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Capacity Management – the Sao Paulo way

Sao Paulo is a city with approx. 20 Million people and this amount of people together in a relatively small area creates some problems:

  1. There is a higher than average crime rate. The police are working very hard on this issue and the city is now a lot safer than it was 5 years ago. I had a major from the Military police in one of my classes last week and he mentioned that in the entire country of Brazil (with approx. 150 Million citizens) there are 400,000 people in jail. Fifty percent of these 400,000 people are in jail in Sao Paulo!
  2. Many people drive to work in their car. Even if you calculate that only10% of the population drives a car, that is still 2 million cars on the road! Driving in Sao Paulo is NOT funny – the traffic is horrendous and most of the time it takes forever to go to the office, to meetings, pretty much everywhere. Walking is not a viable option for many people (see point 1)
  3. Because everybody drives their cars, the air pollution is very bad. Air quality is not good and there is often a thick blanket of smog hanging over the city.

So what have they done to ensure that this problem doesn’t escalate even further -(and to stop the air pollution)?

They have implemented a financial capacity restriction measure. I am not 100% sure how it works but on some of the roads, if not all of them, there is a restriction on the cars that can drive on a particular day.

There is a rule that you are not allowed to drive your car 1 day per week. Each day there is a group of cars (depending on the last digit of the license plate) that are not allowed to use the roads on that day. There are people and systems monitoring what cars are using the road and misuse is heavily fined.

This is a very similar system to our Capacity monitoring systems that we talk about in Service Management. You can shape the utilization of bandwith for example by blocking certain IP addresses from using the service on certain days or at certain times.

It takes a while to get used to but for the people from São Paulo (and Mexico City, and Bogota) it has become a fact of life…