Society

The story of Paraisópolis: a living example of Brazil’s inequality

While undergoing drastic transformations over the years, Paraisópolis serves as a living reminder of the country's dramatic inequality

Paraisópolis sits next to a São Paulo luxury neighborhood. Photo: Rovena Rosa/ABr

At the beginning of the 20th century, a construction company decided to transform a large farm area to the southwest of São Paulo into a wealthy residential area. The city was undergoing a boom of industrialization and the group spotted the vast Fazenda Morumbi, with its abundant green space and undulating terrain, and planned to build São Paulo’s very own answer to Beverly Hills.

Roughly 2,200 large plots of land began being sold off in 1921, but the process of transforming the region into upscale housing was never fully completed. The result was a hodgepodge of lavish mansions and garden...

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