12 comments on “The walker as explorer in São Paulo’s concrete jungle

  1. Nice post Andy! I’ve always judged cities by how easy I can get around them without a car – it’s the best way to connect with the city and get a feel for it. That’s why I love Leeds and London, but would give Reading a miss. It’s also why Rio’s Barra neighbourhood makes me want to curl up into the foetal position and cry. My curse is that I have to go there every working day of my life right now…

    I’ve only been to São Paulo 5 or 6 times, but I totally agree with your assessment – a rough gem hiding some seriously cool stuff. I also liked the Metro system, though I’m told it gets very busy at rush hour.

    • I’ve very fond memories from Leeds as I used to visit there for work quite a lot when I lived in Hull – I’ve some very blurry memories of nights out there!

      Rio and London, whilst both bustling cities, at least reserve their treasures (London – River Thames; Rio – beach promenades) for the use of pedestrians. São Paulo’s main river is hugged by 18 lanes of traffic, although as a consolation I guess we at lest have Parque Ibirapuera.

  2. An amazing post! Informative, witty, personal, impossible to put down. So well-written I (the reader) could see, hear and feel the walk. It made me want to experience it myself.

  3. An amazing post! Witty, informative, colorful, vividly descriptive! I enjoyed it thoroughly. I enjoyed trotting along beside the writer, listening to him provide background and insight.

  4. I will post this link on Fb because I want to spread your words among my “paulistanos friends”. Thanks for such a precise analysis. If I am not mistaken you live near Braz Leme, a wonderful piece of land for pedestrians. But don’t dare expanding your territory or you risk your life, as you did… Interesting concept of urban subversion.

    • Thanks Regina. I don’t live too far form Braz Leme and I think I’ve only passed through it by car, so I’ll have to take a stroll up there and see for myself.

  5. This is a great post. I live in Curitiba, which is a much smaller city and supposedly much more people friendly, but I have experienced the same problem. When I tell people I walked to the bar or class they are genuinely shocked. You almost never see pushchairs of wheelchairs and my wife has a couple of elderly relatives who practically never leave the house because of a lack of mibility.

    • Thanks Stephen. I get the same when I tell people I got to a class by public transport – the look of shock and concern is quite amusing.

  6. Loved this post – part exploration, part social deviancy is a perfect description. I love walking roads like Rua Augusta and av Brigadeiro from beginning to end. I also remember hearing an interview with Manu Chao where he said he loved to walk from one side of São Paulo to the other whenever he was in town.

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