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Urban Problems in LEDCs
Case Study - Sao Paulo, Brazil



Urban Problems in LEDCs

Rapid urbanisation in Less Economically DEveloped Countries (LEDCs) is causing many problems. Many new migrants to cities in LEDCs cannot afford housing. They are forced to build temporary accommodation in spontaneous settlements. These settlements are commonly known as 'shanty towns'. They are also called Favelas (Brazil) or Bustees (India). Three main features of a shanty town are:

1. Houses are made from scrap materials such as wood and metal sheeting

2. Often housing is do not have services such as sanitation, water or electricity.

3. The settlements are usually very overcrowded.

Sao Paulo, Brazil is an example of a city with a large area of shanty settlements.

Case Study - Sao Paulo, Brazil

Sao Paulo is a city located on Brazil's south-east coast. It is Brazil's largest city with a population of approximately 25 million. The population of Sao Paulo has grown for a number of reasons. Natural Increase is one reason for its growth (this is when the birth rate is higher than the death rate). The population has also grown as the result of urbanisation. The has been caused by rural to urban migration. Millions of people have migrated from Brazil's rural areas to Sao Paulo. In Sao Paulo 65% of urban growth is a result of migration. This is caused by a variety of push and pull factors.

The rapid growth of Sao Paulo's population has led to a severe shortage of housing. Millions of people have been forced to construct their own homes from scrap materials such as wood, corrugated iron and metals. These areas of temporary accommodation are known as favelas in Brazil.

The conditions associated with favelas are very poor. Often families have to share one tap, there is no sewerage provision, disease is common and many people are unemployed.

Favelas are located on the edge of most major Brazilian cities. They are located here for a number of reasons. Firstly, this is the only available land to build on within the city limits. Secondly, industry is located on the edge of the cities. Many people need jobs therefore they locate close to factories.

Some of these settlements may be 40 or 50 km from the city centre (on the edge of the city), along main roads and up very steep hillsides.

Solving the Problem

The authorities in Sao Paulo have taken a number of steps to reduce problems in favelas. They have set up self-help schemes. This is when the local authority provide local residents with the materials needs to construct permanent accommodation. This includes breeze blocks and cement. The local residents provide the labour. The money saved can be spent on providing basic amenities such as electricity and water.

Not all people living in Sao Paulo are poor. Many wealthy people live close to the CBD.

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