Urbanization in Rio de Janeiro Brazil

Topics: Rio de Janeiro, Rural, City Pages: 10 (1735 words) Published: October 22, 2008
The City of God:

Urbanization’s Impact on Rio de Janeiro

The City of God:

Urbanization’s Impact on Rio de Janeiro

As civilization continues to develop, the rural characteristics of various towns and areas

continue to be removed. This removal is resulting in the immense growth of cities all across the

world. Urbanization is a process that has previously occurred and continues to take place in

nearly every part of the world that humans have inhabited. With a metropolitan population of

more than twelve million people in two thousand two, Rio de Janeiro Brazil is the eighteenth

largest metropolitan area in the world, larger than Chicago, Paris and London (Brym, Lie,

Rytina, 2003: 599). It is a city that appears appealing to many with its alluring climates and,

more importantly, its numerous occupational opportunities. Although there are various reasons

for the increasing population in the city of Rio de Janeiro, it is clear that urbanization plays the

largest role in the overpopulation that has taken place over the past few decades. There are a

plethora of problems that this rapid urbanization is causing for the city, however, the pull factors

drawing people to the city and the push factors pushing those same people away from their rural

areas seem to outweigh the risks of migrating to an overcrowded metropolis.

There are certainly a variety of factors pulling those living in rural areas of Brazil to

migrate to Rio de Janeiro. One of the most obvious is that many see the city as an ultimate land

of opportunity. In other words, it will be much easier for people to find work when they live in

such a large area with a greater number of opportunities. Overall, those outside of Rio de Janeiro

see a vast convenience in simply moving there. A BBC article on urbanization suggests that

“access to education, health, social services and cultural events is much more readily available in

a city than in a rural setting” (2002). Additionally, everything is located so closely in cities which

can make motor vehicle use unnecessary for many citizens. This is certainly something that

would draw in populations as running an automobile is a large expense. Rio de Janeiro has

efficient mass transportation systems in place because of its large population. Systems such as

this are not feasible for rural populations (“Urbanization,” 2002). Finally, Rio de Janeiro’s

density of people, wealth and other city resources provide a better opportunity for citizens to

receive noteworthy educations. Basically, when enough people are put together in a small area,

they start coming up with ideas to do things - cultural, political, commercial and social activities

that just don't occur outside of cities (“Urbanization,” 2002). Therefore, without the development

of cities, universities which attract to those with ambition would have never come about. When

reviewing the appealing factors of moving into the city of Rio de Janeiro, it is understandable

why the city has become so overpopulated.

Although the pull factors do make migrating to Rio de Janeiro sound ideal, there are

several issues that rapid urbanization has caused. The most prominent problem is the

newcomers’ search for housing. Many new migrants to cities in Rio de Janeiro cannot afford

housing. Therefore, they are forced to build temporary accommodation in spontaneous

settlements. These settlements are classified as favelas or slums. According to author Janice

Pearlman, these settlements usually occur in two main areas of Rio: along the steep hillsides, or

along the outer fringes of urban expansion (1999: 24). These settlements are built of scrap

materials and often have no water, sanitation or electricity. A Brazilian woman spoke out in an

article stating, “the urban world is not world of cities, it is a world made of slums”...

References: Brym, R., Lie, J., Rytina, S. (2003). Sociology Your Compass For a New World. Toronto: Thomson Canada Limited.
Godfrey, B. (1991). Modernizing the Brazilian City. Chicago: Geographical Review.
Hall, M. (1995). “Rio de Janeiro” Colliers Encyclopedia. New York: International Addition.
Howden, D. (2007). The Tipping Point. Hamilton Spectator, D13. Retrieved January 12, 2008, from Canadian Reference Centre database.
McCann, B. (2006). The Political Evolution of Rio de Janeiro’s Favelas. Latin American Research Review, vol. 41. Retrieved January 10, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database.
Monteirol, M. (2004). Brazilian Favelas. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, vol. 58. Retrieved January 12, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database.
Pearlman, J. (1999). The Myth of Marginality: Urban Poverty and Politics in Rio de Janeiro. Los Angeles: University of California Press.
Santos, M., Illanes, C., Founaro, A., Pedrotti, J., (2007). Acid Rain in Downtown Brazil. Water, Air and Soil Pollution; Focus, vol. 7. Retrieved January 11, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database.
Urbanization. (2002). BBC. Retrieved January 12, 2008, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/.
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