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The Place of the Center in the Contemporary Metropolis: The Case of São Paulo

Dr. Sandra Mara Ortegosa Self-employed architect, who used to work for the Architecture and Urbanism Colleges from the Federal University of Paraíba (UFPB) and the University Center of João Pessoa (UNIPÊ)

Result of a peripherical urbanization, marked by an accentuated social exclusion, São Paulo grew in an explosive rhythm, becoming one of the biggest urban agglomeration in the XXI century, with nearly 18 million inhabitants and so giant problems as its dimensions. Despite its unquestionable economic importance, nowadays São Paulo is facing a situation of generalized crisis expressed in the degradation of urban life’s quality.
In the last three decades, the transition from an industrial to a tertiary metropolis, in the process of globalization, is resulting in an elevation of social and spacial fragmentation. In this context, the traditional center was abandoned by elites, becoming a decayed area without its historical function as a place to provide meetings of different people and expression of public life. Therefore, in this lecture aims to show the politic, cultural, economic and symbolic importance of the São Paulo’s center to print a sense of identity and cohesion for the metropolitan territory.