The Brazilian Housing Program Minha Casa Minha Vida: Effect on Urban Sprawl

Autor: Ciro Biderman, Frederico Roman Ramos, Martha Hiromoto


We analyze the impacts on the urban form of a large Brazilian public housing program—Programa Minha Casa Minha Vida (PMCMV). Our aim in this paper is to determine whether the program impacts urban sprawl and its trend. We analyze 18 metropolitan areas using satellite images and other datasets to compare municipalities where the program was more intense with municipalities where the program produces housing below the median. First, we compare the urban footprint in 2005 and 2015. Second, we compare the trend from 1995 to 2005 with that from 2005 to 2015. The conclusion is that the program itself has no significant impact on urban sprawl. However, the number of units built does have an impact on the spatial pattern of the urban footprint. Cities were infilling faster before the program was implemented. The program is currently under revision and we suggest that it can be improved by shifting the incentives to converge to more centralized development of the land leading to more compact cities.

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