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The coffee and the city: the city hall and the process of urbanization of Pindamonhangaba, 1840-1880

Grant number: 18/21759-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2019
Effective date (End): December 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Architecture and Town Planning - Fundamentals of Architecture and Urbanism
Principal Investigator:Maria Luiza Ferreira de Oliveira
Grantee:Brenda Laisa Morais
Host Institution: Escola de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (EFLCH). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Guarulhos. Guarulhos , SP, Brazil


This research intends to clarify a theme still scarcely mapped by historiography, the history of the urban nuclei of the Paraíba Valley during the apogee of the coffee in century XIX. We will do this through the study of Pindamonhangaba, a city that underwent a significant transformation in the period with significant investments of capital in the urban fabric from 1840 onwards. We want to historicize this process in order to compare with other cities in the region, sizing specificities and common traits (from the viewpoint of architecture and the forms of production of built urban space). The wealth of coffee was fundamental for the consolidation of an urbanistic project promoted by the elites that aimed to gird the landscape with constructions in accordance with the architectural styles brought by the masters of foreign works. Acting in the urban nucleus was the City Hall, directing works, supervising, making laws. In addition to the public works, there were the sumptuous palaces and the new houses and we are interested in understanding to what extent they already spread new ways of living and building. In view of this, the present research aims to understand how the Pindamonhangaba City Hall mediated the transformation of public space from the 1840s, with the construction of the public cemetery, until 1880, when the railroad arrived. Most of the studies of the cities in Brazil privilege the end of the XIX, having the railroad like initial cut. We intend to contribute to the debate on urbanization in Brazil empire, understanding how this process was in the Paraíba Valley before the arrival of the railroad. The City Hall, composed mainly of farmers and liberal professionals, played an important role, such as raising funds, inspecting and hiring labor for projects aimed at remodeling the city's public space. Different groups were fundamental for the construction of urban space, slaves, architects, unskilled workers. Rich fazendeiros decided to invest their fortunes in Pindamonhangaba and not in São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, as most did. I was interested in a project of local symbolic power that we believe is worth being explored. (AU)

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