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The poverty map

Project indicates a worsening in the quality of life in 76 of the 96 districts of the city of São Paulo over the last ten years

MIGUEL BOYAYAN In 85 districts, there is a shortage of places in kindergarten schools. In others, like Pari, there is a surplus of as much as 83.49%MIGUEL BOYAYAN

The city of São Paulo has gained 1 million poor persons over the last ten years. At the moment, of the more than 10 million inhabitants in the capital, around 8.9 million live below a desirable standard of living: besides a low income, they have difficulty in accessing education, sanitation, and housing, among other services. This deterioration in the quality of life of the population in 74 of the 96 districts into which the capital is divided is a result of the lack or inadequacy of public policies and of the scarcity in the supply of social apparatus.

And the scenario is even more serious: the lack of planning has deepened the intra-urban inequalities. In Vila Jacuí, for example, there is a shortage of 27,000 places in the day care centers for children, a problem that is unknown for the population in Jaguaré, Brás or Bom Retiro; for each new job in Aricanduva, 1,114 positions of employment are created in Sé; for each person living on the street in Morumbi, there are 1,061 in Mooca, and, in Jardim Ângela, the average rate of homicides is 28 times greater than in Moema.

This perverse social topography is stamped on the Map of Social Exclusion/Inclusion of the City of São Paulo, which is the main feature of the research project entitled Social Dynamics, Environmental Quality and Intra-Urban Spaces in São Paulo: A Socio-Spatial Analysis , carried out under FAPESP’s Research in Public Policies Program. The map is a result of a partnership between the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC-SP), the National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) and the Polis Institute. Now in its fourth version, it was drawn up using comparative data from the 1991, 1996 and 2000 censuses of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), from municipal statistics, and with data from the survey on Origin/Destination of the São Paulo Metropolitan Company, which subdivides the city into 270 regions.

The research uses a geospatial analysis methodology and a mathematical/computational treatment of the information, in the environment of the Georeferenced Information System(SIG). This makes it possible to identify “the location” of the data in the distinct areas of the city, and in the creation of an Index of Social Exclusion (IEX) that makes it possible to classify the levels of quality of life in the various districts of São Paulo. “The information generated by the map is strategic for defining public policies that are adequate for the needs of each region”, says Aldaíza Sposati, the coordinator of the project and the secretary for Social Services of the municipality of São Paulo.

The Index of Social Exclusion/Inclusion (IEX), built up by the team of researchers that make up the project, is a kind of Human Development Index (HDI), used by the United Nations (UN) to classify life quality in countries, except that it has been expanded. While the HDI uses four indicators to assess the socioeconomic situation of the various nations, the Index of Exclusion uses 47 variables – which the team of researchers calls “utopias” – grouped in four major areas: autonomy, quality of life, human development and equity.

The researchers responsible for the project developed a similar methodology for analysis in Santo André, in São Paulo’s industrial suburbs, and are beginning to map the intra-urban inequalities in the municipalities of Campinas, Guarulhos, Piracicaba, in the state of São Paulo and Goiânia in the state of Góias. “The main data comes from the IBGE, but it is fundamental to ensure that it is compatible with information from the city halls”, explains Dirce Koga, a researcher from PUC-SP, who is a member of the group.

Quality of life
The indicator for Autonomy assesses the income of the heads of family and the job market in the various districts; Quality of Life measures access to services, such as sanitation, health and education, as well as the density of housing and household comfort; the Human Development indicator takes into consideration the level of schooling of the heads of family, longevity, infant and child mortality and violence; and the Equity index records the degree of concentration of women as heads of family. Positive and negative decimal marks, ranging from -1 to 1, were attributed to each one of these indicators, with zero defined as the basic standard for social inclusion. The districts were ranked at these range as a result of the positive or negative distance from the standard.

According to this criterion, the worst place to live in São Paulo is Jardim Ângela, with an index of -1; and the best, Moema, with a +1 index. Vila Jaguara lies within a desirable standard, with an index of 0. According to this assessment, 76 of the 96 districts of the capital were regarded as excluded or below the standard. The Eastern Region lost to the South its situation as the most needy region of the capital. “We found that, over the last decade, the levels of social exclusion of the Eastern Region have not altered.

The region has achieved collective improvements. In the South, social exclusion has intensified. Now we need to understand how this has happened”, Aldaíza explains. Besides the Southern Region, the situation is also serious in the region that borders the Cantareira mountain range, to the northwest of the capital, where a large number of excluded districts are concentrated. What is most serious is that these are areas of supplies of water and environmental conservation that have been “frozen”, as Aldaíza puts it, both from the point of view of investments and of improvements. Devalued, they have become a target for occupation and are being degraded. “The rates of exclusion are jeopardizing the future of the city”, she warns. “There is no combination of an environmental policy and defense of mankind”.

Urban planning
The Map of Exclusion/Inclusion takes a detailed X-ray of the social topography of São Paulo, and it is an important tool for urban planning. The first map, which collates the data from the 1991 census and the recount that took place in 1996, was used by the Municipal Secretariat for Education, during the term of office of Celso Pitta, to assess the demand for education in the various regions. The second, published in 2000 – now under FAPESP’s Public Policies program -, has been a strategic tool for defining the areas where the social programs are to be implemented under Marta Suplicy’s administration as mayor. “The focus is on the areas with the greatest index of exclusion”, says Aldaíza.

The third version, which incorporates the data from the 2000 census into the historical series, is still at the stage of being concluded, but the preliminary results are already a point of reference for debates on the municipality’s Participatory Budget for planning the health programs.

“Public policies benefit from allocating the data spatially. This methodology for analysis makes it possible to understand the differences between the various territories in one and the same municipality”, says Gilberto Câmara, the general coordinator of Observation of the Earth at INPE and the project’s assistant coordinator. “The poor from Itaim Paulista are not the same as those from Jardim Ângela”, as he puts it in short. The use of spatial statistics, he points out, is very sensitive to analysis and provides input for the qualitative assessments. It increases the possibility for identifying and focusing on “a target”, in the case of public policies, increasing the chances of success for social projects and programs, and preventing public resources from being wasted. “The map of social exclusion is a way of increasing the mayor’s ability to decide”, says Câmara.

The methodology for analysis used in the project has revealed, for example, that between 1996 and 2001, a period in which the population of the capital registered growth of 2%, the number of inhabitants in the Anhangüera district rose 129.96%, while there was a shrinkage of 27.54% in Pari. The figures suggest that there was intense intra-urban migration in this period, from the more central districts like Pari, in the direction of peripheral areas, such as Anhangüera, Grajaú and Cidade Tiradentes, amongst others, which are short of public equipment and services to meet the demands of the expanded population.

The population movement has jeopardized the quality of life in several districts of São Paulo. The Autonomy index, for example, showed an impressive inequality in the job market between the various districts of the city. The Sé district, with its low density of residents, concentrates the highest level of jobs per inhabitant by district, 6.80. This is counterbalanced by Anhanguera, a region where the rate of growth in the offer of jobs has remained stable, at 0.18 openings per inhabitant, despite the demographic explosion recorded over the decade. The lack of employment obliges workers/residents to commute daily to other areas with a larger job supply. “This situation should call for greater attention from the local public authorities, as far as collective transport is concerned”, says Dirce Koga.

The occupational scenario looks more serious when one takes into consideration the offer of employment in the district, compared with the economically active population (EAP) between the ages of 14 and 69: there are jobs in the city for 64% of the EAP. The other 36%, statistically speaking, at least, are outside the job market. Using this analytical perspective, Cidade Tiradentes has the worst situation: less than two (1.8) of each ten residents have a job in the same district.

The lowest household income, corresponding to 4.64 minimum salaries, is to be found in the district of José Bonifácio, and the largest, almost 41 minimum salaries, in Moema. The basic standard for income, the basis on which the Index of Exclusion is built, was 14 minimum salaries, found in Bom Retiro. On this criterion, 20 districts were given positive marks, and 54 negative ones.

Services deficit
The shortfall of vacancies in public and private day care centers in the city of São Paulo has grown 34% since 1995. It is true that the population between the ages of 0 and 4 fell 12% in this period, but even so, there are not enough places. The problem is particularly serious in Vila Jacuí, where the deficit leapt from 540 places to 10,014, putting the area in a situation 2,000 times worse than Jaguaré. There is also a lack of places at the kindergarten schools that teach children between the ages of 5 and 6, in 85 of the 96 districts of São Paulo. In some areas, like Pari – where the population decreased – a surplus of 83.49% was recorded. The places at the primary schools also fail to meet the demand, in at least 13 regions of the city. In República, only 868 out of 3,646 children can be enrolled, a shortfall of 76.19%.

There are no health centers in ten districts. In the central areas, the deficit amounts to 100%. In another 76, the cover falls short of the basic standard of one attendance post for each group of 20,000 inhabitants. Campo Limpo has the worst situation, whereas in Jaguara or in Ponte Rasa there is a surplus. The survey shows at least one positive point: the percentage of heads of family without schooling fell since 1996 from 9.47% to 6.45%, a reduction of almost 32%. Even so, in 47 districts, the percentage of illiterate heads of family exceeded the average for municipalities, in some cases by as much as 20.08%.

The largest concentration was to be found in Grajaú, and the lowest in Barra Funda. The percentage of heads of family who had studied for between eight and 14 years grew 32.20%, the highlight being Lajeado. Some more good news is that the number of those with a university degree grew 13.85% in the same period, taking the city as a whole. Only ten districts failed to record this growth. The largest occurrence of higher education diplomas was to be found in the Iguatemi district.

The longevity rates are also positive. And the number of potential years of life lost has fallen in 23 of the 96 districts. This is calculated by the difference between age at death and the life expectation of the population. The homicide rate, however, grew 11.33%, between 1996 and 1999. In Jardim Ângela, the rate – which is calculated by the number of homicides multiplied by 100,000 inhabitants and divided by the population of the district – was 94.42. In Sé, this rate leapt up from 37.52 to 93.47.

New utopias
The project is entering into stage II of the Research in Public Policies Program. The targets are to produce new maps, to perfect the indicators, to revise the content of the equity indicator, and to add to the Index of Exclusion/Inclusion new “utopias”: democracy, citizenship and happiness. “We are working with the idea that there is suffering in social exclusion and that happiness is a public right”, explains Dirce. The plans also include the conclusion of the process of implementing the Center for Studies of Socio-Territorial Inequalities (Cedest), already started in January 2002, which will function in the Polis Institute.

“We do as God wills”

Encrusted at the top of Jardim Ângela, Copacabana looks like a ghost town. At 1:30 PM on a Monday, the streets are empty and the houses locked up. They all have their doors and windows protected by spiked aluminum grilles. The bars are equally closed. Silence seems absolute. On the corner, a group of children is playing soccer on an empty lot heaped with garbage. Two hundred meters further on, five boys are flying kites on a concrete roof that looks over Vila Tupi. They say that it is there that the drugs lords impose a curfew of the residents at any time of day or night.

With a population of 250,000 inhabitants, the Jardim Ângela district is a kind of isolated corridor in the Southern Region of the city, a sort of “urban hole”, which ends at the Serra do Mar mountain range. A recent settlement, it houses a population without any professional qualifications and attracts a large part of the contingent of intra-urban migrants. It records the highest homicide rate and the worst (-1) index of exclusion in the city of São Paulo. “I think that there is a bit of exaggeration when people say that the region is very violent”, says Helena dos Santos, 54 years old, and 36 of these spent living in Jardim Ângela.

“Violence is everywhere”. It was there she met and married João, who has even owned a truck, but who “drives the trucks of others” nowadays. It was with the money he would bring back from the highways and her wages as a seamstress at a garment maker’s on José Paulino Street, in the central region, that they both raised their two children. “I decided to leave the garment maker, and nowadays I make cakes for parties and one or other garment”, says Helena. That is how she is helping with the education of her five grandchildren, born to her first son, who was murdered two years ago.

“He was a policeman, but he was not on duty that day. It was Sunday, and he had just had dinner with his wife, here at home. He was killed a few meters from here, and to this day we do not know exactly what happened”, she says, showing clearly that she did not like touching on the subject. She does not attribute her personal tragedy to the violence that thrives in Jardim Ângela. But she does admit: “At the time, I wanted to go back to the interior. But then I though: we do as God wills. I decided to stay and am fine here”.

Regina Eugênia, aged 34, three daughters, also defends the place where she has been living for 11 years. “There is no lack of schools for the children”. She is unaware of the shortage of places in the day care centers in the neighborhood. “I have never needed them. I did not go out to work and used to stay at home with the children”. Regina recognizes that the region has problems with health services. “When someone needs a doctor, we look for a hospital in Campo Limpo, after all, that is what health insurances are for”, she says.

Campo Limpo is a district next to Jardim Ângela, with an index of exclusion of -0.61, which occupies 27th place in the ranking of exclusion. The great difficulty, she confesses, lies with continuing to pay for the health insurance. Her husband used to be a quality inspector in a large company, but he has been unemployed for three months, and she is doing odd jobs to maintain the family: she irons clothes, cleans houses and cooks. “We had to cut some expenditure, including on the health plan”, she explains.

On the other side of the M’Boi Mirim road, Maria do Socorro Pereira, aged 47, is frying another batch of turnovers under her canvas stand. “I’ve had this stand for eight years and never been held up”, she boasts. Its closeness to a Community Base of the police force helps to intimidate. But she says she has a pact with people “who look like a bandit”. “I offer them a turnover for free and win them over by being nice”. She is anxiously waiting for the city hall to fulfill its promise of transforming the M’Boi Mirim into a bus corridor. “This is certainly going to bring more movement, and my sales of turnovers are going to increase”, she foresees.

The project
Social Dynamics, Environmental Quality and Intra-Urban Spaces in São Paulo: A Socio-Spatial Analysis (00/01965-0); Modality: Research in Public Policies Program; Coordinator: Aldaíza de Oliveira Spozati – Social Service CollegePontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC-SP); Investment: R$ 88,600.00