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The Jardim Angela shantytown was once the most violent community in the world, but has gone through a transformation. (RICKEY ROGERS/Rickey Rogers/Reuters/Newscom)
The Jardim Angela shantytown was once the most violent community in the world, but has gone through a transformation. (RICKEY ROGERS/Rickey Rogers/Reuters/Newscom)

Earlier discussion

Doug Saunders answers questions on global migration Add to ...

Matthew Doug, How do you see Canada faring amongst other OECD states in a global competition for immigrants? What helps set Canada apart? Is the lack of an open labour zone, akin to the EU, a competitive disadvantage for us?

Doug Saunders Matthew, we do have a problem in that we don't have citizenship bloc like the EU - - where a citizen of any one of the countries has full citizenship, residency and labour rights in the other 26... that allows a movement of labour at the speed of the economy, and quicker responses; NAFTA doesn't allow labour mobility so we have to fulfil labour demands through a very bureaucratic process that doesn't respond fast enough. It may be a good idea to "legalize" human trafficking (ie private-sector migration agents).

Rubens da Silva I´m Canadian citizen born in Brazil and by coincidence Jucileide Mauger, the principal of the Oliveira Viana school at Jardim Angela, is my sister and she´s been doing a excelent work with the local community with Father Jaime for almost 30 years. I´m so happy with her international recognition.

(Here's a link to the chapter of Doug's book where Jucileide Mauger is mentioned.)

Doug Saunders Rubens, that's amazing! Jucileide appears in the chapter excerpted (see link above); she is the principal of the high school in Jardim Angela, which was the most violent community on Earth in 1996 and has been turned around, because of activism by people like her and also a very committed Sao Paulo government, into a place with a thriving middle class and a very stable and poor but optimistic population. It's one of the great models of how to turn failed arrival cities into successes. It was a great pleasure to meet her in Sao Paulo and she was very generous with her time. Contratulations to her!

Here's a photo of Pedro and Denise Magalhaes and their two children, who are also mentioned in the excerpt.

Pedro and Denise Magalhaes with their two children.

Guest Hi Doug, I'm pursuing a master's degree in architecture, my field of interest lies in the transitional neighbourhoods, in particular a "slum" in central Buenos Aires. What is your opinion on "social infrastructure", how important do you think it is in achieving a connection to the formal city? I'm thinking of the personal relationships that are formed as a result of programs such as football clubs, dance schools, etc. And how have you seen these kind of programs at work abroad and how do you think they can work here at home?

Doug Saunders These things are quite important in making neighbourhoods succeed. But I suspect that they are more of a symptom than a cause of success. The networks of human connection already exist in arrival-city neighbourhoods; what makes them fail to turn into thriving and integrated communities is usually a lack of physical and economic infrastructure -- that is, connections to the larger economy and to the physical city. I think public investments in space etc are valuable -- the Brazilians have had good success building soccer pitches in the favelas -- but also flexibility in zoning etc, so that buildings can have mixed uses, a private hosue can become a social club, a factory, a theare and a shop at the same time. People want to form such networks and social groups; it's more important to remove any barriers taht provent thm.

@darnoc Hi. Doug, what's your view of how urbanization in the developing world is impacting the global food-energy nexus?

Doug Saunders darnoc, I think there is a bottleneck right now caused by underinvestment in agriculture (and various barriers to investment in agriculture) and a simulteneous demand on agricuture by energy uses (ie biofuel). A more rapid (but managed) urbanization process is going to be needed to convert large and fertile areas of subsistence-level agriculture in to commercial agriculture so a greater volume of caloric energy - - whether for food or fuel -- can come out of the developing world's agricultural areas.

Jay Firstly, great article Doug. Unfortunately, I have yet to read your book and I apologize if my question is answered there. My is question is regarding the ties between originating villages and arrival cities. How do originating villages learn about and connect with arrival cities before immigrants land?

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