The net of BRICities

Variety of global circuits connecting cities

In a general overview of the situation in the world there are a variety of global circuits connecting cities; in particular, related with the BRICs, the most relevant ones:

- Beijin, Hong Kong, Shangai, Shenzhen, Chongqing, Chengdu

- Rio, São Paulo

- Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore

- St. Petersburg, Moscow


According to Saskia Sassen, each city is located in a variety of global circuits, and each circuit has specific cities with specialized differences. Global economy needs diverse specialized capacities.

The question is: how to improve interconnections in a way that brings mutual benefits and accelerates interactions?

Which can be the benefits of globalized favelas? And, how the increasing interactions can contribute to mobilize the territories of the favelas and other excluded areas of the big cities, in a productive way?

A common form of action in all the "bricities" needs to follow these steps:

  • reading of the structure of each specific place;
  • “hearing” the demands;
  • detecting latent potential and possible partners in the focused area and surroundings;
  • provoking, in a productive way, the mobilization of the territory;
  • formulating the Urban Scheme for the Macro Intervention Plan, defining steps, priorities, and the exemplary nucleous of intervention including the main symbolic buildings and places.

The questions to be focused by the BRICs, which require also a common reflection, are:

  • urban structuring (focusing the future of the big cities)
  • public system transportation
  • popular housing
  • environment problems
  • metropolitan government
  • citizen security
  • the rearticulation of the relations between city, urbanity and public space be done regarding the empowerment of all types of conviviality spaces, in the small, medium,large or territorial scale...

Same specificities abaout BRICs head cities:

Beijin: historical references, Imperial Palace (The Forbidden City), the Great Wall, the "hutongs" with bric houses defining coherent urban ambiences, with trees and well-cared pedestrian walkways and communitary spaces, but... extinguishing urban memory by "the progress"...

Rio: open social life, the life of the streets and the receptivity of the "carioca" people; the nature and the magnificent landscape of these "citynature", the "marvellous city", but... a "broken city" in physical and social terms, full of favelas...

Mumbai: a city in reconstruction, an extremly differenciated and unfair society, a lot of poor people everywhere, a chaotic infrastructure and circulation, very bad public transportation "system", a strong social and political indifference with poverty; urbanistically and architecturally disqualified, lots of serius environmental problems, no significant presence of the public power... a city with potential but deprived of sort of things...

St. Petersburg: rich cultural heritage (urbanism, architecture, art) Hermitage Museum, theaters, castles, churchs, art collections, prestigious ballet companies...