Making sense of visual pollution
The “Clean City” law in São Paulo, Brazil
in Toxic truths

This chapter discusses “visual pollution” by using São Paulo’s “Cidade Limpa” (Clean City) law as a case study. The law, enacted in 2007, aims to fight “visual pollution” yet fails to define the term. The project builds on work Da Silva previously conducted in São Paulo’s public space. By identifying different viewpoints and enactments of “visual pollution,” this chapter analyzes how interdisciplinary methodologies and public engagement can connect different types of expertise to explore what is understood as visual pollution, and furthermore its relation to the ownership of public space and urban environment. The methodology used in the research questions epistemologically the power relations existent in the idea of pollution and public well-being raised by the law. Finally, this chapter discusses the relationship between São Paulo’s social structure, environmental justice, and the idea of visual pollution.

Toxic truths

Environmental justice and citizen science in a post-truth age

Editors: Thom Davies and Alice Mah


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