The Northwest region of Campinas has been undergoing an intense urbanization process since 2010. Areas of old farms gave way to a large shopping center and condominiums, creating new neighborhoods and modifying the residential and commercial profile. around John Boyd Dunlop Avenue. Seeking to understand the changes in that area, geographer Mayra Abboudi Brasco, a researcher at Unicamp’s Geosciences Institute, identified a feedback relationship between the municipal government and the real estate sector. According to her, there is, in this case, a circuit of real estate capital that includes public and private investments, real estate developers, companies from various sectors of civil construction, shareholders, holding companies, companies that carry out sales and marketing for the sector.
According to information from Campinas City Hall, the Northwest region is experiencing strong economic expansion. Located in an area of 65.64 km², where approximately 145 thousand inhabitants live, it houses a large health care complex, including the Campo Grande Emergency Room and the PUC-Campinas Hospital. Other differentials of the Northwest Macroregion are the main highways that pass through it: Anhanguera and Bandeirantes, in addition to the Northwest Metropolitan Corridor, where around 70% of public transport users are concentrated.
The region’s urbanization process included the arrival of Shopping Parque das Bandeiras, installed where Fazenda Cuscuzeiro was previously located, and a new neighborhood, Jardim Ibirapuera, address of the Alto do Ibirapuera condominium. The Residencial Parque da Fazenda, Terra Nature and Cury Dez Parque das Bandeiras condominiums are located in the Fazenda Roseira area. The Bela Aliança Farm was transformed into the Bela Aliança Bairro & Parque condominium. In return for this real estate project, the construction of the Campo Grande Municipal Natural Park was established, whose delivery was scheduled for 2020, but which has not yet been completed.
According to the researcher, urbanization increases the profitability of land. “Although the technical team of the Campinas Planning and Urbanism Department pointed out that the urban perimeter should not be expanded, this happened”, she says. “A macro-zoning was also established that allows the insertion of rural lands in the urban perimeter through feasibility studies”, he adds. per m², that is, smaller portions of land with even higher prices in this context of real estate speculation”.
When consulting the website of Campinas Strategic Master Plan, it is possible to identify requests for expansion of the urban perimeter. “Most of the requests came from landowners and developers,” noted Mayra.
The approval of the shopping center is an example of how the re-functionalization of urban space is strongly influenced by the private sector. As explained by Mayra, in 2012, the Specific Project Analysis Group (GAPE), linked to the City Hall, to analyze and approve new projects. As a result, a term of agreement and commitment was signed between the Municipality of Campinas, the companies that own Shopping Parque das Bandeiras and Anhanguera Educacional, which would build a new campus between the Shopping and Campus II of PUC-Campinas. Next, Shopping Parque das Bandeiras received the execution permit, in a place where the zoning (then based on the Land Use and Occupancy Law of 1988) did not allow.
Also according to the researcher, the construction of the mall had significant impacts on the region. There was an increase in house prices and a restructuring of traffic and roads in a peripheral region. The new vertical condominiums also impacted vehicle circulation. She also recalls that “the BRT bus corridor, whose works caused great inconvenience to the population, even though it is public, benefits the real estate sector, which incorporates the work as a sales attraction”, she points out.
Finally, the researcher highlights that the planning of urbanization in that area did not actively involve other agents, which resulted, for example, in the removal of bicycle lanes from the bus lane project, not allowing for integration with other modes of transport. “Unfortunately, accidents with cyclists are still frequent on Avenida John Boyd Dunlop, where the corridor passes”, laments Mayra. In general, according to her, local and specific demands were not even heard to be incorporated into the Master Plan. “By analyzing the real estate products in that region in the period between 2005 and 2018, as well as the revisions to the Master Plan Laws of 2006 and 2018, we saw that those who condition urban expansion in Campinas – as in several other cities – are the owners of real estate developers”, concludes Mayra.