Brazil Inundated by Poor Planning Practices

While Brazil sits underwater due to heavy rains, an even greater political problem persists.

Natalie Vaiana of the Gaurdian says Brazil's real problem is their inability to plan long term,

"Urban planning has never been part of the political agenda."

"The reason urban planning was never taken into account is simple: the expression 'long-term planning' is rarely found in Brazil's political dictionary. Short-term, eye-caching public works are the focus. Winning elections is the aim. Dominated by this logic, the main driver of cities' growth is profit, above everything else."

Thanks to Jason Van Patten

Full Story: Floods in Brazil are a result of short-term planning



True, but the latest floods might just be the tipping point

I've been living and working in Brazil for the last six weeks (and on and off for the last five years). The floods in the Região Serrana might just be the tipping point as the press has really hammered the issue of urban planning in laying the blame for the tragedy. And tragedy indeed -- billed as the worst natural disaster in the history of the country, it's not going to be same-old same-old like the flooding in Alagoas and Pernambuco last June, the flooding and landslides in Rio last April, and the landslide in Angra dos Reis in January 2010. That, combined with the lesser, but still serious, flooding in Santa Catarina and São Paulo has really made flooding the national issue right now, with cover stories in the major newsweeklies and special reports on TV. The Ministry of Cities, while young, can and hopefully will seize this opportunity to push long-range planning to the front of the agenda. I wrote the following for the APA's Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) blog while the flood waters were still raging, so it doesn't quite benefit from Natalia's hindsight, but already then planning was the word on many columnists' lips. Let's hope it stays there.

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