Public policies, political cleavages and urban space: state infrastructure policies in São Paulo, Brazil, 1975–2000


This article deals with the state policies of urban infrastructure in São Paulo, Brazil, from 1975 to 2000. Working with primary information about the investments made by the state in public works, we discuss a series of arguments present in the urban studies literature about the patterns of state investment in urban spaces and propose an alternative explanation for state action in Brazilian urban spaces in recent decades. We analyze the main elements that have influenced the overall pattern of investments, describe the main characteristics of this policy over time and in each of the municipal governments of the period, as well as develop an evaluation of the spatial distribution of the resources among each of the main social groups in the city.