Category: Sao Paulo

Venomous yellow scorpions are moving into Brazil’s big cities – and the infestation may be unstoppable

Scorpions used to be a rural problem in Brazil. Now, residents of São Paulo and other urban areas are dealing with an infestation of these venomous creatures. AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini Hamilton Coimbra Carvalho, Universidade de São Paulo I live in São Paulo, the biggest city in Brazil, home to some 12 million people – 20 Read More

São Paulo water crisis shows the failure of public-private partnerships

São Paulo’s ongoing water crisis has left many of the city’s 20m or more residents without tap water for days on end. Brazil’s largest metropolis is into its third month of water rationing, and some citizens have even taken to drilling through their basements to reach groundwater. Most commentators agree that the crisis is to Read More

Megacity drought: Sao Paulo withers after dry ‘wet season’

Exceptional drought, extreme temperatures, unprecedented drops in reservoir levels and threatening water shortages for millions of people have dominated headlines in California in recent years. Unfortunately, Californians are not the only people being stressed with the “water crisis.” Citizens of one of the most densely populated areas in South America – the Sao Paulo metropolitan Read More

São Paulo’s drug policies are working – will the new mayor kill them?

After a fierce mayoral electoral campaign, São Paulo is a city on the verge of a potentially significant political change. The new mayor João Doria, elected on October 2, has promised to roll back many of the programmes associated with the current administration of Fernando Haddad, his left-leaning political rival. Among Haddad’s boldest initiatives were expanding Read More

At what cost gentrification? São Paulo expels drug users and razes buildings to ‘revitalise Crackland’

It was a rainy Sunday morning when São Paulo’s “Crackland” was destroyed. On May 21, 500 civil and military police descended on the downtown neighbourhood where, since the late 1990s, hundreds to thousands of crack-cocaine users and drug dealers have congregated (hence its dubious appellation Cracolândia). Throwing gas grenades and weilding barking dogs, the police raided the area Read More

Deadly highrise fire in Brazil spotlights city’s housing crisis and the squatter movement it spawned

A massive fire in historic downtown São Paulo, Brazil, on May 1 has killed at least one person, with three more suspected dead. Several neighboring buildings, including a church, were destroyed, scorched or evacuated. The 25-story building that caught fire and later collapsed was a vacant former police headquarters now occupied by squatters. Most of the several Read More

‘Day Zero’: From Cape Town to São Paulo, large cities are facing water shortages

Will South Africa’s second largest city dry up on August 19 of this year? By launching an official countdown, Cape Town City Council wished to highlight the impending cuts to domestic water supply for its more than 3.7 million inhabitants. The BBC then upped the ante, with an online list of 11 cities that may Read More