Google Street maps enable users to explore the back streets of
São Paulo where wealth and poverty co-exist side by side.
View of a favela and luxury apartments separated only by a
wall in the neighbourhood of Morumbi, in São Paulo. Source: VIEIRA
TUCA (with kind permission)
Brazil has avoided the ravages of the international financial
crisis with huge public spending and growth of 7.3% in 2010. If the present rate
of growth continues, some analysts speculate, in 2014 the country will have the
fourth largest economy in the world, overtaking France and Britain.
But inequalities have not yet been swept away. Among Brazilians
eligible to vote there are 8 million illiterate, 20 million who understand
simple texts and 45 million who did not complete primary school. Only 5.2
million voters completed their upper school education and another 4 million
dropped out of university.
Levels of technology with the ability to sell aircraft to China or build oil
platforms, coexist with uses and abuses of the nineteenth century, more
appropriate to a novel by Charles Dickens. According to the Brazilian Institute
of Geography and Statistics, some 4.2 million children and adolescents between 5
and 17 years are part of the labour market.
Inequalities carry over to the nation's infrastructure network. Some 34.8
million people lack sanitation and 69% of the national highways in poor
Google Street Maps, Morumbi São Paulo: slum housing
.. and at the top of this street of slum housing, heavy
security surrounds high class housing:
Google Street Maps, Morumbi, São Paulo: high class housing
and high security
Rich world Poor world in Barcelona
Google Street maps also enable users to explore areas of
Barcelona where wealth and poverty similarly co-exist side by side. A good
example currently exists in the inner city district of El Raval:
Google Street Maps, El Raval, Barcelona: slum housing
.. and within a few metres in an adjoining street:
Google Street Maps, El Raval, Barcelona: a luxury hotel