Brazil’s Nova Luz: Downtown Revitalization or Cleansing Operation?

The Nova Luz project

A new project launched by the São Paulo local government entitled ‘Nova Luz’ (‘New Light’) has been deemed as a hugely ineffective method to revitalize one of the city’s poorest and socially unequal areas – often referred to as ‘Cracolândia’ due to the rife drug problems and seeming lack of control that currently exist there.

The proposed aim of the program will be to revitalize the streets in the immediate vicinity of the Luz metro station (including the demolition of 45 blocks) within which many buildings remain abandoned or resided in by squatters, addicts and drug dealers.  The plans also focus on transforming the region into another of the city’s cultural and technological hubs.

 

However, Diana Helene Ramos of the University of São Paulo – despite claims of one the program’s objectives to create 2,260 social housing units – states that the underlying objective of the program in reality will ostracize those whose have existing local business interests.

A number of local residents and business owners have also voiced their anger at the plans.  Nelson Cruz de Souza of the Central [São Paulo] Residents movement stated to the ‘Dia’ newspaper that: “it all forms part of a cleansing operation to get rid of poor people from the center of the city.”

Others have stated that attempting to ‘wash’ the region’s problems away by a revitalization program is a naïve form of action considering the magnitude of the social issues, particularly related to drugs.

This article corrects information published previously in this same space.

Ruban Selvanayagam is a Brazil real estate and land specialist. For free e-books, state guides, up-to-date statistics, strategies, interviews, articles, weekly broadcasts and more head to the Brazil Real Estate and Land Investment Guide via the following link: http://www.brazilinvestmentguide.com/brazil-property-real-estate-land/

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