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slums, favelas, cortiços and other definitions Brazil ranks income by minimum salaries (MS) per family. Families with three or fewer MS are considered ‘poor’ by official standards and qualify for different benefits, subsidies and cash transfer systems. The MS itself is rising every year at a higher rate than inflation in order to fulfil aspects of wealth redistribution nationwide. The section on incomes in this book will illustrate the scope and nature of poverty in São Paulo and comment on the number of low income families living in favelas and cortiços. As a result of the differences between data collection categories of the SEADE/HABITAT Living Conditions Survey and the strict criteria for slum population calculations, this book will avoid the use of the word ‘slum’ as defined by UN-HABITAT, except in its generic usage such as slum eviction, slum upgrading and international slums. Instead, this report will refer to the criteria and nomenclature commonly used in São Paulo and in the SEADE/UN-HABITAT survey. The terms ‘periphery’, ‘cortiço’ and ‘favela’ are used throughout this publication to describe areas in which São Paulo’s poor are concentrated. The cross-tabulation used for most of the data in this book separates those households living in cortiços and favelas from those living in other parts of the city and the metropolitan region. This could include very poor people living in the periphery as well as the elite and wealthy in the centre. The data is also cross-tabulated between vulnerable and non-vulnerable areas according to SEADE’s criteria of using the composite of income and education of interviewed families to separate vulnerable and nonvulnerable areas. Vulnerable and non-vulnerable comprise six divisions created by SEADE São Paulo based on education and income only. Vulnerable includes the lower three sections from moderate to extremely vulnerable, while non-vulnerable includes the three sections from reasonable to not vulnerable at all in terms of income and education (i.e., the top deciles). In the text, all data is identified by the particular cross-tabulation from which the statistics are drawn. The main source of data is the SEADE/UN-HABITAT 2006 Living Conditions Survey, but numerous other sources for subject-specific data are used and cited, as well. The main research was conducted with the aid of the extensive existing research on São Paulo by the Brazilian authorities, as well as private and public institutions and think tanks. In addition the author spent time in São Paulo and interviewed a range of key experts. Cortiços: Rented rooms in larger residential blocks or houses, normally highly congested, sub-standard shared facilities, traditionally located in downtown old São Paulo as well increasingly in the periphery. Cortiços are conventionally regarded as slums. See Special Feature 3 for a more complete description. Favelas: Illegal settlements or invasions of public and private land by poor people who auto-construct makeshift homes of non-durable materials that they soon replace with durable materials. They are islands of unplanned, predominantly un-serviced, informal urban settlements. Few favelas are now located in central São Paulo but hundreds exist in the periphery. Favelas are conventionally regarded as slums. See Special Feature 4 for a more complete description. Irregular allotments: Millions of people in São Paulo live in self-constructed homes on unofficial, un-planned allotment divisions in areas that were originally beyond the scope of city planners or city infrastructure. These areas are increasingly being regularized and included in urban planning in the municipality of São Paulo and the 38 surrounding municipalities, but some areas have the same poor living standards as favelas and cortiços, even though they are not conventionally regarded as slums in the same way as favelas and cortiços. Periphery (periferias): The periphery is a generic term referring to the vast areas of habitation and settlement (many of which are informal, irregular and illegal) outside the central zones of São Paulo. The government is attempting to catch up with infrastructure and service provision in the periphery, where low-income and poor residents are concentrated. The division between conventionally regarded planned and un-planned, slum and non-slum areas in the periphery is not always apparent. The bulk of social housing is also located in the periphery. São Paulo and the UN-HABITAT slum definition Government interventions, new policies and increased prosperity for some are influencing a rapid change in São Paulo, which has a highly heterogeneous context in relation to the five UN-HABITAT slum indicators. Below is a clarification of how the international UN-HABITAT definition applies in the case of São Paulo.

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Sao Paulo; A tale of two cities  

UN-HABITAT’s new Cities and Citizens series examines urban inequality in the developing world through in-depth analysis of intracity data de...

Sao Paulo; A tale of two cities  

UN-HABITAT’s new Cities and Citizens series examines urban inequality in the developing world through in-depth analysis of intracity data de...

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