Meeting 2

Tuesday, September 27, 2011
5:15 - 6:45 pm
Carr Center Conference Room
Rubenstein Building
(Floor 2, Room 219)
Directions to Venue
Towards Universal Water and Sanitation Access in Informal Settlements: The Experience of São Paulo, Brazil

The sprawling city of São Paulo is emblematic of urban water challenges facing many cities in the developing world. Close to one‐quarter of the city's population of 10 million people lives in an informal settlement. While the problems facing these informal settlements are well known -- lack of tenure security, precarious housing and social marginalization --what separates São Paulo is its relatively high levels of access to water and sanitation services. After decades of neglect, the São Paulo Water and Sanitation Company (SABESP) is on its way to universalizing water and sanitation services to the urban poor. The challenge is that past urbanization in the absence of sanitation services has compounded the problem of water scarcity by polluting the city’s already scarce water sources. This study group will examine São Paulo’s past success in expanding water and sanitation services to the informal settlements through a human rights perspective. Although he under‐served continue to be the poor living in the peripheral urban settlements, the narrative of São Paulo has been one of enhancing access to these essential services.

Speaker: Julia Tierney, master's student, urban planning & international development, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Moderated by: Sharmila Murthy

Preparatory Materials:

Follow-Up Materials: