Urban Area Sub or Continent

Sao Paulo of Brazil is an urban area in a Non-European region which I have studied. Sao Paulo has developed at its present location in south-east Brazil for a number of reasons.

Sao Paulo is the largest city in South America with a population of over 17 million people. This city is an agglomeration, meaning it is a combination of a series of smaller urban centres which together form one large city.

The initial wealth of Sao Paulo was built on the prosperous coffee trade before becoming heavily industrialised throughout the 20th century. Today this city is home to over 20,000 industrial plants of all types and sizes employing close to 600,000 workers. The city is a major financial and a service centre and is very attractive to multinational corporation investment.

The city of Sao Paulo evolved in three distinguished stages. During the late 19th century right through to the 1940s the city was condensed with different social groups living in a small urban zone separated by type of housing alone. From the late 1940s forward a phenomenon known as centre-periphery social segregation began to unfold. This saw the wealthy people live in a central location closer to the central business district and the poorer moving to the outskirts of the city in shanty like towns referred to as favelas. The third and final stage of urban development occurred from 1980 onwards and sees the rich and poor live in immediate proximity but segregated by walls and manual security.

The city has developed at its current location as a result of a number of physically favourable attributes. Sao Paulo is located half way between Rio and Curitiba along an undulating plateau roughly 70 kilometres from the south-eastern coast. This region additionally is along a seismic stable zone, a very fundamental determining factor of location for would be investors, especially at this geographic location. The city is drained by the Tiete River and its tributary; the Pinheiros. This river is however limited in its ...

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