I. Introduction Latin America has been commonly located in our urban vocabularies with its primate cities whose populations outnumber tens of millions. One of those cities is Sao Paulo, Brazil which is sharing the second rank with another Latin American city, Mexico City in the world population list of UN (Rodriguez and Rosenbaum, 2005). The aim of this paper is to examine the urban transformation and transition of Sao Paulo by referring to globalization.
In fact, globalization will be held in the paper in articulation with economic, political and social processes which have affected the current situation. Hence I divide my paper into three parts, in the first part of my essay, I am going to talk about economic effects of globalization on the city, Sao Paulo. In the second part, political effects will be discussed while third part is occupied by social reflections of globalization. By and large, two of the latter can not be separated from the former one. II. Globalization versus Sao Paulo; winners and losers
Sao Paulo central municipality has a population of 10 million when 38 metropolitan regions are included, population of the city is increased to 18. 3 million (Rodriguez and Rosenbaum, 2005). By 1990s onwards, globalization is increased its speed all over the world with its undeniable penetration power. This is a period that we have been witnessing is a period of space flow and timeless time as Castells argues (1998), compression of time and space by the help of constantly developing technologies. New technologies brought about incredible developments capitalist system indeed.
Being colonized for centuries, Brazilian city Sao Paulo would be expected to be accustomed to penetration of external economic intervention. However, globalization is such a period with its pros and cons that there is no certainty about the results and outcomes. Following parts of the essay will try to depict the topology of Sao Paulo, a leading example of a developing country metropolitan through economic, political and social dimensions. Economic Dimensions Penetration would be the quite right term in order to define the action of capital and markets into the developing countries.
Urban space and urban profile of dwellers are shaped mainly through economic construction. What Sao Paulo had and has been experiencing by economic globalization can be listed as the followings, the integration of financial systems, the internationalization of production and consumption, and the spread of global communication networks, the free flow of capital, the growth of multinational corporations, international labor migration flows, increasing share of imports and exports, the growth of foreign investment.
Henceforth, Sao Paulo becomes a major Latin American business center that has leading headquarters of MNCs consisting of networks of financial, accounting, management consulting, design, advertising and many other (McCann, 2004). After listing the economic “inputs” of globalization, it is turn of the outcomes of those listed factors. All economic activisms depict an attractive Sao Paulo for many rural people. Therefore, migration depending on the economic reasons turned into a very important unit of analysis for multidimensional situations.
For example, the overall shift in growth strategies toward export-oriented development created growth poles that emerged as alternatives to the primate cities for migrants. This shift was substantially promoted by the expansion of world markets for commodities and foreign direct investment of multinational corporations (Angotti, 1996). Foreign direct investment, via both privatization and other channels, has been associated with the deregulation of financial markets and key economic institutions(Angotti, 1996).
Such it reinforces a situation in which there is a polarization between the relatively few jobs that pay substantial incomes and the large majority of jobs that pay, at best, a subsistence wage. These approaches to economic development have resulted in increased levels of unemployment, informalization of local labor markets, destructed income structures, and rapidly increasing class polarization (Saskia-Sassen, 1998).
That is to say, as Angotti also claims (1996) Sao Paulo has a strong tendency towards polarization assume distinct forms in the spatial organization of the urban economy, the structures of social reproduction, and the organization of labor. Moreover, these trends towards varies forms of polarization create the conditions for employment-centered urban poverty and marginality, and for new class formations. Political Dimension The new geographies of centrality are introduced by globalization. Local governances, initiatives are encouraged to stand up.
It is the time of active citizenship in the name of civil society. In more concrete words, civil society is solidly organized through an increasing all justly demanding to share with government (state) and entrepreneurs/corporations (the market) both social action and decision-making(Hewitt,1998). Furthermore, Sao Paulo is a quite active participant of that kind of civil society initiatives. In order to illustrate, the sister municipality partnership of Sao Paulo and Toronto would be given (Hewitt, 1998).
Leaving aside the previews example as an optimistic initiative, it is discussing quite commonly about thesss modified urban “rules of the game” has given free hand to enterprises to focus their businesses in the new type of demand of the elites, whose security concerns now prevail over the previous requirements of centrality and accessibility (Marques and Miranda, 2003). Social Dimension In fact, in that part of my essay I would like to discuss the polarization within Sao Paulo. Sao Paulo is a city of contrasts.
There is a huge gap between the lives of rich people and those of poor one. That is to say, all those high influential progress create also s grounds, structures which shape opportunities and constraints for different groups of people. The skies over Sao Paulo, advertising agencies, throughout the city, residents are assaulted by a barrage of neon signs, massive television screens, and garish billboards fashion and design firms, a huge football industry are the most leading economies of the city.
For example, in the Brazilian case, Sao Paulo has gained immense strength as a business and financial center over Rio de Janeiro -once the political capital and the most important city in the country (S? lva, 2000). Therefore, it is not wrong to identified Sao Paulo as a “global city”. As Sassen argues (1998) cities implement varies of strategies in order to become an attractive city. Attractive is a right adjective to demand in the global world for maintaining the flow of capital, people, information and market. Let me illustrate the current situation in Sao Paulo with concrete examples, Sao
Paulo is the sole city which has a Formula 1 ground all over the Latin America(Murray, 2004). Fashion is a leading sector like football which is bringing incredible amounts of money to the city. In accordance to this, there are newly emerged riches that are enjoying the wealth of city and those who can not place her or himself in that flexible economy living in the miserable conditions. Hence, Sao Paulo is a city of huge polarizations with a sky full of private helicopters on the one hand and on the other there are undeniable majority of favelas.
Spatial segregations like gated communities, favelas regions are snot randomly faced realities of Sao Paulo. Calderia states that those pathologic emergences of gated communities are the outcomes of going on inequalities and disproportionate share of employment, social services such housing, education, health (1996). In Sao Paulo, well-to-do urban residents have anxieties about the disorderly, chaotic city to lend legitimacy to their withdrawal from the conventional public spaces of the urban landscape and their retreat into exclusive fortified enclaves for their work, residence, leisure and consumption (Caldeira, 2000).
That is to say, given the combination of elements in the urban realm – extremes of wealth and poverty, armed drug traffickers, police abuses, and affluent middle-class residents – it is not surprising that Sao Paolo has acquired “an unseemly reputation for crime and violence”. (Caldeira, 2000) They have relied upon the discourses of fear and crime to help validate this spatial distancing and to justify new techniques of exclusion.
Whether real or imagined, this fear of crime is often intertwined with class prejudices, ethnic and racial anxieties and stereotypical notions of the urban poor and marginalized to generate hybrid ideological constructions – with distinct local variations – that sanction new patterns of spatial self-segregation and social discrimination. III. Conclusion To sum up, the match between globalization and the urbanization process of Sao Paulo bring about winners and losers in the urban context with major inequalities reflecting on the streets of Sao Paulo.
During the paper I tried to indicate the economic effects of globalization to the city Sao Paulo which can be summarized as the unstoppable entrance and flow of capital, labour, market and information. Political and social dimensions which are surrounding the core economic issues are held in the following parts by referring to decentralization effect of globalization, and new actors of global world are tried to be introduced which are civil society, NGOs and local governance, municipalities. Social aspects of Sao Paulo today can not be thought away from economics and politics.
At that part, I touch upon the global city issue. What it implies is actually the two sides of the ring. On the one side there are wealth, power, process, empowerment, emancipation on the other hand there are poverty, inequality, starvation, struggle of life survival. As the last words, it would be said that the stigma of the city extreme inequalities on Sao Paulo seems to continue and replicate itself in various forms. References Angotti, T. (1996) “Latin AmericanUrbanization and Planning: Inequality and Unsustainability in North and South”, Latin American Perspectives, Vol 23, no. , Autumn Caldeira, T. (2000) City of Walls: Crime, Segregation, and Citizenship in Sao Paulo. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. ______ (1996). “Building up Walls: The New Pattern of Spatial Segregation in SaoPaulo”, International Social Science Journal, 147:55–6. Castells, I. (1998) End of Millenium: the Information Age, Vol 3. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Gilbert, A. (1996a) “The Latin American megacity: an introduction”, in: Gilbert, A. (ed. ) The megacity in Latin America, United Nations University Press.
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