Our Sao Paulo can be another city
Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city and one of the biggest in the world, has been suffering the consequences of an unorganized and sometimes predatory growth throughout the years, within the context of a disturbing economic globalization. Social problems, unemployment and precarious employment, heavy traffic, deficient public transportation, poor quality of public health and education services, deficit of day care centers, pollution, increased number of slums and precarious housing for a lot of “paulistanos”, social exclusion and inequality, disrespect to human rights, lack of civility, and absence of courteousness in the day-to-day relationship among the city’s inhabitants, have been guiding our youth towards violence and our society to skepticism, lack of hope in a better future, individualistic and defensive attitudes, fear, resulting in lack of trust in public institutions and democracy.
At the same time, Sao Paulo, through its inhabitants, social and economic organizations, public and private institutions, has immense financial, economic, educational, technological, cultural and social resources. Many actions, proposals and projects are being or were implemented and created in Sao Paulo by society and public power, and in this sense, one should praise all the initiatives that seek the well being of everyone who lives there. However, the lack of articulation among society’s actions, continuity of public policies, coordination among governmental policies, society’s projects and programs and the lack of coordination among problems, needs, solutions and resources are not allowing the city to develop in a sustainable way, i.e., so as to allow a better life for its inhabitants in the short, medium and long term.
Concomitantly to social and economic problems of a globalized and changing world, global warming, environmental crisis, overconsumption and destruction of natural resources represent an enormous risk for society and its future generations (our children and grandchildren).
In order to regain population’s confidence in political processes and value participative and direct democracy, promote sustainable development and turn Sao Paulo into a city that may offer quality of life to its inhabitants and to future generations, it is necessary to promote a broad and new mobilization of society. This mobilization may be capable, through its scope, representation, credibility, commitment and efficacy, to build a political, social and economic force, capable of involving society and successive governments with an agenda and a set of medium and long-term goals, articulating and promoting actions and interventions, seeking a just and sustainable development of Sao Paulo.
Considering Sao Paulo’s visibility and importance, this process may become exemplary, demonstrating that our Sao Paulo has, in its interior, the seeds of another possible city.