The place of the excluded in the metropolitan regions – Case of study in Belo Horizonte
– MG, Brazil.
Thiago Canettieri1*, Thiago Pereira¹, Rita de Cássia Liberato¹
Institute of Human Sciences, Department of Geography, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de
Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais – Brazil.
*Corresponding author: E-mail:, Tel +55 31 97981819
This paper aims to present results from the research titled “The Living Place of the Excluded
from and by the Metropolis”. The investigation analyses the population dynamics among lowincome emigrants departing from Belo Horizonte, the metropolitan core, toward its
neighboring cities: Ribeirão das Neves, Vespasiano, Santa Luzia, Sabará e Ibirité. Thus, we
seek to understand and qualify this population dispersal process within Belo Horizonte’s
Metropolitan Region. We deploy a hybrid analysis, based on historical cartography and
satellite imagery, to analyze the spatial pattern of the urban sprawl emanating from Belo
Horizonte between 1918 to 2010. We conjugate this procedure with the analysis of the 2000
and 2010 Census migration data on the population below the poverty line. Results reveal a
consistent out-migration trend among the poor from Belo Horizonte, fomented by their
incapacity to afford the costs of living in the main city, especially those related to housing.
Keywords: Social Exclusion; Spatial Segregation; Urban Space; Poverty.
Currently, the sociospatial dynamics brings to urban researchers matters of great importance
for understanding the urban phenomenon. Today, social, economic, political, cultural and
spatial form a puzzle. In this, actors and processes are constantly (re) producing and (re)
organizing space. So much of what was done in these cities under the auspices of the
capitalist system eventually lead to inequality and exclusion of part of the population, forcing
a significant number of people to submit to the condition of marginality, living in precarious
In the towns of the globalized world, processes are visualized in various forms, intensities and
frequencies, but that inevitably occur as a way to "mimic the capitalist order and its
consequences" (PAULA, 2006, p.9). According to Bauman (1999) these processes so
characteristic of urban spaces are the constant fragmentation of city space, the disappearance
of public space, the disintegration of the urban community and their separation and
This paper presents the final results of the research "Space Organization of the Excluded and
the Metropolis", which aims to analyze the process of exclusion and spatial segregation in
cities bordering the Belo Horizonte, considering the municipalities of Ibirité, Ribeirão das
Neves, Sabara, Santa Luzia and Vespasiano.O objective of the study is to analyze population
dynamics of low-income, immigrant from Belo Horizonte directed to municipalities selecting
and understand this process of occupation held by the excluded population and Belo
The debate proposed by the research brings to light issues dear to socio-spatial studies, since
it reveals a perverse process of "social cleansing" of the central areas, serving hegemonic
interests at the expense of potential sociability and equality in urban areas.
The following section will present the methodological approach adopted in this research,
describing briefly the steps taken in processing the data. Then it discusses the historicalgeographical production of Belo Horizonte as a segregated city. The next section discusses
the demographic dynamics of the municipalities in the study. Then the area will be treated to
the Excluded House. And finally, the concluding remarks are presented in the study.
We used data provided by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), which
conducts population census every ten years. This information is made available in a spatial, or
relates to a census tract to which the information was collected in the field. Thus, it is possible
to perform the mapping.
The mapping was carried out in software geographic information system (GIS) to ArcGIS
10.0. In it the shapefile referring to municipalities studies were highlighted and overlaid both
the total population by industry and the population is below the poverty line.
The poverty line was adopted as a proxy for the exclusion. To determine it, we used the
method proposed by Vinhais and Souza (2006) who called Poverty Line Hybrid. This method
is used to calculate both the value of cost of living, considering the personal consumer goods
such as food, clothing, transportation, and also considers the distance between the richest and
the poorest.
Done the calculation for the Metropolitan Region of Belo Horizonte, located the following
results for the year 2000, the poverty threshold was R $ 173.57 and for the year 2010 the limit
was R $ 369.90.
Authors who had the city of Belo Horizonte as the locus of its analysis, such as the work of
Andrade and Mendonça (2010) and Liberato (2007) present the process occurred at the end of
the twentieth century when many neighborhoods located in areas south and southwest, and
more recently in North Belo Horizonte, there were changes in the socioeconomic profile of
residents. Those places that were once destined for the poor house gave way to buildings that
targeted vertical housing to meet the demands of high and medium segments. Thus, where the
population was displaced to reside, since this phenomenon is widespread by the city of Belo
Horizonte, accompanied by an intense process of recovery, taking, on average, doubled the
price per square meter every five years. (Magalhaes, Tonucci, SILVA, 2011) This situation
has increased the inability of this population to remain in the more central locations being
pushed increasingly distant from the centers, labor, urban services, dignity.
The map below shows the spatial distribution of population in the cities studied, both being
mapped the total population, but also by identifying the spatial location of those with total
incomes below the poverty line set. From this analysis it is possible to perceive the spatial
spatial organization of the poor population is closely linked to Belo Horizonte.
Figure 1: Density of the total population below the poverty line – 2000 Source: Authors
It is observed that the concentration of occurrence of individuals below the poverty line in the
municipalities under study estálocalizada areas adjacent to Belo Horizonte. Virtually emtodas
the municipal boundaries have to Belo Horizonte is the concentration of this population.
This spatial pattern is broadly maintained when we analyze the study area with data for 2010.
Figure 2: Density of the total population below the poverty line – 2010 Source: Authors
In the scenario of 2010 the trend towards concentration of poverty in cities object of this study
lies in the areas bordering the city of Belo Horizonte. The data contained in the map some
changes in the spatial pattern. In 2010 one has a greater internalization of poverty, following
more or less the same areas observed in 2000. Also in 2010 noted two changes. The first and
also the most currently worked (LOPES, 2010), is located in North Vector: the works of the
Green Line, large urban project that promoted the expulsion of poor families for their
implementation, and increased land speculation. The second location is the northern Ibirité,
near the border with Count, in an area that was observed emptying of populations in poverty
between 2000 and 2010.
In previous maps shows that the highest concentration of individuals in poverty municipalities
under study is located in the immediate surroundings of Belo Horizonte, a city polo
Metropolitan Region. Actually there were no municipalities that experienced population
growth, what happened was the expansion of Belo Horizonte, exceeding legal limits
municipal, held mainly by a population that no longer afford the cost of living in highly
valued municipal boundaries Belo Horizonte.
The push factors, the elements that act in the emigration of the population of Belo Horizonte,
are linked to the size of the economic and financial structure of the city and individuals. The
housing market highly speculative and urban interventions represent the factors that
contribute to the expulsion of the poor from the central area and the formation of metropolitan
periphery in precarious conditions.
These elements are related to a process that Santos (1978, 1994) termed Metropolization
Corporate, where production of the city is marked out in accordance with the interests and
needs capitalists. Thus, the operation of the city of Belo Horizonte has created adverse
conditions fixing the low-income population, forcing that portion of the population to move to
the suburbs.
Thus, the pull factors, defined as elements that will attract the migrant population, are
represented by a function of the condition to pay for given space of urban land consistent with
the necessary resources and accessibility to Belo Horizonte, which still represents The work
of most people. It should also be noted the creation of state housing projects in neighboring
municipalities as a way to corroborate this process, as exposed by Santos (2011).
From these results we see that there is a strong spatial segregation in RMBH, which tends to
expel the poor population for spaces other than the municipality polo, since it tends to
reproduce the city to meet other groups.
It is in this sense that literature deals with spatial segregation, which occurs from the
separation of socioeconomic classes and their spaces, usually with that kind of burden on low
incomes, who is forced to move to areas of disrepair and distant. As put by Maricato (2006)
housing residences in these crappy shows the process of expelling the poor experience. They
are obliged, because of their inability to pay for your place of residence, to leave him.
Thus, the location of the working poor in the peripheral areas of the metropolis was the way
found and the condition of integration, although precarious and perverse, these urban
According to Singer (1998, p.33-34) the capitalist city
[...] Has no place for the poor. Private ownership of urban land makes
the possession of a monetary income is prerequisite to the occupation
of urban land. But the normal functioning of the capitalist economy
does not guarantee minimum income to all. Before, however, this
operation tends to keep a portion of the work force in reserve, which
means that a corresponding part of the population cannot afford to pay
for the right to occupy a piece of urban land. [...] When private
property rights are worth doing again, the residents of the areas in
question are dumped, dramatizing the contradiction between economic
marginalization and the capitalist organization of land use.
Placing Singer (1998) reveals that the production of the capitalist city disregards a place for
those individuals who cannot afford urban land, precisely because it is irreconcilable with the
accumulation of capital. How can you ensure rates higher profits if the city is thinking
produced the precarious situation of those who are exploited by the system?
Bauman (2009, p.26) states that the need for the establishment of the capitalist city, "[...] evict
the homeless from places where they could not only live, but also to be noticed in an invasive
and uncomfortable , pushing them into marginal spaces, off-limits, where they cannot live nor
do see. "
It is clear, therefore, that the organization of the city of Belo Horizonte is produced according
to a spatial logic expressed in poverty (produced often by the very logic of the city) should be
located farther away. This means expelling thousands of people to the new metropolitan
peripheries, which are produced and producing a metropolis increasingly corporate structure.
This paper presented a broad overview of the processes of expulsion and relocation of the
poor and excluded from Belo Horizonte to municipalities located around it, except Counting
and New Lima.
It is believed that the proposed objectives were achieved and the research hypothesis
confirmed. The results reveal a perverse process of constant relocation and exclusion of the
Thus, it is expected to have been made clear that there is a process of expulsion of the
population has income below the monthly financial poverty line, in a clear process of
gentrification of city polo: Belo Horizonte. This process can be observed when examining the
various situations involving this population and unequal appropriation of space and
reproduction unfair in contemporary cities.
This study has opened new frontiers for research on the topic. It is noteworthy that becomes
imperative to expand the study to the entire metropolitan area, since data from the 2010
census reveal fall in the growth of neighboring municipalities while there was an increase in
population of other cities farther. One can thus continue to exist the process of
peripheralization poverty even more intense.
It is also important that a study analyzing qualitatively the observed phenomenon.
Understanding the perception of the excluded front of this process is important to qualify the
data found in the quantitative research.
It is worth mentioning the importance of reproducing the methodology applied in this work to
Belo Horizonte to other Brazilian cities and also in other developing countries. It has been
hypothesized as a theoretical hypothesis that poverty tends to periferizar, being kicked out of
the central areas, according to the growth of cities. Thus, it would be able to test it to other
What we have in cities is a redistribution of the population in the city, noting that it is often
unintentional, according to the income levels of the population. It is observed, thus forming a
ring around the city poverty polo, Belo Horizonte, needed to allocate the poor, which was
produced and driven by the dynamics of the capitalist city. It is in this sense that it is the
analogy of centrifugal and centripetal force. While the first act on wealth, concentrated
spatially in the central areas, the second act on poverty, acting as a disperser of the
peripheries. Both act simultaneously and in an integrated manner, are important elements in
the (re) production of capitalist cities.
The process represented by the periphery of the metropolitan level poverty is revealed as
intended to "cleanse" the city of Belo Horizonte polo poverty, pushing it to the other
municipalities. However, while poverty decreases in the central area, there is increased and
intensified in the vicinity metropolitan.
It should be noted that it has identified the existence of one of the paradoxes of the capitalist
city. While that expels a considerable part of the workforce to meet the needs of the
construction of corporate metropolis (the guarantee of profit from real estate, construction
until the circulation intraurbana), one should ensure that this return, to perform work mostly
low-income, in disrepair, but necessary for their operation. The perversity of the model is
evident, therefore, concurrently expels the poor and attracts to be, once again, robbed and
Belo Horizonte has been producing and, while being produced, from a segregationist logic,
elitist, exclusionary and perverse. It created a place, materially and symbolically, for the
excluded and those confined spaces. Thus, withdraws them, by force, visibility, organizational
skills and reaction that bothers both the hegemonic political force. Belo Horizonte acquires,
increasingly, the perverse features of a corporate metropolis, for the reproduction of capital at
the expense of a more egalitarian social reproduction.
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extended abstract - International Union for the Scientific Study of