Mega City: São Paulo

Population: ~21 million people (2014) – Metro Area
Source: Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics

Growth: Slowed from 1970 to about 1.7% per annum at the moment.

10 new people decide to settle in São Paulo every hour

Low income Area: Paraisópolis – a favela (Brazilian Slum) in South Eastern Sao Paulo. 43 000 inhabitants. Only 25% have access to sewage. 60% of households use illegal means to access electricity. Has undergone a large revamp in the last decade leading to it being used as a model for Mumbai and Lagos

 Oblique Aerial Photo of Paraisópolis

Challenges in S
ão Paulo: São Paulo is notorious for traffic. According to Time Magazine the city is home to the worst daily traffic jams in the world. On Friday nights traffic jams extend for an average of 180km and up to 295km (source BBC). As a result, many professionals opt for travel via helicopters. The city is home to the largest helicopter fleet in the world (source Latin America Bureau of UK).

Traffic is growing in the city at 7.5% per year (source: Wikipedia). A large issue is that in Brazil owning a car is seen as a status symbol.

Commuters lose 1 month a year on average sitting in traffic (source Sao Paulo’s Urban Mobility study)

São Paulo’s traffic jams alone were estimated to cost $17.8 billion in 2012 – 1% of Brazil’s GDP (source World Bank)

Response to the challenge:
A permanent alternate day travel restriction is in place and was implemented 1997 (the largest city in the world in which there is one). Two licence plate numbers are restricted daily.

A World Bank led group launched a project with local companies to incentivise not driving a car to work. This led to a 17% drop in the amount of people driving to work from those companies at the end of the project.                                                          São Paulo traffic jam

Sao Paulo’s 2014 Strategic Master Plan listed Urban Mobility as a key priority.  

The government has pledged to expand the length of the metro by 50% in the next 10 years. The World Bank invested $1 billion into this project.

Carpooling is promoted in the city for workers.