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2. be aware

2.3. mature in detail

The process of creating cities cannot be systematized. The constitution of a territory is not a logical product of guidelines or a simply geographical arrangement. There are many disputed relationships and it is through the movement of the various actors that social constructions in space become possible. Like this work, “the territory can be seen as a mutable, provisional and unfinished configuration” (GUANZIROLLI, 2006).

The Brazilian urban framework has atypicalities, which are projected according to the number of inhabitants, local economy, politics, culture, size, among many other factors. The criterion adopted by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) deals with the types of territory, classifying those with up to 20,000 inhabitants in small cities, those with up to 500,000 inhabitants in medium-sized cities, and those with more than 500,000 inhabitants in large cities.

When thinking about the practice of urban planning, it is clear that small towns - which do not have decision-making power in the face of judicial and political hierarchies, those that are not mentioned in the grand plans or even seen in scale - are constantly neglected. 

"Planning carried out at state or federal levels is generally unaware of the local reality and even more so regionally, since they are not able to know all the heterogeneities that exist in a regional territory. Thus, wrong priorities are often defined and the investments made end up being wasted or not reinforced locally by the beneficiaries. Planning therefore needs to be carried out and managed locally, by communities and local governments, as they are the people who will be directly affected by the decisions taken and who will be largely responsible for implementing them."

― Fragment freely translated from the book "Experiências de desenvolvimento territorial rural no Brasil" ("Experiences of rural territorial development in Brazil") by the author GUANZIROLLI, Carlos. Universidade Federal Fluminense, 2006.

Planning a territory presupposes a certain knowledge about the particularities of the reality studied, catalyzing real demands. From a thorough initial analysis, it is possible to propose actions, guidelines and perspectives, including the users and authors of that space in the process of thinking about the future, thus functioning as a supposed tool for planning, development and administration.

Despite being adopted in medium and large cities, territorial planning still constitutes an unconsolidated practice, mainly in the interior of the country, with several impediments: “lack of conceptual understanding, dissonant ideological views, arbitrary homogenizations, lack of political will, lack of human and financial resources” (KRAMBECK, 2007).

The practice of territorial planning in Brazil began around 1875, through the first general plans, concerned with the beautification of the main cities (VILLAÇA, 1999). The hygienist characteristic of the period reflected a certain distance from everything that referred to the rural of yore, seeking to highlight the borders with the city.

In 1930, urban struggles for the right to housing and the right to the city were made public (MESQUITA; FERREIRA, 2016). Organized working classes became aware of the weakening of the bourgeoisie and the reproduction of real estate capital, a driving agent of disparities in the city's territory. From the 1950s onwards, we have the formalization of the first master plans in the cities of Porto Alegre and São Paulo, expanding the scale of space organization and management (KRAMBECK, 2007). We see, in 1980, in the middle of the military dictatorship, the wide weakening, in the face of state neoliberalism, accompanied by the use of the term following management.

The Federal Constitution of 1988 implemented the basic principles of the social function of property, giving municipalities the role of the main political actor in urban management, having the Master Plan as a fundamental tool. A Master Plan is not an automatic solution to the problems of a locality, but an instrument to the definition of strategies, principles and all potential agents of change. In 2001, as part of the struggle of the movements for urban and agrarian reform, the City Statute was promulgated (Law 10,257, of 07/2001), inaugurating a new phase for the urban issue in Brazil.

The City Statute is the name of the law that regulates the “Urban Policy” chapter of the Brazilian Constitution of 1988 and has participatory planning and the social function of property as its basic principle. It also defines the Master Plan as a basic instrument of urban expansion and development policy.

For a long time, what was outside the perimeter of cities did not even appear in the Master Plans. The very debate about what is or is not rural still rages on. But it is a fact that the City Statute modified this picture a little, when it attributed to the municipalities the obligation to include these areas in their planning. In the history of the organization of Brazilian space, it is worth noting that the Municipal Master Plan, until the end of the 20th century, treated rural space in an incipient way (MESQUITA; FERREIRA, 2016). However, even after the City Statute, the rural appears mostly as a synonym of environment and agriculture, subsidy to urban interests, having their ways of life relativized.

Internalize development. Incorporate the rural into discourses, strategies and knowledge. Integrate actions that make agrarian reform viable, distributing unproductive land, in addition to massive support for local agricultural production. The alternatives to the processes of making the countryside and the agrarian unfeasible are diverse. The territory encompasses important factors of cause and consequence, so that what happens in rural areas, somatizes processes that connect this reality to what we know as urban.

It is therefore necessary to invert the traditional logic of planning. It is necessary to work on the specificities of these almost invisible points on plans, charts and maps. It is necessary to think about what I understand as the microscale. Villages, districts, small towns located along highways and municipal, state and federal projects. 

Interests change with scales and it is essential to promote dialogue between different agents, reconciling negotiations and defining priorities. These possible spaces of exchange must be fostered with information, with access to data, with everything that stimulates discussions and generates reflections. After all, the process of building a territory is fatally slow, since it encompasses conflicting concepts and fundamental demands. It is essential to mature the factors and understand the truths inscribed in forgotten territories.

1. GUANZIROLLI, Carlos. Experiências de desenvolvimento territorial rural no Brasil. Universidade Federal Fluminense, 2006.

2. KRAMBECK, Christian. Planejamento territorial rural: análise do processo de elaboração de planos diretores em municípios rurais, o caso de Papanduva-Santa Catarina. Dissertação de mestrado apresentada ao Programa de Pós Graduação de Arquitetura e Urbanismo da Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina. Florianópolis, 2007.

3. VILLAÇA, Flávio. Uma contribuição para a história do planejamento urbano no Brasil. In: DEÁK, Csaba; SCHIFFER, Sueli Ramos (Org.). OprocessodeurbanizaçãonoBrasil. São Paulo: EdUSP, 1999. p. 169-243.

4. MESQUITA, Amanda Pires; FERREIRA, William Rodrigues. O Município e o Planejamento Rural: o plano diretor municipal como instrumento de ordenamento das áreas rurais. In: Espaço em Revista, v. 18, n.1, p. 11-32, 2016.


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