Novo São Paulo was rebuilt after the Petroleum Wars that ravaged South America as the capital of the new USSA. Meant to be a model of new living and wealth, huge arcologies dominate the landscape. The arcologies are fairly specialized, with individual industrial, residential, and agricultural structures. While the residential section is the best appointed, housing the incredibly wealthy executives that run Novo São Paulo's corporations, the industrial arcologies are the largest and most technically advanced. Novo Sao Paulo is the financial capital of the United States of South America, with powerful corporate centers trading in stocks and information, in addition to data technologies and software. This is in addition to robust luxury goods manufacture, mostly high-tech cyberware for public consumption. Unlike some of North America's arcologies, these are mostly interconnected by bridges and air taxis, part of the planned reconstruction of Sao Paulo after the fire bombing of the Petrol Wars. The planned city boasts arcos with lush gardens, efficient infrastructure, and (in theory) little to no poverty in the arcos themselves.
Some of the residential arcos are a continual party, a neverending Carnaval in the tradition of Antigo Sao Paolo and Old Brazil. Professional Samba companies, usually populated by augments built to be impossibly beautiful and graceful, march in annual parades. The parades go physically from arco to arco, observed by paulistanos from the comfort of their homes by drone cameras and CogNet simulations. The CogNet features its own parades, freed from the constraints of the physical world with invented senses and dimensions decked out in gloriously impossible colors. Sex is free and open here, and any sense that the Carnaval is connected to religious celebration is long lost.
Part of the planned construction of Novo Sao Paolo was that the arcos would be free of the usual underclass inhabiting their lowest levels. Naturally, this has resulted in the poor being excised from the visible Novo Sao Paolo. The crumbling ruins of Antigo Sao Paolo are host to the favelas, vast areas of high density poverty. Although there are more in the arcos than in the streets, the gap between them is shocking. The favelas lack all the luxuries of the arcos, having intermittent power supply and gaps of CogNet connectivity. They are administered by the Novo Sao Paolo government, but largely ignored save for the occasional nuisance of riots, and even these never get close enough to the arcos proper to bother with. Gangs of impoverished youth roam the burnt-out shells of ancient Petrol Era buildings, building their own private fortresses to terrorize whomever they wish. What little religion there is in Cosmic Era Brazil can be found here: favela-dwellers can be found worshiping old syncretic gods at small Candomblé shrines, a relic of the bygone age. Practically no one from the arcos sees the favelas, and some say they are only legend. A few who enjoy such things actually take "safaris" into the favelas, flying by from the comfort of an armed helo to shoot at the poor under class in illegal but overlooked "hunting expeditions".
Low-rent McDojos have also sprung up in the favelas, run mostly by Brazilian-Japanese or agents of Nipponese zaibatsus looking to influence the population and gain a better foothold in the USSA. They teach native capoiera and Nipponese forms to youths, either (for the high-minded) to keep them from the harm of gangs or (for the otherwise ambitious) to train their own private armies.
There is some hope in the favelas. Certain areas have been cordoned off by upright citizens trying to make things decent, arming themselves into small militias. They usually have a moderately wealthy patron, someone well-connected with access to the CogNet and other methods of communication that keep the rest of the favelas separate from the world. These little barrios are often brightly painted and offer small hospitals with access to otherwise unknown health care. One might also stumble into a clone barrio, where the same half-dozen faces of abandoned clones are found in small populations trying to protect themselves.
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Brazil became the catalyst of Latin American militarism following the Venezuela Invasion of 2055. Already a global economic powerhouse, Brazil goaded Colombia into its alliance with Mexico before launching its own Venezuelan adventure. The northern nationstates of French Guiana, Suriname, and Guyana were occupied and annexed in short order. Against democratic protests in Brasilia, President Juliana Santos granted herself emergency powers, shut down the National Congress, and declared martial law. Brazilian troops - including a large number of conscripts promised wealth from captured states - rolled across Latin America, declaring a new Empire of Brazil. The former President enjoyed a brief reign as Empress Juliana I before a Bolivarianist dirty bomb took out nearly all of Brasilia's population. As the short-lived Empire of Brazil crumbled, the remnants of the Brazilian government established a hold-out near São Paolo, itself an increasingly chaotic urban ruin. The Dark Age took hold of the world, leaving Latin America to fall to city-states and tribal rule.
The Feds left Antigo Sao Paolo to ruin, overrun by favelados clamoring for survival. They established Novo Sao Paolo miles closer to the coast, hoping to somehow revive coastal trade. Industrial corps in the city, mostly producers of data-processing hardware and luxury tech goods, were backed with funding and resources from several foreign investors, mostly from Nippon and Bantustan. These luxury corps exploded onto the world market not long after, and by the 2150s Brazilian super-corps like Hypermarcas, IGB Eletrônica, and Bravox were global players. Novo Sao Paolo built many of its industrial arcologies over night in the 2160s, just as Neo-Bolivarianism began to take root across Latin America. Calls for nationalism and unity pushed some of the larger locality governments together, while casting a wary eye on foreign domination. The union of Novo Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro into Estado Costeiro was a timely turning point, as the Nipponese zaibatsus who had been generous investors to the Brazilian markets began demanding board member postings and a larger cut of the global market. The new federal government in Novo Sao Paolo granted freedom for local corporations to push out their erstwhile investors; while Bantustan was rebuffed easily enough, it took joint federal and corporate power to push out zaibatsu forces, a conflict that would flare up repeatedly in the future.
During the Reformation Era, as the rest of Brazil and eventually all of South America was reunited into the USSA, Novo Sao Paolo remained the dominant city, economically as well as politically. She was one of the first South American city to develop industrial arcologies, and the first to survive after foreign investment dried up or was forced out (Chinese corporations had long before lost interest in Mexican ventures and the Colombians found themselves unable to manage after forcing out Anglo-American aid). With superprojects on the Rio Tietê providing ample fresh water, agriculture, and aquaculture, Novo Sao Paolo was able to ably provide its rapidly growing population - save for the starving masses of the favelas. Arcology residency places a sufficient distance between well-to-do Paulistranos and the rest.