The expansion of the Zona Norte

The Zona Norte came to be occupied in the areas surrounding the railroad and, with the installation of large companies, that occupation was expanded upon. Firms like Cisper (1917), Curtume Carioca (1925), Standard Electric (1927), Marvin, Cia. Nactional de Tecidos Nova América and General Electric set up shop in the carioca suburbs, while smaller and medium sized industries remained in the central areas.

These industrial establishments employed 56,517 workers, whose average daily salary was around 6$900 réis for men and 4$600 réis for women.

The expansion towards the suburbs developed articulately along with industrial and real estate capital, without governmental support, while the Zona Sul was being occupied thanks to stimulus from the municipal government. Through improvements in various neighborhoods that were already consolidated and the creation of new ones — like Urca and Jardim Botânico –, the city government endowed the region with infrastructure, inducing a specific type of occupation.

“Urban surgeries occured, affecting, as always, the poor neighborhoods of the city. On the other hand, and not counting on any support from the State, industries multiplied in the city and started to expand into the suburbs, creating new areas, endowing them with infrastructure and, principally, generating jobs. They attracted lots of blue collar workers who moved to the suburbs and gave birth to new favelas, situated in industrial areas. (Abreu, 1997:72)”

Source: Um Olhar Bem Humorado Sobre o Rio dos Anos 20

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