Diretrizes e prioridades em pesquisas urbanas


  • Pedro Pinchas Geiger


Geografia urbana, Urbanização



1 - Urban Studies and Town Studies - The study of towns development and of the urban system is faced as a product of change process or modernization. The isomorphism between urbanization and modernization is understood as the generation forros and diffusion of innovations. The circular process, the expansion of urban system is, by its turn, the impelling power of modernization. Under this point are defined geographical studies of urban actuation.

2 - General Theory of Urbanization - It wasn't yet elaborated a theory which represents, in general, the relationships of several components that participate of the development process and of the expansion of towns and that belong to the economic, social and cultural field. It result that due to contradiction, present in any process, many people deny the constant complementary among urban development, industrialization and rural-agricultural development.

3 - Interdisciplinary Field and Urbanization Policy - The urban topic is interesting now a day till to psychologist, anthropologist and even to artistes. It become interesting to disciplines directly related to policy sector. Being a persisting problem, the emplacement of urbanization policy as a central fact, is desired in studies as well as the systemic approach, whose background is the national development and the spatial integration. In this sense a stress should be given to the interactions of dynamic processes, and the structures being understood as limit condition.

4 - Contribution of Geography - It consists in studying the aspect of urban structure referring to inter-regional and intra-regional differences indispensable to: a) a formulation of any general theory of urbanization and b) a formulation of a national policy of urbanization. The comprehension of these differences will be done through the studies of economic structures of the system, observing the motive activities and their repercussion effects (linkages) in its projection in the concrete geographical space




1 - A Predictive and Evolutive Approach - The urban system in the stage of industrial civilization is in a transition phase between the stage of traditional civilizations and the tertiary or better the quaternary civilizations. Less circumscribed to certain spaces, as the primary activities depending on the natural resources, or the high tertiary activities, which calk for a minimum of scale economy, the implantation of industries was the instrument in the developing countries to spread increase, promoting regional metropolises and middle towns in the case of Brazil.

The high phase of the industrial period corresponds to the formation of megalopolises and to the development expansion, starting _from the metropolises to middle towns disposed alongside of transport axes. The metropolis grouping by means of these axes, in which the ecological problems get importance, constitutes the predictive model of Rodwin. In this model of tertiary society should be reinforced the self-government of towns, the participation of urban populations in the orientation of development and the cultural and educational functions of towns.

2 - Development of the Theory of Growth Centers - It consists in the transposition of the "growth pole" concept, comprising a system of inter-industrial relations around a motive industry in an abstract space, to the concept of intersectorial relations in a concrete geographical space. The identification of areas which have potentials to be achieved as centers of growth will direct the flow of investment.

In the industrialization "take off", the towns which are centers of growth dispose already of better conditions. In the expansion phase of industrial economy the metropolitan problems are arising, It follows the dispersion phase where the weakness of economy in the big cities is causing a desconcentration of activities. Strategic plans applied in a certain phase can exist together with the next one, chiefly in a country as Brazil, where its various regions are in different stages of development.

3 - The Brazilian Situation - Brazil is going through a process of development led by industrialization, intense growth of population, inhabitant concentrations in urban areas, relevant actuation of government on economy, raising of education and consumption levels, diversification and integration of national space. The industrialization is accentuating the outline of nucleus-periphery model and the regional inequalities concerning development stage.

The trends of economic and social policy consist in giving to industrialization a continuous incentive, as well as to stimulate the integration of national space, the increasing incorporation of population in the process of economic integration, through the elevation of educational level.

These tendencies are related to the enlargement of home market and to the ingress of the country in the international trade competition to export non-traditional products. They are supported by the urban system, which ls the articulation arrangement of the relationships implicit in this tendencies.

Without destroying the nucleus-periphery model the industry localization shows spontaneous aspects of "trickling down" in the more developed Southeast Region. Other aspects of diffusion are "directed", as the localization of industries in the Northeast metropolises. The specialization and integration lead the occupation of new regions as Amazon, and the raising of the education level, along with a better offer of work, have contributed, in a way, by diminish the regional unevenness.

Inside this view, the idea of a national urban policy is growing up, which will guide the continuance of the study and the planning of the more and more complex urban-regional system, as instrument of development. The urban problems that are present in the Brazilian actual situation are regarding to:

- the organization of areas and metropolitan regions, including urban ecology subject;

- the regional structure organization of economy, where the urban and regionalization problems are superimposed;

- the actuation of towns as centers of modernization of the country and of control of the planning process.

A national policy of urban planning in the actual circumstances should correspond to a stage of inter-regional planning; the urbanization must be seen as an integrate part of a perspective planning.



It seems without question the necessity of enlargement of the urban geography study. However, to reinforce the specific study of towns is not only the question and the urbanization must be a wide subject of reference to the study of any subject-matter of human geography. The specific geographical research of towns and the organization of urban system must return to the analysis of relationships of its economical structure in a temporal perspective. It also should try to identify the links between the organization of the system and the wide processes of urbanization, thus defining the actuation form of the towns or its behavior. Through the study of towns actuation, the relations between the general characteristics of system and the characteristics of each town are discussed. In this field therefore, the geographical study should extend to study of cases and comprise field work.

Thus, the towns will be distinguished according their national and regional projection, their capacity of diffusing innovations, their role as transmission, control and decision centers; the centrality aspects should be related to other aspects of town economic structure. One of the consequences of urbanization is expressed by perception of population, whose behavior study is a subject of great interest. To this behavior is associated the increasing of towns.



Priorities as a subject of research are related to the character of whom will go to undertake the search. Evidently, the decision of an academic searcher must be taken under several reasons that do not justify it would be taken by a planning organism. There also exist the problem related to the selection of subject according to a settled object.

In terms of Geographical Department of IBGE we suggest:

1 - General Study of Urban System, having in view the distribution and frequency of the size of towns and their spatial distribution.

2 - Study of Urban Actuation and Urbanization, where the subjects related to a certain category of towns or geographical selected areas should be distinguished as:

- metropolitan regions;

- the problem of middle towns;

- planning of urban nucleous in "new regions".

and subjects related to a certain sectorial aspects, as:

- urban migrations;

- industrial implantation and urbanization;

- quaternary studies;

- urban education.

It also would be advisable to promote a process of development of urban cartography and the statistical data referring to towns of more than 20,000 inhabitants could be specified according to their activities, urban and rural localization.