Migration and dispersion: territorial patterns change in the urban - rural fringe in Santa Catarina state, Brazil

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In 2003, the State Government of Santa Catarina State, Brazil, launched a new decentralized administrative network, aiming to balance development in different regions of the state and to avoid a significant decrease of population in small and medium cities of the hinterland with a strong migration towards the seaboard's cities. Nevertheless this action was not followed by an appropriate political and institutional framework linked to strategic goals for the vitality in most regions of the State. Those strategies should involve the creation of structures: to reproduce the local workforce, to improve the capital circulation system, to improve the quality of people's livelihood, for the sustainable use of the environment, to inter institutional cooperation, among other things. Within this context, this work sought to follow the development of the Far West Region of the Santa Catarina State in the last twenty years, marked by a complexity of urban-rural interactions, an important urban dispersion process and slight population shrinkage. In this region a “ periurbanization” process arose creating newly dispersed urban settlements within the rural environment, with an unplanned and diffuse morphology developed by unconnected stakeholders. This paper's aim is to analyze the change in territorial patterns and its effects due to both political and socioeconomic factors, and point out weakness and gaps that make the regional balance difficult (in terms of population density, infrastructure and economic issues) and its socioeconomic equity.
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