- Brasilia, Brazil: economic and social Costs of Dispersion    click here to open paper content924 kb
by    Holanda, Frederico & Ribeiro, Romulo & Medeiros, Valerio | fredholanda44@gmail.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The following will be discussed: Brasilia, Brazil, low densities, dispersion of the urban areas, concentration of jobs in poorly accessible areas of the metropolis, socio-economic and infrastructural costs of sprawl, new trends towards compactness provided by new boroughs.
Brazil’s Capital, Brasilia, is one of the most dispersed cities in the world. The city is a patchwork of isolated urban areas, connected among themselves by express roads serving motor vehicles – the metro system covers a very small part of the metropolis. Further, over and above physical dispersion there are issues that aggravate socioeconomic and ecological conditions. First, average densities of urban areas are very low, bringing Brasilia close to the reality of North American cities, in contrast with other Brazilian, Latin American and European cities. Second, circa 80% of formal jobs concentrate in a bit of the territory in which only less than 10% of the people live. Third, the region in which jobs concentrate is eccentric concerning the metropolitan area as a whole, that is, it is much less accessible than other areas in which, by contrast, there are few jobs. Socioeconomic implications of this are serious. Water and sewage infrastructure presents a very low level of compactness and optimization, implying high costs for consumers. Bus fares are the highest in Brazil, which is quite understandable considering the low level of the passenger/kilometer ratio. Due to low densities, dispersion and eccentricity, distances from home to jobs are extremely high, sometimes doubling the distances found in metropolis of similar size around the globe. Not all is lost, though. New projects have along time implied a certain trend for greater compactness in the city. New boroughs have occupied vacant land in-between previously isolated urban areas. Densities are usually higher in these new projects – although sometimes too high, which is already implying diseconomies of scale. There is a lot, however, to be done. The paper analysis current proposals of land uses, as presented in the last version of the overall metropolitan development plan. It also depicts its advances and its limitations.
Brasilia, disperion, socioeconomic costs
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