Florianopolis, capital of the state of Santa Catarina, in southern Brazil, has been experiencing a vigorous population growth since last decade. From 2000 to 2010, its population grew from 342.315 inhabitants to 404.224, which represents a growth of 18.08% (while the average population growth in Brazil in the same period was 9.4%).
As the headquarter of government activities and public universities, the city receives a lots of immigrants from other Santa Catarina’s regions, as from other Brazilian states, who go to study and work at public departments. Moreover, Florianopolis’ (also known as “magical island”) natural beauties attract thousands of tourists every year, especially on the summers.
However, the high population growth rate, the unplanned tourism activities and real estate speculation have been creating a chaotic environment, especially during the summer seasons. In its daily routine, Florianopolis inhabitants face traffic jam (with an average of 1 car to 2,3 inhabitants), a bad public transport, increase in crime rates and a increasing cost of living that makes many native inhabitants shift to neighbor cities.
It’s a big contradiction with the campaigns, advertisings, news reports and all the marketing activities promoting florianopolitan as a place with a high “quality of life” national and internationally. This incoherence is the main reason to many florianopolitan citizens revindicate against these campaigns that diffuse a wrong idea about the city, as in opposition to all the consequences due to disorderly growth.
One recent polemic popped up recently upon a news report posted by globo.com, Brazilian biggest media house, about the luxury market in Florianopolis. The report emphasized the potential growth of boats market in the city, impulsionated by a large amount of high income inhabitants. And to be completed, the report also mentioned Jurere International, a condominium created with the purpose to be “a brazilian Beverly Hills”, which has famous dwellers like the footballer Ronaldinho and the top model Gisele Bundchen. In the same report, declarations of a representant of Habitasul, company that manages Jurere International, demonstrating arrogance and disdain with the local culture impulsionated a lot of comments and protests via social media.
In protest to this new report, and to other promotions of the same kind, a group of citizens decided to create a fan page on Facebook to contest it. In some days, the page (Beverly Hills Catarinense, with more than 7.000 fans) spreaded easily posting ironical contents and jokes on that report as a space to common citizens share their views and opinions about what’s happening in the city they live.
That’s only one more example how is impossible today media houses and their respective sponsors control the information flow. Social media tools make possible common citizens contest, share and create contents to express their opinions about their own reality.