Responding to a request by the Ministry of Cities, we have recently undertaken an extensive research entitled Análise das Regiões Metropolitanas do Brasil: identificação dos espaços intrametropolitanos e construção de tipologias ( Analysis of the Metropolitan Regions of Brazil: identification of intra-metropolitan spaces and construction of typologies ). This research has resulted in the drawing of a hierarchization of great Brazilian spaces, also in the elucidation of the notion of metropolis in Brazil as well as in the identification of six categories of large spaces, four of them with a metropolitan profile. To achieve all this, we relied on the study Caracterização e Tendências da Rede Ubana do Brasi ( IPEA, 2002 ) ( Characterization and Trends of the Brazilian Urban Network ). Even though it analyzed the whole of the Brazilian urban net, this study established its characterization and hierarchization only for urban centers with over 100 thousand inhabitants, whether or not they could be characterized as conglomerations. In our analysis, the main units of the research were the large Brazilian urban spaces, taking as such all municipalities of agglomerated areas, which play an important role in the consolidation of the centrality of metropolises.
Brazilian metropolitan spaces were considered particular territorial units, owing to the more complex roles they play in the national urban net. These roles are not necessarily marked by the processes of institutionalization of metropolitan entities typical of the recent experience of territorial administration in Brazil. This identification was made possible on the basis of territorial, social and economic indicators representative of the metropolitan phenomenon and contributed to dispel doubts about the unsuitable appropriation of the concepts of “metropolis” and “metropolitan region”, which were often inadequately used to refer to the institutionalized space. Next we drew a typology of spaces according to the integration level in the agglomeration dynamics. We also evaluated the degree of concentration of the pole and classified the spaces in accordance with their social condition, organizing them in a scale proportional to their importance in the Brazilian urban network.
The analysis was concentrated on the focal points of the Brazilian urban network: metropolises and/or institutionalized metropolitan regions, municipalities of these regions, state capitals and their respective conglomerations. These focal points led to the drawing of 37 units of urban spaces. On the basis of two classificatory processes these spaces were grouped in six categories expressive of their hierarchy. Category 1 includes only the metropolitan region of São Paulo, with the most expressive results in all indicators. The Rio de Janeiro metropolitan region, which came second in all indicators, constitutes by itself category 2, occupying a very asymmetrical position in relation to São Paulo. Category 3 encloses consolidated metropolitan regions, with the exception of the Integrated Development Category of the Federal District, all others were created by federal law. In category 4, we placed units which have more recently been institutionalized as spatial metropolitan phenomena. In the same category we also place Manaus, a large space distinguished form the others because its surroundings do no configure an agglomeration. The spaces composing these first four categories were considered “metropolitan” because they present indicators with an expressivity markedly superior to those of the other categories. Two other categories considered “non-metropolitan” include units which have been institutionalized by state legislations, several of which have not been polarized by state capitals. There also exist state capitals that do no configure conglomerations among the complex of municipalities around them.
Besides the categories of urban spaces, typologies and classifications have been created which adopted different procedures learned from metropolises integrating a single hierarchy. At each level of urban space units coexist which are differentiated as regards the dynamics of relations among municipalities, the degree of concentration of the pole and the social conditions in municipalities as a whole. The typologies and classifications elaborated in this project followed indicators of demographic evolution, pendular displacement fluxes, density and occupational categories, by means of which we delimited the effective reach of the agglomeration in the unit which was the object of the research. The territorial distribution of population indicators, of equipments and financial services, of formal occupations in first-rate activities and of income volume, side by side with the presence of great corporations and the flux of passengers in air transportation guided the evaluation of the degree of concentration of the agglomeration poles. The rate of poverty in the municipalities and the quality of Residential Units, associated with an analysis of the Local Human Development provided the foundation for the classification of municipalities and, following that, of the large urban spaces, in accordance with their social status. This cluster of typologies, associated with the hierarchy of these spaces reveals the large diversity of the metropolises, of urban conglomerations and of the large Brazilian centers. All this made evident the relevance of an analysis of the specificity of each region, creating conditions to support pertinent public policies.
Once this preliminary study was finished we realized the need for new investigations - either to expand or deepen our research, or to get on with the analyses effected, so as to provide answers to the new questions raised at the end of the study. It is further worth noting that the information bases organized for this project also offer new research possibilities. It should still be considered the mobilization of local teams from the network of the Metropolis Observatory, who are ready to contribute deeper and more detailed studies of local reality.
Among the possible achievements and new results of the project under consideration we contemplate the expansion of the universe of the analysis, by means of the incorporation of municipalities located near these spaces. They may be configuring new vectors of occupation and growth, and so altering the spatial arrangements we have been considering. To confirm this hypotheses, the data basis must be enlarged in order to include the municipalities around the metropolitan regions and which are not located within institutionalized borders, which may make possible the analysis of their integration in the dynamics of conglomerations.
Other urban conglomerations existing in the interior of states indicated in the study of the Rede Urbana ( Urban Network- PEA, 2002 ) or detected by local teams_ and which were not institutionalized as metropolitan units, also need to be better known. In the Brazilian urban network, some of them play a more relevant role than, for instance, many of the institutionalized metropolitan regions classified in categories 4 and 5. Accordingly, indicators and information about the municipalities of these conglomerations should be included in the data bases of the study we have already finished, namely Analysis of the Metropolitan Regions of Brazil: the identification of intra metropolitan spaces and the construction of typologies, mentioned above. The suggested inclusion would complement and qualify the previous analysis, with the consequent effective characterization of the large urban Brazilian spaces. Besides, considering that the information basis has already been organized, it would be possible to map and more deeply analyze the indicators of the pendular movement ( Demographic Census 2000 ) and their relation to other economic and social indicators available.
Origin/destiny matrices of population fluxes looking for work or education in a town other than their own and the mapping of the intra-metropolitan fluxes or between urban spaces, like metropolises and urban conglomerations, have contributed to the detection and analysis of new spatialities and centralities. Spatialities known as “dormitories “ ( sleeping cities ) and the raising of new types of demands for equipments and services have been identified. It would thus be possible to identify urban complexes formed of metropolitan regions, conglomerations and urban centers, bringing to the debate even more complex spatial arrangements from the standpoint of the institutional capacity of the urban-regional administration.
In short, as an expansion and deeper investigation of the themes approached in the study mentioned above, we propose to engage in the following activities:
(i) The inclusion, in our data basis, of townships around metropolitan regions which are not kept in institutionalized limits;
(ii) An analysis of the extent to which these municipalities have been integrated in the dynamics of conglomerations;
(iii) The study of other urban conglomerations of the states;
(iv) The elaboration of a matrix origin/destiny in each municipality, tracing the pendular movement toward the agglomerative units of Brazil;
(v) The mapping of fluxes of pendular intra-metropolitan and inter-conglomeration movements;
(vi) An analysis of fluxes of pendular intra-metropolitan movements in order to detect new centralities; the identification of “dormitory” spatialities and an investigation of new types of demands for equipments and services;
(vii) Checking of information about pendular movements against other social and demographic indicators, so as to get to know the profile of the commuter;
(viii) Analyses of the configuration of new spatialities, so as to articulate them in urban complexes, clusters of metropolitan regions, conglomerations and urban centers;
(ix) A study of the institutional capacity for urban-regional administration, made more complex because of emergent spatialities;
(x) The elaboration of a typology of municipalities of metropolitan areas in accordance with the degree of concentration of urban- residential problems and fiscal conditions to start cooperative actions.
Head of the research team: Dr. Paulo Delgado (IPARDES).
Consultants: Prof. Carlos de Mattos - Universidade Católica de Santiago do Chile; Prof. José Luis Coraggio – Universidad General Sarmiento.
Research team: Olga Lúcia de Freitas Firkowski (UFPR), Rosa Moura (IPARDES), researchers of the Laboratório de Geografia Humana e Regional da UFPR and Maria Luísa Castello Branco (IBGE).
Supporters of the team: IPARDES researchers.
Products: partial reports; the publication of the book Hierarquia e Tipologias dos Grandes Espaços Urbanos do Brasil (Hierarchy and Typology of Large Urban Spaces of Brazil ) There will also be a CD-Rom with an information basis and an Atlas of the Indicators of Metropolization and Intra-Metropolitan Dynamics).
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