Campinas is a Brazilian city of Sao Paulo State, in the country’s Southeast Region. According the 2010 Census, the city population is 1,080,999, making it the 14th most populous Brazilian city and the third in the Sao Paulo State. The city’s metropolitan area, the Greater Campinas, as of 2011, contains nineteen cities, including Campinas, and has a total population of 2,832,297 people. The Viracopos International Airport, localized in city’s periphery, connects Campinas with all Brazilian regions and with the world. The city is home to the State University of Campinas, one of the most prestigious in Latin America.
Campinas is also known as “Cidade das Andorinhas” (City of Swallows), because it was a favorite spot for those migratory birds, which flocked annually in enormous numbers to downtown Campinas. However, they almost disappeared around the 1950s, probably because the church and plaza where they used to roost were torn down.
An inhabitant of Campinas is called a “campineiro”.
The city was founded on July 14, 1774, by Barreto Leme. It was initially a simple outpost on the way to the provinces of Minas Gerais and Goias serving the “Bandeirantes” who were in search of precious minerals and Indian slaves. In the first half of the 19th century, Campinas became a growing population center, with many coffee, cotton and sugarcane farms.
The construction of a railway linking the city of São Paulo to Santos’ seaport, in 1867, was very important for its growth. In the second half of the 19th century, with the abolition of slavery, farming and industrialization attracted many foreignimmigrants to replace the lost manpower, mainly from Italy.
Coffee became an important export and the city became wealthy. In consequence, a large service sector was established to serve the growing population, and in the first decades of the 20th century, Campinas could already boast of an opera house, theaters, banks, movie theaters, radio stations, a philharmonic orchestra, two newspapers (Correio Popular and Diario do Povo), a good public education system (with the Escola Normal de Campinas and the Colégio Culto à Ciência), and hospitals, such as the Santa Casa de Misericordia (a charity for poor people) and the Casa de Saúde de Campinas (for the Italian community, formely known as Circolo Italiani Uniti), and the most important Brazilian research center in agricultural sciences, the Instituto Agronômico de Campinas, which was founded by Emperor Pedro II. Finally, the construction of the first Brazilian highway in 1938, between Campinas and São Paulo, the Anhanguera Highway, was a turning point in the integration of Campinas into the rest of the state.
The climate is tropical but mitigated by elevation, with lower rainfall in winter and annual average temperature of 22.4 °C, with dry and mild winters (rarely too cold) and rainy summers with warm to hot temperatures. The warmest month in February, has an average temperature of 24.9 °C, with an average maximum of 30.0 °C and minimum 19.9 °C. And the coldest month, July, 18.5 °C and 24.8 °C and 12.3 °C average maximum and minimum, respectively. Fall and spring are transitional seasons.
The wet season is from mid-October to mid-April, with heavier rains particularly in December, January, February and early March, and the dry season is from mid-May to mid-September.
Spots to Visit
Campinas Cathedral, which was built in the 19th century. Its interior is entirely made of jacaranda wood sculptures and works. It was made using a technique called “taipa de pilão” using clay and rocks – it is one of the largest buildings in the world using this construction technique.
Central Market, with typical stall stands full of fresh products of the region.
Central Railway Station, built in 1872 now converted to a cultural center.
Centro de Convivência, a cultural complex of theater, an open arena for concerts and spectacles, and a plaza where Campinas Symphony Orchestra plays open air to the public.
Castelo (Castle) Water Tower, which provides a beautiful view over the downtown;
Historical Railway Society of Campinas, which maintains the Anhumas station, a set of steam locomotives and full carriages and which promotes regular trips along a picturesque region dotted with old coffee farms.
Lagoa do Taquaral Park (Taquaral Lake Park), a much-beloved urban lagoon and adjacent wooded park, includes: a planetarium, a science museum, an indoor sports stadium and swimming pool, kart racing and model airplane areas, an open concert auditorium, a floating caravel replica, an electric tramway (streetcar line), pedal boats, plus facilities for several types of sports, including a long track for running and walking.
Metropolitan Region of Campinas
As of 2010, Campinas became an official metropolitan region (RMC — Região Metropolitana de Campinas), with 19 municipalities, with a total of 2.8 million inhabitants and a total land area of 3,348 km² (data of 2010), adjacent to the São Paulo metropolitan region (RMSP). The Campinas Metropolitan area also comprehends a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of R$ 70.7 billion (around U$ 42 billion).
Campinas is the richest city in the metropolitan region of Campinas and the 10th richest city in Brazil, showing a gross domestic product (GDP) of 27.1 billion reais (2007), which represents 0.96% of all Brazilian GDP. Currently, the city concentrates around one third of industrial production of São Paulo state. The paper highlights the high-tech industries and metallurgical park, considered the capital of Silicon Valley Sterling.
The region hosts more than 10,000 medium and large companies, many of which are among the 1,000 largest and best in Brazil, according to Exame magazine, such as Honda, Toyota, Unilever, Mann, 3M, Sherwilliams, Bosch, Pirelli, Dell, IBM, BASF, Dow Chemical, Villares, SEMESA, Ericsson, Singer, Goodyear, CPFL, Elektro, DPaschoal, Sotreq, Valeo, Rigesa, International Paper,Nortel, Lucent, Samsung, Motorola, Medley Pharma, Romi, Tenneco, General Electric, Texas Instruments, Mabe, EMS Farma,MDS Pharma, Altana, Solectron, Magnetti Marelli, Amsted Maxion, Eaton, Galvani, Selmi, Nutron, AmBev, Caterpillar,Bombardier, Atento Brazil, ACS, Dedic, CAF and many others.
The city is also an important and diverse shopping, owning two of the largest shopping mall in the country: The Iguatemi Campinas and Shopping Parque Dom Pedro.
In addition the region is home to many research centers and universities, such as LNLS, CPqD, CenPRA, Embrapa, Unicamp, Facamp and Puccamp. According to the Times Higher Education 2007 World University Rankings, the University of Campinas (Unicamp) is the 177th best university in the world, and the 2nd best in Latin America (after the University of São Paulo in 176th place).
Other examples of Campinas-bred technologies are fiber optics, lasers for telecommunications and medical applications, integrated circuits design and fabrication, satellite environmental monitoring of natural resources, software for agriculture, digital telephone switches, deep-water oil exploration platforms and technologies, biomedical equipment, medical software, genetic engineering and recombinant DNA technologies for food production and pharmaceutics, and food engineering. Because of this, Campinas has been called the Brazilian Silicon Valley.
Campinas is home to two soccer clubs nationally recognized: Associaçao Atlética Ponte Preta and Guarani Futebol Clube, who perform “Campineiro derby” match that is considered one of the most traditional of the state occurring since 1912. There is alsoRed Bull Brasil, which was created in November 2007 and lately has gained significant prominence. Women’s football also has been outstanding, albeit amateur. In the story also revealed other clubs, such as Mogiana Sports Club, which was created in June 7, 1933 and came into bankruptcy in the 60s.
Campinas is a major telecommunications hub in the state and in the country. It has the largest per capita number of fixed and mobile telephone lines in the São Paulo State and one of the largest in the country. The city is also a major hub for cable, fiber optic, microwave and satellite communicationnet work. COMSAT operates near Campinas one of the largest satellite ground stations in Latin America, and the National Research and Education Network (Rede Nacional de Pesquisa e Educação) has a high-capacity point of presence (POP) in the city.
Portuguese is the official national language, and thus the primary language taught in schools. But English and Spanish are part of the official high school curriculum.
The city has also a large number of radio stations as well as several local TV stations, including TV Universidades and Fenix TV (both not-for-profit), distributed by Net Campinas, the local cable distributor.
Campinas was the first city in Brazil, outside the capitals of Brazilian states, which received the transmission in digital signal for TV, by EPTV, an affiliate of Rede Globo, on October 3, 2008. It currently has the second TV station that also broadcasts the signal by TVB, now an affiliate of Rede Record, since February 2011 (before SBT, when it began in May 8, 2010).
UNICAMP – STATE UNIVERSITY OF CAMPINAS
University of Campinas is one of the public universities of the Brazilian State of São Paulo, along USP and UNESP. Its main campus is located in the Barão Geraldo district, 6 miles (10 km) away from Campinas city center, with additional campi in Limeira and Piracicaba (neighbour cities). Unicamp is recognized as the most prolific Brazilian research center. It is responsible for around 15% of all Brazilian research, and has 53,6% of its students at the graduate level. According to the Times Higher Education 2007 World University Rankings, Unicamp is the 177th best university in the world, and the 2nd best in Latin America (after the University of São Paulo in 176th place).
Interdisciplinary Activities – UNICAMP became extremely well known and respected in the higher education and research community for its pioneering work regarding policies for interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary work. Beginning 1982, the University established a system of interdisciplinary groups, nuclei and centers.
Libraries – The SBU (“Sistema de Bibliotecas da UNICAMP” or UNICAMP Library System) comprise of a central library and more than 20 other thematic libraries located in its colleges and institutes. It is considered one of the best organized and most complete of university libraries in Latin America. A number of historical libraries and historical and media archives, such as the Arquivo Edgard Leuenroth, have also been established. The library system is fully automated and its collections may be freely accessed and searched on the Internet. Its Digital Library section supports a database with more than 25,000 dissertations presented in the University, in full text, as well access to the largest electronic libraries of academic journals in the world.