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Brazil's Early Urban Transition: What Can It Teach Urbanizing Countries?

George Martine, Gordon McGranahan

Working paper, 74 pages

This paper specifically describes the urbanization experience of Brazil, by far the largest country in Latin America, and which has attained levels of urbanization that surpass those of most European countries. Despite historical differences in timing and context, the trajectory of urbanization in Brazil holds many parallels and key lessons for other countries that are currently undergoing rapid urban growth. Reflections based on this narrative, including both the account of failed policies of the past and the innovative but partly proven policies of the present, could help policymakers in countries facing similar challenges deal more successfully with their own urban transitions.

The intention of this study is to provide the basis for such reflections with a broad-based case study of urban growth and urbanization in Brazil that will situate this process within the trajectory of the country’s overall development pathway. By improving the understanding of trends and patterns, and their relation to other social, economic, political and demographic processes, this study provides insights into policy options likely to be relevant to countries still in the midst of their own urban transitions.

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It is critically important to draw the right lessons from the BRICS, and both the successes and failures of their urbanisation strategies have much to teach the rest of the urbanising world. IIED worked to draw out some of these lessons.

More at www.iied.org:
Learning about urbanisation from the BRICS

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