban population growth is higher than rural population growth.

THE urbanization in Brazil It began in the 1950s, from the process of industrialization, which functioned as one of the fundamental factors for the displacement of the population from the rural area (rural exodus) towards the urban area. This process happened quickly and in a disorderly way throughout the twentieth century, with the great migration of the population, seeking the opportunities offered by cities.

The growth and development of Brazil drove the emergence of several cities, especially with the implementation of various industries, which allowed new jobs, attracting the population living in the countryside to the cities. However, this process did not happen the same across the country. Some Brazilian regions were more urbanized than others due to public policies (which encouraged certain areas and others not). The south and southeast regions stand out because they have a higher concentration of urban areas.

The southeast region, for example, because it concentrates most of the country's industries, was the one that received large migratory flows from the rural area, especially from the northeast region. In the Midwest, the process of urbanization had as its main factor the construction of Brasilia in 1960, which attracted thousands of workers, most of them from the north and northeast. Since the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Midwest has become the second most urbanized region in the country.

Urbanization in the southern region was slow until the 1970s, due to its predominant economic characteristics of family ownership and polyculture, as a small number of rural workers eventually migrated to urban areas.

The northeast region has the lowest urbanization rate in Brazil. This weak urbanization is supported by the fact that from this region several migratory currents departed for the rest of the country and, furthermore, the small economic development of the northeastern cities was not able to attract their own rural population.

Until the 1960s, the northern region was the second most urbanized in the country. However, the concentration of the country's economy in the southeast and the flow of migrants from it to other regions caused the relative growth of the regional urban population to slow down.

The table below presents the urbanization index by region with evolution of the years 1950, 1970 and 2000.



























Brazil Historical Statistics: economic, demographic and social series from 1950 to 1988 2.ed. Rio de Janeiro: IBGE, 1990, p 36-7; Statistical Yearbook of Brazil 2001, Rio de Janeiro: IBGE, 200, p. 2-14 and 2-15

When we look at the table, we observe again that the southeast is the region with the highest urbanization rates in recent years.

The rural exodus has been very intense in the past decades and their migration has generated urban swelling in certain regions.

Lack of urban planning, coupled with disorderly growth, has led to some consequences for these urban centers, such as: basic sanitation problems (such as water and sewage treatment), traffic congestion (due to lack of space in homelessness, environmental pollution, lack of green areas (such as squares and woods), industries and residences in the same area (causing health and environmental problems), noise, violence and various other disorders that result in poor quality of life for the society.

Unorganized Growth: Traffic Congestion

Lack of planning: disorderly growth

Urban planning also took place in Brazil for the creation of some cities, including the federal capital, Brasilia. Urban planning aims to avoid the problems that occur with fast-developing cities that are not adequately monitored.

Brasilia, federal capital, example of a city that was planned

These planned centers have studies for car flows (which prevent congestion), housing districts, industrial districts separated from housing, green areas, among other essential points to provide a better quality of life for the population living there.

Goiania City - planned city

Planned Cities in Brazil

Salvador (Bahia) - first planned city in the country, founded in 1549

Teresina (Piauí) - founded in the imperial period in 1852

Aracaju (Sergipe) - founded in 1855

Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais) - founded in 1897

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Goiânia (Goiás) - founded in 1933

Brasilia (Federal District) - founded in 1960

Palmas (Tocantins) - founded in 1989

Curitiba (Paraná) - Initially it was not planned, however Curitiba underwent a process of urban restructuring, which involved continuous improvements in all areas, especially the public transport system. The changes made in the state capital are a reference for development in Brazil and in the world.

Other examples of planned cities are: Canberra (Australia), Islamabad (Pakistan).

Canberra (Australia)

Islamabad (Pakistan)