• Mechanisation of farms and shortage of alternative jobs
results in high rural unemployment
• Large landowners take back the land of their tenant farmers to grow cash
crops for export (see Latifundia system)
• High infant mortality due to lack of clean water, electricity, sewerage
and medical care
• Housing in rural areas is even worse than in the city
• Periodic droughts in NE Brazil
• Lack of schools, shops, etc
• Advertising campaigns were run in rural areas
in the 1950s and 1960s to attract workers to the city
• More schools, doctors and other services in the city
• Successful migrants encourage people to join them
High birth rate
Low death rate leading to longer life expectancy
Results of rapid growth
1. Inadequate housing and services.
40% live in shanty towns or favellas which display most problems typical
of developing world cities. The makeshift homes lack sewerage, water and
2. The shanty town services are non-existent
or incapable of maintaining a basic standard of living. The lack of
basic services like a clean water supply, rubbish collection and sewerage
disposal mean that the risks of disease are very high. In storms sewers block
3. Shortage of affordable formal housing.
4. The shanty town is likely to be found on
inappropriate land. Maybe it is prone to flooding or is very steeply
sloping, increasing the chances of a landslip. It could be on a piece of land
that has been badly polluted by a neighbouring industry. The shelters made of
wood and high population densities increase the risk of fire.
5. Collapsing infrastructure. The
government does not have sufficient funds available to maintain the existing
facilities, let alone improve them. Particular problems arise because of the
inadequacy of the road and sewerage networks – see next point.
6. Increasing levels of pollution.
Pollution of air, land and water is a major problem. Air pollution is second
only to Los Angeles. The drive to industrialisation brings with it inevitable
problems, especially as legislation to protect the environment is often
non-existent or rarely enforced. Furthermore, the hidden economy can add to the
levels of pollution as small, unlicensed industries are set up in peoples homes
or on rooftops. These industries release their pollutants into the air, land and
7. Increased volume of traffic on poorly
8. A lack of employment means that people have
to look for other ways of earning money in the informal sector.
Lack of jobs - many work in informal sector - low paid, menial jobs e.g.
porters, shoe shiners. Employs over half the city’s workforce.
Attempts to solve problems:
1. Clearance of the slums: In the
past the authorities tried to clear the slums - people just moved elsewhere.
2. Site and service schemes: These
are schemes whereby the government will provide a site (a small concrete ‘hut’)
and basic amenities such as water and sewer facilities. The migrant is given
rights of ownership and then expected to complete the work at his or her
expense. This is often done as a cooperative between groups of migrants. In
other situations, the authorities just provide the plot and building materials
for the migrants to construct their own homes.
These schemes are relatively cheap and give the migrants a sense of control
over their future. They also encourage community spirit.
3. Rehabilitation (Multiroes self-help
schemes): An alternative to this scheme is to provide the residents
of the shanty towns with the materials to improve their existing shelters.
Residents are also encouraged to set up community schemes to improve education
and medical services. Residents may also be given rights of ownership whilst
local authorities come in and provide electricity, water and sewerage disposal.
e.g. Favella Monte Azul
It is a cheaper option than the site and service schemes but simply hides the
real problems. The germs may not have been removed, the land still unsuitable
and the water/sewer system still not adequate.
4. Housing developments: Large
areas of shanty towns were cleared, tower blocks built and the shanty town
residents re-housed. e.g. Cingapura Housing Project
5. Charities: charity projects
provide jobs and other benefits such as pensions and medical care. e.g. Focolare
6. Transport: Transport -
underground metro system - improves movement of people and reduces pollution,
new roads, new train and bus services, pedestrianised CBD and parking
7. Industrial estates: New
industrial estates with water, sewerage and electricity are located close to the
favellas to provide business premises and jobs