URBAN GROWTH, POVERTY AND SUSTAINABILITY IN THE AMAZON REGION Sandra M.F. Costa Leonardo Freire de Mello A major concern moving academic discussions in social sciences is related to the intensification of the urbanization process. Since 2010 more than half the world's population is living in cities (UN, 2011). This situation becomes more complex if we consider that 3,479,867 inhabitants occupy 3% of the planet total area and 71% of urban population live in slums (UN, 2011), often in places with poor housing conditions and in socio-environmental vulnerability1. According to Hogan (2005), how city services are distributed makes them an important component of environmental vulnerability. According to the author deficient access to goods is go together with a inconsistent public services, which is added to the living conditions of these vulnerable populations (Hogan, 2005, p. 331). Improper use of space by society impacts it and can weaken the environment, health and therefore the quality of life. In Brazil, the city gets equal prominence in this discussion considering that is where is concentrated 84% of its population (IBGE, 2012). In this sense, social issues are fragmented into a series of problems related to housing, health, sanitation and other services. Environmental vulnerability gets worse due to the precarious or even absence of these services. Thus, the main challenge of the different spheres of government must be founded on articulation of a coherent model of development that considers natural processes, social, economic, political and cultural, to cause the minimum impact on living space and quality of life. Urban areas of the Amazon Region are in that context. Although predominantly discussions on the region emphasize the contribution of emissions of greenhouse gases, connected to deforestation, fires and advance of agribusiness, it is clear that Amazon is not only "green," as cited by Professor Edna Castro (2008). According to the IBGE (2012), between 1970 and 2010, the urban population of the Amazon Region, which comprises nine states and 771 municipalities, grew by 575%. In 1970 this population represented 37% of the total population and in 2010 totalized 84%. These urban areas have fragile infrastructure and urban services (Guedes et al., 2009; Brondizio and Costa, 2009). Further the specificities of this urban space. According to the 2000 census (IBGE, 2012), only five cities, or 0.7% of the 760 Amazonian cities had 90-100% of households connected to a water system and 16.5% 1 the concept of socio-environmental vulnerability is based on coexistence and spatial overlap between very poor population groups with high deprivation, considered social vulnerability, living in areas of environmental risk or degradation, classified as environmental vulnerability (Ahmed, 2006). had more than 60% of its households connected to a water supply system. In terms of sewage systems, 96% of the total number of cities had less than 10% of households connected to a public sewer system. The maps in Figure 1 show this reality. Figure 1 – The maps show the distribution of the municipalities of the Amazon Region, according to the percentage of urban households, in 2000: (a) connected to the sewage system, (b) related to general water supply. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of urban households in the Amazon increased 45% increase, from 3,314,697 to 4,813,511. However, urban services and infrastructure did not go along with this growth. According to the 2010 Census data (IBGE, 2012), 73% of urban households had access to the system of water supply, 24% had at least one bathroom. This indicator becomes poorer when you consider that only 19% of urban households with at least one bathroom in 2010 were connected to the sewage system. In 2000, 14.7% of urban households were in the same condition. Even increasing in 10 years, the investment in this service was not sufficient to achieve at least 50% of these households. The Amazonian Cities are predominantly small. These small towns, despite having fragile economy, deeply dependent on federal government subsidies, and low competence in offering services and urban facilities such as education, health and infrastructure, perform an important role in the urban network of the Amazon Region (Brondizio and Costa, 2009). These cities are considered as possibilities for improvement of life for families which can access services and employment opportunities in these places that are deficient or even non-existent in rural areas. In this sense, we intend to discuss in this paper the situation of urban space in the Brazilian Amazon in terms of infrastructure and socio-economic conditions, and the conditions of sustainability, using the city of Ponta de Pedras, located in Para State, as an example. We assume that small towns concentrated social problems and as a result, environmental problems, using the city of Ponta de Pedras, located in Para State, as a case study. References BECKER, B. K. 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