A bridge to speculation: the art of rent in the staging of a "global city"

This paper analyzes the conflicts and articulations behind the transformation of an old swampish area, the meadows of the Pinheiros river, in one of the most valued regions of São Paulo and its globalized face. The text discusses particularly the connections made in the last decades between the global financialization of the economy and the specific arrangements that take place in São Paulo; among supposedly advanced mechanisms - such as urban operations, Cepacs and real estate investment funds - and typical forms of primitive accumulation, in which strength, frauds, oppression and pillage are recurrently exhibited; between the "city proper" of the elites and the so-called clandestine city, that occupies stream edges, hillsides, margins of dams. I investigate three icons of that urban landscape: a cable-supported bridge, synthesis of the "new city" scenery; a gigantic walled development, that mixes residential, luxury trade and office buildings; and a business compound with office and hotel towers, interlinked by an underground shopping center.

globalization; financialization; real state; São Paulo; global city

Universidade Federal da Bahia - Faculdade de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas - Centro de Recursos Humanos Estrada de São Lázaro, 197 - Federação, 40.210-730 Salvador, Bahia Brasil, Tel.: (55 71) 3283-5857, Fax: (55 71) 3283-5851 - Salvador - BA - Brazil
E-mail: revcrh@ufba.br