With a population of more than 20 million—roughly 10 percent of Brazil’s population—São Paulo ranked as the 10th largest urban area in the world in 2014. The city is no newcomer to the list. For two decades starting in the 1980s, São Paulo was the fourth largest city in the world. As the city has grown, its suburbs have spread, and its urban core has become more dense.
Landsat satellites captured this change in these two false-color images from 1986 and 2013. In both images, urban areas range from tan in the suburbs to pink and purple in the most densely built areas. Plant-covered land is green, and exposed earth is tan (like the urban areas).
Images courtesy of NASA.