Spatial Dynamics in the Urban Century
Edited by Karima Kourtit, Peter Nijkamp and Roger R. Stough
Chapter 10: An accessibility index for the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo
According to Spiekermann and Neubauer (2002), accessibility is the most important factor in defining the locational advantage of one region over others. As stated by Carruthers and Lawson (1995), urban accessibility is a relevant aspect of population welfare, and the importance of accessibility increases as societies become more urbanized. However, in the metropolitan regions of the developing nations, the poorer households usually settle on the periphery, where they face a lack of opportunities and higher transportation costs (Vasconcellos, 1999). As the biggest metropolitan area in Brazil, São Paulo is a clear example of this problem. As observed by Villaça (2011), the central southwestern quadrant of the city is inhabited by rich people, and it is also the area with the highest concentration of employment and urban services. On the other hand, the poorer households (the majority of population) reside on the periphery, which are areas with low density of employment, forcing the majority of the population to commute from the city edges (where they live) to downtown São Paulo (where they work). In addition, as stated by Rolnik and Klintowitz (2011), the transport infrastructure of São Paulo privileges the private vehicle mode, with large avenues and urban highways exclusively for cars; meanwhile, the public system was never a priority for city planners. As a result, São Paulo has an inadequate public transportation system. Summing up the accessibility problem, the wealthy live in central areas, very close to their jobs, and use their private vehicles on high speed avenues.
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