The text, referring to the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo, puts a focus on the urban environmental issue, in whish the environment consists not only of natural processes and dynamics, but also includes the relations between them and the social processes and dynamics. Two extreme situations highlight the matter: i) the outlying settlements on the fringes along the water supply areas and environmentally sensitive areas; ii) the decrease of population at the central and consolidated areas, which have a potential to increase density. From this point, the urban projects made for the central area of São Paulo, the core of the metropolitan area are discussed. It turns evident then that the inclusion of the environmental dimension in the urban issue, in a sense that is not just rhetoric, brings to light the intrinsic limitations of Urban Policies.
Urban environment; Urban design; Socio-environmental conflicts; Urban policy