- History of technology
- Infrastructure history
- History of the Global South
- Critical infrastructures
- Urban development
- Identity History
Cold Chains as a Critical System – An Urban History of Cold Chains Using the Example of Meat Supply in the City of São Paulo in the First Half of the 20th Century (working title)
With its location between the hinterland and the coast, São Paulo developed into Brazil's economic center in the mid-19th and early 20th centuries. The city’s expansion was closely linked to the country’s industrialization. Due to the already existing meat trade, the city became a trading hub for the expansion of the North American meat packing industry. By implementing imported refrigeration technology as part of a national concept of meat production and processing, São Paulo became a center of frozen and chilled meat production within Brazil.
In economically expanding São Paulo, meat production increased not only due to external demand. With industrialization, internal migration as well as the immigration of foreign workers rose steadily. The growing urban population had to be supplied with meat products also, which boosted the regional meat market. With the use of refrigeration systems for preservation and the price drops caused by the pressure which the large refrigerated warehouses exerted on local agricultural producers, meat became an integral part of the diet of the “Paulistas” (residents of the city of São Paulo).
The dissertation project deals with the question of the criticality of refrigeration systems or cold chains in an urban context, using the example of the meat supply in São Paulo. For this purpose, the area of meat production, transportation as well as hygiene and storage processes (e.g. time management) is examined in relation to criticality for the supply of consumers. Transportation and urban infrastructures are also considered in terms of their influences on the development, establishment, and management of cold chains. The dissertation project focuses on the concept of symbolic criticality regarding cold chains’ attribution as critical systems.