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São PauloPerspectives on the City and Cultural Production$
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David William Foster

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813036656

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813036656.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

São Paulo, Brazilian Megacity

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
São Paulo
Author(s):

David William Foster

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813036656.003.0001

By most accounts São Paulo is not a user-friendly city, and it may even be viewed as hostile. A paradigmatic megacity (along with, for example, Mexico City or Tokyo), São Paulo has grown exponentially in the past 100 years, such that something like 18 million inhabitants now occupy the greater metropolitan area. Some of this growth is attributable to foreign immigrants, brought in mostly to work on the expanding coffee plantations, but the emerging industrial base east of the city is also a factor. The first decades of the twentieth century were the turning point for the explosive growth of São Paulo, which now serves as the financial center of the country—as well as of all Latin America—and, in its suburbs, as the country's industrial center. Brazil industrialized early, well before other Latin American societies, who thought that it might be better to produce the goods of modernity at home rather than import them from abroad. Culturally speaking, the turning point for São Paulo came with the Semana de Arte Moderna (Week of Modern Art).

Keywords:   São Paulo, Brazil, megacity, immigrants, Latin America, Arte Moderna, financial center, coffee plantations, industrial base, industrial center

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