The Impacts of Socio-Spatial Inequity: COVID-19 in São Paulo

Roberto Rocco, Luciana Royer, Beatriz Kara José, Higor Carvalho

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review


This chapter addresses the multidimensional impacts of the COVID- 19 pandemic on the lives of citizens of one of the largest and most unequal metropolises in the world, São Paulo. It is widely recognised that Brazil’s response to the COVID- 19 pandemic has been more than fl awed, with a disproportionate
impact on poor and indigenous communities (Curtice, 2020 ; The Lancet , 2020 ). The virulent politicisation of the pandemic set the powerful federal government, in the hands of a far- right populist, on a collision course with the interests of
federal states and cities in Brazil. While the Brazilian president has repeatedly denied the gravity of the pandemic, states and cities struggled to impose partial lockdowns and to organise medical responses, in the face of contradictory policy being enacted in their distant capital, Brasilia. This chapter describes
the structural circumstances that led São Paulo to become one of the cities worse affected by the virus, leading to the almost complete collapse of its public health system.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Reflections on COVID-19 and Urban Inequalities series
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 1: Community and Society
EditorsBrian Doucet, Rianne van Melik, Pierre Filion
Place of PublicationBristol, UK
PublisherBristol University Press
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5292-1888-6
ISBN (Print)978-1-5292-1887-9
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Pandemic responses
  • Community organisation
  • Grassroots movements
  • Community
  • Spatial Planning


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