Tuesday, October 11, 2011


By Ciro Biderman

Over 19 million inhabitants and 6.2 million cars occupy the São Paulo Metropolitan Region, Brazil’s largest, while the municipality of São Paulo accommodates more than 11 million people and 4.2 million cars. São Paulo boasts the second largest helicopter fleet in the world, and its main modes of transport are private vehicles, public transport and walking. Public transport is feebly subsidised however, with nearly half of the city’s households opting to commute by car. To date, traffic management has been limited to ‘plate restriction’ (rodízio) through which 20 per cent of cars are not allowed to circulate in the extended centre between 7 am and 10 am and 5 pm and 8 pm on weekdays. Local and state authorities are taking actions to remedy the city’s infamous traffic congestion and although official proposals are heading in the right direction, a more conceptual change would prioritise public transport, as well as pedestrians and cyclists.
There are currently 313 km of metro and rail lines dedicated to passenger transportation in the Metropolitan Area. This is less than half the networks of either London, Berlin or New York, all in metropolitan regions smaller than São Paulo. Within Latin America, only Mexico City’s rail network is on a par with São Paulo with a total of 553 km. To further complicate matters, some of São Paulo’s major commuter rail lines accommodate freight as well as passenger transport.

Sao Paolo city center, by Dylan Passmore

Sao Paolo city center, by Dylan Passmore

Sao Paolo city center, by Dylan Passmore

Sao Paolo city center, by Dylan Passmore
more about urban Brazil:

Evaluated Model of Pedestrian Movement Based on Space Syntax, Performance Measures and Artificial Neural Nets


Inequality and Urban Shrinkage: A Close Relationship in Latin America

Brasilia, Brazil: economic and social costs of dispersion

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