CHAPTER 02 | TERRA URBANA

Terra Urbana looks at the phenomenon of the growth of the Amazon’s mega cities and how uncontrolled urbanism – the result, many times, of a rural exodus fuelled by rural poverty and violence – has led to drug gang wars, brutal prison conditions and toxic cityscapes. As the Amazon River has grown in importance as a drug trafficking route, so too have sprung up lucrative local markets in the major urban centres, leading to bloody wars between vicious gangs who total exercise control over the city slums. Continuing rural exodus, displacement of traditional populations by mega-projects such as hydroelectric dams and immigration from Venezuelans and Haitians fleeing civil strife sees people crammed into alienating concrete housing blocks or forced into open hut shantytowns of timber on the city’s forested outskirts.