The Brazilian urbanization process began in 1940, as a result of economic modernization and great industrial development thanks to foreign capital inflows into the country.

Transnational companies preferred to settle in cities where population concentration was greater and with better infrastructure, giving rise to large metropolises.

Industrialization generated jobs for qualified professionals, expanded the middle class and the level of urban consumption. The city became a pattern of modernity, generating rural exodus .

The technology and the level of economic modernization were not adapted to the Brazilian reality.

The rural-city migration generated unemployment and increased activities in the informal tertiary sector.

The economic and social development model adopted in Brazil from the 1950s onwards led to a process of metropolization.

Occurrence of the phenomenon of conurbation, which constitute the metropolitan regions (created in 1974 and 1975).

From the 1980s onwards, there was what is called demetropolization, with higher economic growth rates in medium-sized cities, thus leading to a process of economic deconcentration.

Other regions began to attract more than metropolitan regions, with population decentralization as well.

According to THEDRESSEXPLORER, there is a decline in the importance of metropolises in the country’s social and economic dynamics.

A growing number of cities belonged to the group of medium and large cities.

We can say that Brazil has modernized and that the vast majority of the Brazilian population is already somehow integrated into the consumption, production and information systems.

Today there is an integration between urban and agrarian Brazil, one absolving aspects of the other. Rural production incorporated technological innovations produced in cities. Traditional rural Brazil is disappearing and survives only in the poorest regions.

Commercial production is increasingly focused on the city.

Productivity increased and the rural environment became part of the main national and international markets.

The implementation of modern transport and communication systems reduced distances and made it possible to deconcentrate economic activities, which spread throughout the country and are now coordinated based on guidelines produced in large national and international centers.

According to the informational model, São Paulo is the Brazilian world metropolis that exercises control over the main communication systems that spread innovations throughout the country, through the means of communication.

There is a break with the traditional urban hierarchy and the formulation of a new model of relationships, much more complex and suited to the social and economic framework of contemporary Brazil.


Frustrated at not having found in Brazil the precious metals that the Spaniards plundered from civilized peoples, in the part that fell to them in the Treaty of Tordesillas, the Portuguese were left with the alternative of growing sugar cane and producing sugar to make economically viable the colonization of the newly discovered lands. almost virgins. During the colonial period, the greatest number of sugar mills was concentrated in the Northeast, where Vila de Olinda was founded in 1535 in the captaincy of Pernambuco, a showcase for the wealth accumulated by the lords of the mills in the neighboring floodplains.

With its irregular layout, its monumental buildings erected on top of the hills overlooking the green sea and its houses winding on the slopes, Olinda is a magnificent example of informal urbanism, typical of Portuguese colonization in Brazil. Its own name would have originated from the exclamation of the donee Duarte Coelho, when referring to the magnificent landscape that unfolded from the site he had chosen for the foundation of the village.

The wealth concentrated in the Brazilian Northeast soon aroused the greed of other peoples, especially the Dutch who invaded Pernambuco in 1630 and, in the same year, took Vila de Olinda. But the conquered village did not lend itself to an effective defense, according to the strategic standards of the Dutch, who soon abandoned it and set it on fire, preferring to settle in the neighboring and swampy town of Recife, which they landed, as they used to do in their homeland, and developed at a fascinating pace in less than two decades.

With the expulsion of the Dutch in 1654, Olinda was gradually rebuilt – as it already suffered from growing competition from Recife, which had established itself as an important commercial center and would soon be promoted to the administrative capital of the captaincy. What Olinda lost with the administrative buildings was royally compensated with the construction of the monumental groups of convent buildings of the religious orders. Carmelites, Franciscans, Benedictines and Jesuits occupied the tops of the gentle hills, producing and preserving, mainly inside their convent houses, the most refined forms of baroque art in Brazil in the colonial period.

Olinda gave up competing with Recife and, thus, preserved its original characteristics until the 20th century, when it came to be considered as a dormitory city. In 1937, when it was officially declared a Monument City, its main attributes were still its unique location, its two-storey houses with narrow facades and long wooded yards and the high artistic quality of some of its buildings, which pontificated in the ranges of lush tropical vegetation.

The international recognition of the artistic value of Olinda dates back to 1982, when it was classified by UNESCO as a Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The Urban Space in Brazil

The Urban Space in Brazil
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