Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
MONTE-MOR, Roberto Luís. What is the urban in the contemporary world?. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2005, vol.21, n.3, pp.942-948. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2005000300030.
Central concepts of contemporary life such as politics, civilization, and citizenship derive from the city's form and social organization. The city expresses the socio-spatial division of labor, and Henri Lefèbvre proposes to view its transformation within a continuum from the political city to the urban, whereby it completes its domination over the countryside. The city's transformation into the urban takes place when industry brings production (and the proletariat) into that space of power. The city, locus of surplus, power, and the fiesta, a privileged scenario for social reproduction, was subordinated to the industrial logic and underwent a dual process: its centrality imploded, and its outskirts exploded on surrounding areas through the urban fabric, bearing with it the seeds of the polis and civitas. The urban praxis, formerly restricted to the city, re-politicized social space as a whole. In Brazil, the urban has its origins in the military governments' centralizing and integrating policies, following Vargas's expansionism and Kubitschek's developmental interiorization (or occupation of the hinterlands). Today, urban-industrial processes impose themselves over virtually all social space, in contemporary extended urbanization.
Keywords : Cities; Urbanization; Urban Health.