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Access to improved water: The SEADE/UN-HABITAT data from 2006 in São Paulo indicates that the majority of those in favelas, cortiços, illegal allotments and in the periphery now have access to improved water due to government intervention in recent years. Access to improved sanitation: Likewise, the SEADE/UN-HABITAT data from 2006 in São Paulo indicates that approximately half of those in favelas, cortiços, illegal allotments and in the periphery now have access to improved sanitation due to government intervention in recent years. Durability of housing: The SEADE/UN-HABITAT data from 2006 in São Paulo shows that those in favelas, cortiços, illegal allotments and in the periphery normally live in self-constructed homes made of durable materials. Some live in hazardous areas that are vulnerable to flooding and structural collapse, and many live in environmentally fragile areas, where human habitation damages the environment, rather than the other way around. Sufficient living area: The SEADE/UN-HABITAT data from 2006 in São Paulo also shows that overcrowding is more of a problem in low-income areas, favelas and cortiços than anywhere else, but that area densities can be very high in different parts of São Paulo, based on metres square and the number of occupants per room. Nevertheless, the room occupation levels are not so high that all homes in favelas or elsewhere (except cortiços) would be categorized as slums by UNHABITAT’s criteria. (See Table 5.9.) Secure tenure: Many areas that house poor people in São Paulo are irregular, illegal or unofficial. A surprising number of residents own their own homes in these areas, but they do not own the land, pay property tax or have officially regularized titles. Cortiços are a striking exception: residents of cortiços have secure tenure, but they do not own their units. São Paulo has been pursuing a policy of land and titling regularisation, which has benefited hundreds of thousands of families; still, however, millions of people do not have official ownership of their homes, though they generally face little risk of eviction. Those who face eviction risks live in specific favelas on invaded or occupied land. See Special Feature 19 on forced eviction for more details. Image: Christopher Horwood

Part of the vast unplanned, partially-urbanised informal city around central São Paulo presents interesting challenges to urban planners.

Profile for UN-Habitat

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...

Profile for unhabitat
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