The City of São Paulo, founded by Portuguese missionaries in 1554, has grown a great deal since early 20th Century. In 1900, it was still a relatively small city with less than 200,000 inhabitants. Now it is the largest city in Brazil, with an estimated population of over 11 million residents.
At the center of a heavily urbanized metropolitan area, São Paulo exerts a significant regional and national influence on commerce and finance, as well as in politics and the arts. The city is historically a land of ethnical diversity. Since the abolition of slavery in 1888 and all throughout the 20th Century, it has received large numbers of immigrants from Europe, Asia, Africa and South America, as well as from other Brazilian states. Recognized for its cosmopolitanism, the city manifests a varied socio-cultural composition, as well as a privileged condition for international fluxes and exchanges.
In spite of holding the 10th highest urban GDP's in the world, São Paulo also presents a high degree of informality. The unlimited urbanization sharpens social disparities and contradictions, physically tangible at the outskirts without planning or amenities and the entrances of gated communities.
The city offers a vast and diverse hotel and restaurant infrastructure; from international hotel chains like Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, Accor, Meliá, Radisson and Unique, to local neighborhood inns, there are 410 hotels with 42,000 rooms.
Cultural diversity is reflected in its gastronomical offerings, featuring 52 different styles of cuisine in more than 12.500 restaurants.
São Paulo can be easily accessed by our global audience. There are two main airports: São Paulo International Airport, in the satelite city of Guarulhos, and Congonhas Airport within the city itself. More than 40 cities in 23 other countries are regularly connected through commercial flights.
The 15th IPHS Conference is the first incursion of IPHS in South America. This is an opportunity to know one of the largest cities in the world, locus of a multiplicity of ideas and forms of urbanization.