Home Institution

University of Colorado

Publication Date

Fall 12-1-2014

Program Name

Brazil: Social Justice and Sustainable Development


The city of Fortaleza, Ceará has experienced rapid population growth and development over the last century, especially concentrated in the last fifty years. Today, this growth results in the creation of a beautiful tourist destination that many wish to visit, but also a dangerous and unequal city in which many have to live. Many state planners view this growth in infrastructure and tourism as the solution for the economic hardships of Fortaleza. However, many residents are unsatisfied with this development plan, and feel that there is a disconnect between the needs of the people and the plans of the state. As the infrastructure and population increases, so does the crime and the violence of the city: something the many citizens fully realize, causing them to be afraid of their city and hide in fear. My research seeks to present the perspective of the alternative community, Comunidade Sabiaguaba, on the development of Fortaleza. Within this, I show the positive and negative aspects of urban development from the perspective of a community that lives in the periphery and has watched their neighborhood transform first from rural to semi-rural, and now become closer to a sub-urban or urban experience. Using this perspective, I present a depiction of the urban development process of Fortaleza through personal accounts and experiences to understand development rather than news articles or statistics. To understand the significance of this alternative community in the changing space, I will examine the ways in which this community resists and contrasts the determination of the development paradigm that are influential to the surrounding neighborhood and those who visit. Specifically, I focus on the values of openness and cooperation (i.e. sharing, care for one another, and living with the natural environment) that create an escape for those who do not feel comfortable with the results of the development methods in Fortaleza. Ultimately, I will argue that these values and practices of openness and cooperation within the community offer something that many in Fortaleza lack but seek out in Comunidade Sabiaguaba: a personal, human connection to their fellow people and their environment.


Civic and Community Engagement | Criminology | Demography, Population, and Ecology | Family, Life Course, and Society | International and Area Studies | Latin American Studies | Place and Environment | Rural Sociology | Tourism | Urban Studies and Planning


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