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In the unveiling of medium-sized cities: urban heterarchy and socio-spatial fragmentation in Juazeiro do Norte / CE and Ribeirão Preto / SP

Grant number: 21/06456-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2022
Effective date (End): February 28, 2025
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Geography - Human Geography
Principal Investigator:Márcio José Catelan
Grantee:Jefferson Santos Fernandes
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (FCT). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Presidente Prudente. Presidente Prudente , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:18/07701-8 - Socio-spatial fragmentation and Brazilian urbanization: scales, vectors, rhythms, forms and contents FragUrb, AP.TEM


Reading the complexity of the contemporary urban network has increasingly required an analysis effort aimed at understanding the articulation and fragmentation of cities as part of the same process. It is in this context that in this work we propose to study the medium cities of Juazeiro do Norte, in Ceará, and Ribeirão Preto, in São Paulo, from two analytical perspectives that, together, can help us to understand the complex web of relationships intercity. The first, urban heterarchy, leads us to a reading of the movement and the leaping of scales in the structure of the urban network, breaking with the rigid paradigm of the hierarchy that has the metropolis as a command center, since the medium cities are important nodes of the network and articulate flows of all kinds (goods, people, information) with other centers on a regional, national and international scale. The second, socio-spatial fragmentation, allows us to see a process underway in medium-sized cities, which is the rupture (partial or absolute) of space and urban life, with the formation of exclusive spaces for housing, commerce and services. "Isolated" from their immediate surroundings, these exclusive spaces, however, establish interactions with other nodes in the network at different scales, which reinforces the idea of heterarchy. To unveil these interstices in the urban network, we will carry out a regional comparative study with these two socio-spatial formations, distinguished by their geographical situation, one in the northeastern hinterland and the other in northeastern São Paulo, in order to identify such processes considering the diversity of Brazilian urbanization. The proposed methodological procedures (qualitative and quantitative) involve bibliographic research, collection of secondary data, document analysis and interviews with well-informed agents linked to the commerce and services sector, as well as with city dwellers. With this, we hope to contribute to the analytical advance of urban and regional studies, apprehending the roles and functions of medium cities in multiple dimensions and spatial scales.

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