Social Agents, the Provision of Buildings and Property Booms: The Case of Sã0 Paulo


This paper examines the systems of social relations underpinning the late 1980s’ office boom in São Paulo, Brazil. Using ‘institutionalist’ approaches to provide an empirical examination of these systems, it focuses on the nature of the dominant agents and their strategies, the linkages that allow them to perform their functions, and the relative position and power of the agents in the production and use of built structures. The paper tries to situate these systems in their economic and social environment and to point to the connections between socially constructed property markets, their environment, and the characteristics and outcomes of the property boom. In doing so, it aims to cast some light on the processes through which a mix of economic, social and cultural impulses, of global and ã local origins, are related to the structures of provision of offices in the context of So Paulo and lead to the production of specific forms of built environment.