The covid-19 pandemic revealed the virtues and deficiencies of the city of Sao Paulo in facing one of the most extreme events of the 21st century. On the one hand, the robustness of science in Sao Paulo helped to face the pandemic, advising on health issues on the disease front. On the other hand, deficiencies in past public policies took their toll, revealing the most perverse face of inequality in the city, its vulnerability to extreme events. In this work, we describe a theory of cities, comparing their functioning to that of an ecosystem. We created the term urbsystem, comprising a Primary and a Secondary Urban Subsystem. The primary, analogous to that of an ecosystem, places the city as a processor of materials and a producer of waste, using water and energy for both activities. The Secondary Urban System contains the main services offered by the city-education, security, communication, transportation etc. The deficiencies in the functioning of these elements characterize inequality, since their efficiency varies depending on the region. We then propose a mechanism to operate the generation of public policies consisting of three elements: Science, Aspirations and Politics. Arranged in the form of the vertices of a triangle, solutions and problems float in a "primordial soup", generating sets of problems-solutions that can be added to political agendas and thus generate public policies that are more likely to be right. In the light of these ideas, we point out that one of the main deficiencies revealed during the pandemic was the lack of connection between the vertices of Science and Aspirations, and the vertex of Politics. We conclude that the most affected sectors will be education, healthcare, tourism and the subsystems of commerce and finance.
Buckeridge, M. S., & Philippi, A. (2020). Ciencia e politicas publicas nas cidades: Revelacoes da pandemia da Covid-19. Estudos Avancados, 34(99), 141–156. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0103-4014.2020.3499.009