Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

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Economic–Sanitation–Environmental (Dis)Connections in Brazil: A Trans-Scale Perspective From Minas Gerais State and BH Microregion

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Abstract:  Brazil’s economic, environmental, and infrastructural landscape is characterised by local and regional inequalities, particularly evident in Minas Gerais state and the municipalities surrounding its capital, Belo Horizonte (BH) microregion. This research examines three primary domains: (a) economic metrics such as GDP per capita, wages, and formal employment; (b) the availability of clean water and sewage systems; and (c) the frequency of emergency decrees. It aims to ascertain whether these factors can delineate economic, health, and socio-environmental divides within the BH microregion and between its urban and rural areas. Economically, a pronounced gap exists between GDP growth and wage stability, underscoring disparities between the BH microregion and the broader state. While the BH microregion boasts higher salaries and GDP, it also grapples with a heightened cost of living. Disparities in water and sewage infrastructure are stark between urban and non-urban locales, with the latter often lacking access. Emergency decrees are correlated with municipal GDP, with lower-GDP areas experiencing more crises, albeit to a lesser extent in the BH microregion. Cluster analysis reveals a nexus between frequent emergencies, lower GDP, and improved access to water and sewage services. Addressing these challenges requires comprehensive public policies to foster local well-being and alleviate economic, infrastructural, and environmental disparities within both the state and the BH microregion.

Keywords:  Brazil; development studies; drinking water; emergency declaration; Minas Gerais; regional planning; sanitation infrastructure; sewage coverage; social inequalities; socio-environmental justice



© Norma Valencio, Arthur Valencio, Gabriel G. Carvalho, Murilo S. Baptista. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.