TERRITORY: HUMAN GEOGRAPHY.
The country is extremely irregularly populated and the average density, which is 23 residents / km², is not very significant. The greatest imbalances, deriving from colonization and its particular territorial occupation, occur between the coastal areas and the interior; there are never densities higher than 23 residents / km² beyond 500 km from the coast, except in the area of Brasília (458 residents / km²). Throughout the Amazon region there are similar values and they are around 4 residents / km² in Mato Grosso: even here, however, there are population nuclei, promoted by cities such as Manaus on the Amazon River or Cuiabá in Mato Grosso. On the contrary, 85% of the population lives in the regions of Nordeste, Sudeste and Sul, on a territory that corresponds to just over a third of the total area of the country. The major centers of these areas reach, and in some cases they exceed an average of 100 residents / km². With the exception of the areas around the large cities where the main industrial activities are concentrated, the areas of medium density are mostly occupied by populations who practice agriculture and are often too populated compared to the effective containment capacity. The immense savannah expanses are exploited by breeding and therefore with very low densities, given the extensive nature of the activity. However, it can be said that the occupation of the interior is in continuous development and takes place with less adventurous characters than those of the past, when daring and unscrupulous settlers such as the bandsirantes or paulistani (because their home base was São Paulo) moved in search of open spaces for their herds (vaqueiros or left with tools to collect rubber (seringueros) or to search for diamonds (garimpeiros). The adventure is largely over, but this corresponds to a much less “natural” relationship between man and territory, based rather on urban-industrial structures: in the forest, more than the village, the city is born. Urbanism (despite its social wounds and its inability to absorb, denounced by the favelas present in all Brazilian cities) is in fact the great phenomenon of Brazil, recording from the last decades of the twentieth century. impressive increases: the urban population, which in 1940 was barely 30%, exceeds 80% of the total (2005). The dizzying increase in the urban population, despite having brought two Brazilian metropolises, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, among the first in the world by size (São Paulo is the most populous city in America and the second largest urban agglomeration in the world after Mexico City), should not be interpreted only in the sense of population density. Rather, according to ehealthfacts, the urbanization of Brazil can be traced back to a general design of a geopolitical nature, set by the central power to favor integration, in particular of rural and internal areas, in the process of productive development and use of the territory. This last objective, to achieve which great space was dedicated to the planning and reorganization of the road and communications network, has upset the equilibrium of the peripheral areas, hit by a wave of transfers that has clearly privileged the capitalist modes of production., also favored by federal incentives. In particular, the strategy of industrial “poles”, conducted by the technocratic staff operating in Brasília, it effectively centralized the human geography of the immense country, almost canceling its voluntary character and the regional differentiations that ensued. Thus therural-urban continuum, previously represented by flows of people and goods from the countryside to the city, has undergone a real inversion and is now recognizable in innovative and financial flows with opposite directions. The settlement structure has thus undergone profound changes: for example, to the classic fazendas – including the owner’s large house, the engenho (the artisanal sugar factory) and the homes of the peasants – large villages of daily agricultural laborers or commuter workers have taken over, reproducing the deteriorating aspects of suburban belts, while the system of small commercial and manufacturing centers has been greatly weakened. Therefore, from a hierarchical point of view, the dominance of the large coastal cities and, above all, of the metropolitan area of São Paulo, has been further strengthened, as the headquarters of multinational companies, which hold most of the means, are concentrated there. of production. In this way, while the demographic growth of the major agglomerations continues, that of medium-sized cities with regional functions is slowed down and, on the other hand, that of many pioneer centers (for example, Amazonas, Rondônia, Maranhão), with heavy environmental and social impact effects. The coastal centers of the Northeast experienced a certain development first, as they were the closest landing places to Europe, all with port functions compared to the surrounding plantation areas (less towards the interior that the mountain slopes make not easily accessible): Recife, Salvador, the old Bahia, which was the first capital of the country; other port centers are Fortaleza, Natal and São Luís, connected by rail to Teresina, a large inland center. But the real coastal metropolis is Rio de Janeiro, which is important both for the port and for its past role as capital; ousted by Brasília, Rio suffers from the loss of its ancient functions, despite the extraordinary charm exercised by this city which perhaps most of all expresses the soul of Brazil and which with its splendid bay is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. It is well connected with Belo Horizonte, the third urban agglomeration of the country and the greatest center of mining and industrial activities in Minas Gerais. Lastly, Belém, the outlet of the Amazon area, and Santos, which developed in the function of São Paulo, record significant port activity.and of the whole coffee area. The Paulist metropolis, which was at the basis of the enhancement of the internal regions of the highlands, is a city that is always dynamic, industrial, commercial, a hub for fundamental railway communications and the greatest center of the country. Big cities are also Curitiba, capital of Paraná, and Pôrto Alegre, of Rio Grande do Sul: it is a port and industrial city, on which the whole Sul gravitates. Finally, Brasília is the great new city, which grew rapidly despite the initial mistrust and became the pole of attraction and propulsion towards the pioneering centers of the interior, together with the nearby Goiânia.