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  • Majority of Brazil was ecstatic to hear that the 2016 olympics are being held in Rio De Janeiro, but others were worried. Rio is a clogged urban area with many spray painted worn out houses. In order to host these games a country needs a lot of open space. People in these houses were given no option but to leave. Studies have been done that show that, “Of the six and a half million people who live in Rio, it's estimated that around 20 percent live in "favelas" or slums. The government says it breeds crime and disease and this also just so happens to be in the shadow of a stadium that'll be used for the Olympics.”# This is only one of the factors that Brazil has to worry about. When these people houses are destroyed they have nowhere to go, which clogs the streets even more than they are right now. All this destruction and construction of stadiums is awful for their environment. Another concern is after all of the construction is done, and the games start there will be a huge increase of litter, and an increase in pollution because of the fossil fuels being used to transport people to and from the games.


    Another question commonly asked is how is the city going to lodge all of the athletes and tourists coming to the city. “The Rio 2016 Games will provide the best possible environment for peak performances. Athletes will enjoy world-class facilities, including a superb village, all located in one of the world’s most beautiful cities, in a compact layout for maximum convenience.”# Brazil has over five thousand hotel rooms already prepared for tourists and local people. Regardless Rio will be overpopulated, and has a lot of unexpected problems to come.
     
    Rio has a budget of 14.2 billion (being funded by private companies) dollars according to a federal government release, and are projected to make more money than that over the course of the World Cup and the Olympics. They are preparing to host two of the largest sporting events in the world, which will attract tons of tourists. These tourists will need a quick way to get to places. This will be difficult because of how crowded the city is without all of the tourists. This will also be difficult for the residents in the rural part of the country. “Some 124 miles of public transportation lines are expected to be built over the next six years. Four Bus Rapid Transit corridors that would connect the four main Olympic venues, the airport and a new Ipanema subway link running to Barra da Tijuca, site of the Olympic village, are expected to be done by 2016.”# If this happens Brazil’s transportation issues will be a little less stressful.
     
  • Charlee Manigat
    NuVu Brazil Blogpost #2
    January 10, 2013

     

    Brazil Studio Intro Blogpost


    In a few days, a group of  NuVu students and I will be taking a trip to Brazil to participate in a very informative and creative studio called “The Right to the City”. We will spend ten days in Brazil learning about and adapting to the new culture and new environment. This studio will help us to better understand the role that technology plays within cities much like the ones in Brazil. Also, we will understand how this technology makes the living conditions easier and more equitable for all of the citizens who live in Brazil.
    “The Right to the City” studio is a perfect way to learn more about the technology aspect of Brazil because of all of the themes that the studio connects with. For example, the 2016 Olympics will take place in Rio de Janerio. Rio de Janeiro, which is the full name for Rio, is the capital city of the state of Rio de Janeiro and it is the second largest city of Brazil. It is said that the Olympics is by far the biggest sporting events in the entire world. The Brazilian government has already come up with an estimated $25.9 billion to fund this monumental event. Rio is fortunately the most ideal place to understand how technology and the city, itself, works with each other. In addition to that, we will be able to productively utilize our knowledge we have already gained from doing some studios at NuVu that we have completed and hopefully, make it a “smarter city” for the Olympics event to come. This studio will help us better understand the creative but complex technology that can be used for Rio and how it can potentially function to better any type of large, extravagant event such as the Olympics. Our main purpose for this studio is to figure out multiple and effective ways to make Rio a “smarter city” to the best of our ability. An event so significant as the Olympics will undoubtedly need plenty of equipment and technology of good equality to keep the occasion moving. Furthermore, our ideas and possible solutions could also potentially be beneficial to them as well.
    As we further understand the cultural and societal issues within the Brazilian community, and also how to adapt to them, we will try to help make the places that we visit a more equitable and accessible place for people of all financial backgrounds. Our studio is a perfect connection to the key issues that the Brazilian citizens face today. As the visit to Brazil goes on, we will become more and more familiar with the culture and it’s problems. We will come to learn more about it which will, in the end, gives us a better understanding of what we need to do in order to fulfill our goal. With all of our discussions, projects and hard work, the trip will successfully result in what we had hoped initially: I feel as though it will, in fact, “..make Rio and the other cities we visit,  a smarter city.”

  •             This studio in Brazil is focusing on the Right to the City and technology. As Brazil gets ready for the World Cup and then soon after, hosting the Olympics, they will come across challenges on how to build these momentous events and also brainstorm how they will create urban inclusivity. Over the period of time between now and till, 2016 when Brazil will host the Olympics, Rio will go through physical transformation of the city, social inclusion initiatives, youth and education programs, and sports promotion.

    One big challenge for planning the Olympics, especially is time. Another major challenge is currently, how to construct these buildings and sporting arenas while having the favelas in the center of all this construction. Time is an issue because with all the things that need to be accomplished by 2016, they need to be done quickly and the out come needs to be excellent. The amount of money that is being spent on this miraculous project is unreal. There are many different ways the money is being spent towards these events. A major use for the committee’s money is the cost of venue and infrastructure works, which totals to 11.5 billion USD. Also 2.8 billion USD will be funded by private organizations, with federal, state and municipal government guarantees to cover any funding shortfalls, according to the Rio 2016 official website. Many wonder if these sporting events are even worth it. It has not shown yet, but the London Olympics had an economic impact, and so will the 2016 Olympics. We will be able to see this impact of the London Olympics over a long period of time. It is too early to tell. Fifty thousand jobs temporary and fifteen thousand permanent jobs will be generated form the Olympics-related industries, not including the construction jobs that will be created.

    Another issue is going to be transportation. They will need to figure out, and construct transportation systems that will be convenient to take athletes from the airport to their hotels. These hotels will also need construction, with the fact that there are not enough rooms currently for the tremendous amount of athletes that will be arriving. A massive amount of hotels will need to be built. Rio is such a condense, and populated place, that there is not that much free space to build these designs. When constructing these buildings, it is going to effect people that might already be living in that area. An example of these places are known as favelas.

    The buildings and sporting arenas that are being designed for construction, for the 2016 Olympics, are going to have to make people in the favelas move. A favela is a term for a shanty town in Brazil, most often within urban areas. With these significant upcoming events, a long term goal for military troops and police is, securing forty slums before the World cup and, and keeping them safe for the Olympics which will occur in two years. These troops and police have organized raids that target to stop crime and violence in the favelas. About one fifth of Rio’s residents live in the city’s one thousand shantytowns, many of them located on steep hills overlooking nice beachside property. The people that live in the favelas want this to be a permanent improvement, as they want to feel part of the city. Whether or not these favelas will benefit from these raids is still undetermined, but if they do the best they can, they will be able to create a safer and cleaner environment for those who live there, and for those who will soon come to visit.

     Gabby Marks

  • Like many other countries in the world, Brazil is currently at a crossroads.  Brazil has to decide whether to aid its local needs or give themselves a positive outlook on the “global stage.”  Some of Rio’s local needs include drug trafficking while its global needs have to do with olympic attractions.  Throughout this studio, we will be studying both of its local and global needs and then propose solutions to improve the city, making it more inclusive to its citizens and visitors.  

    Rio will be hosting the 2016 olympics.  I recently read a blog written by Jon Pack and Gary Hustwit discussing the aftermath of a city after hosting the olympics  (http://www.outsideonline.com/blog/outdoor-adventure/what-happens-to-olympic-host-cities-after-the-games.html).  I learned that hosting the olympics can affect a city positively and negatively.  Hosting the olympics can drive tourism rates through the roof and make the city world renown.  However, hosting the olympics can also cause cities to fall into a financial crisis.  In the cities with positive outcomes, these authors write “keep in mind that for every abandoned volleyball stadium or empty swimming pool, there’s a venue that’s been repurposed as a church or a theater.”  During my winter break vacation to Montreal I was able to see a negative outcome of a city that has hosted the olympics.   The tour guide led us into an enormous stadium that no longer has any use.  The opening and closing ceremonies had been held there as well as the track meets.  The tour guide explained to us that it was poorly built which made holding big concerts and events there almost impossible.  Instead, they use newer and better buildings throughout Montreal to host their concerts, resulting in this stadium becoming a complete waste of money.  This preparation for the olympics relates directly to what we will be working on in Rio.  We want to make the city more inclusive, the way Rio builds their olympic facilities will have a big impact on this.  Rio has the choice of building multi use stadiums that can be useful to all of its citizens or they have the choice of creating stadiums that can go right to waste.

    Rio’s social classes are very strict.  A majority of the city lives in luxurious homes with great access to education while 22% of Rio (6 million people) lives in Favelas.  These Favelas, also known as slums are home to violence, crime and drug trafficking.  From the year 1978 through 2000, almost 50,000 people in Favelas people died of urban violence.  When learning about the crime that occurs within Rio Favelas, I found that it relates directly to the work we will be doing in the Brazil Studio.  One of the issues we are trying to solve is Urban Inclusivity.  The 6 million people living in Favelas are greatly excluded to Rio.  As Rio prepares for Olympics, we should look into ways Rio can use their Olympic stadiums to benefit and include these people living in slums.  These stadiums could become community centers or even more affordable housing for those in need.

    Sarah Thompson

  • As the city of Rio de Janeiro is preparing for the upcoming FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, many changes are happening within the community. For the past few years, they have been working to lower Rio’s crime rates, secure the more dangerous areas of the city, and make it an altogether safer place for tourists and the local people. Reaching this goal involves a lot of effort from many people throughout the city. This work has had positive effects on several communities; however, it is also important to note that it is not always beneficial for everyone. Though crime rates have gone down and will hopefully continue to decrease, there are people in Rio who are losing their homes to Olympic complexes and transportation, etc.rio2016.com is the official website for everything involving Rio and the Olympics. It gives information on the venues and statistics involving them. There is going to be a total of 34 venues for the Games, 18 of which are already operating. This means that somehow they need to find space for sixteen more buildings (nine of which will be permanent and seven temporary). In aCBC article from August 2012 titled Can roughed-up Rio be ready for the 2016 Olympics?  the author states that the police “have essentially moved into 23 neighborhoods in Rio, the congested favelas that were rife with drugs and petty crime — and just happen to be where many of the new Olympic venues will be constructed.” Anarticle from February 2011 also talks about residents of these slums complaining that the work being done is violating their rights. They claim that nearly 300 families had already been removed from their homes because of the construction of bus systems that will run across the city. These are just a few examples of how much events like these can affect local people and communities. 
    Rio de Janeiro has also adopted a new policy known as “pacification,” which is meant to “clean up” the Brazilian favelas (slums). This strategy includes police raids into these neighborhoods in order to make arrests and establish authority in the area. They have been setting up Police Pacifying Units (UPPs) which have succeeded in lowering murder, assault, and robbery crime rates, as well as increasing the amount of drug seizures and decreasing the number of deaths from confrontations involving police. The author of thisTime article accurately states that “the success of the UPPs, if not the city's future, depends on whether pacified favelas can be transformed even further into regular neighborhoods with the same security, commerce, services and leisure as the rest of the city.” Our work during this studio directly relates to this quote. We will be working to make the entire city more inclusive, from the richer areas to the favelas and everything in between. By developing and implementing a piece of technology for residents of the city, we are going to help these people gain access to what the community has to offer. Although much of the city of Rio is focused on looking its best under the spotlight, our task is to ensure that the local people are still receiving everything they need to survive daily life. The Right to the City is a right that everyone has, even during times of great chaos and when under global scrutiny.

    Grace Bucking

  • In 3 short years, Rio de Janeiro will experience the Summer Olympics, an event bound to bring revenue to the locals, publicity to corporate business’ and urban inclusivity to the lower class. Recently, Brazil’s favelas have garnered much attention due to the mass of gang violence and drug trade. Brazil face a difficult task of shaping up the lower classes in time for the Olympics, let alone the World Cup that will be held in Rio during the summer of 2014. How the urban population will be control in the World Cup will shape how the Olympic gains attention. I for one, believe that the urban population need more attention, but not with police, with more inclusivity in the city.

    When you look at all major cities, public transportation is very important. How the lower classes are included into the city is a factor included into every economy. Without the lower class, jobs that are necessary, but unwanted, will not be filled. This realization leads me to my point about public transportation. The lower class needs a way to maneuver around the city, but currently in Brazil, there is “inadequate public transportation.” During the 2012 summer Olympics in London, a brand new transport system called the “Javelin.” Looking beyond the Olympics, the citizens of London, a population of 8 million, will benefit for years to come. How Bazil uses the money from the Olympics and World Cup will be vital to urban inclusivity. The summer Olympics are expected to require a “$14.4 billion budget, including $11.6 billion in public investments.” The $11.6 billion in public investments holds a critical edge. With the public needed to chip in so much money, it is only reasonable for them to expect a reward in re-investment after the Olympic games. Examples of this have already started, “a light rail system also is slated to be built. It will connect the new port zone” around Rio.

    A major concern revolving around the Olympics is how the favelas will be controlled. In the past 5 years, much attention has been directed towards the drug lords and gang violence in the Brazilian favelas. During October 2012, 1,300 policemen took over a favela near Rio called Manguinhos in under 20 minutes. Manguinhos is located 6 miles from downtown Rio and has a population of around 70 thousand. Over 132 pounds of cocaine was seized. Now as a city that is preparing to host two of the biggest known world events in the next 4 years, the favelas need to be fixed. While most of the light has been shed in a negative light, the affluence is rising in Brazil’s favelas. State aid has begun to help the residents of favelas, which in turn helps jobs hire more workers and create the new middle class. In the past ten years the unemployment rate in Brazil has dropped from 12 percent to 6 percent. The increased affluence in the favelas and newly minted middle class has been a major economic factor.

    Brazil’s economy has been on the upturn recently, while the rest of the world has done the complete opposite. The favelas seem to have potential to be straightened out before the summer Olympics in 2016. The government has shown signs of putting some money back into the city, so much is expected for Brazil.

  • Is the upcoming arrival of the World Cup and Olympics improving Rio de Janeiro, or is it doing more harm than good? Brazil has won the opportunity to host two of the main sports events in the world. In the process of getting ready, the city has to refurbish the current infrastructure and build new venues for the events. More complicated, however, is dealing with social issues that might create problems during the games.  A stipulation of getting the Olympic bid was that the city would improve its problems with crime and violence. A new government program called “Pacification” is working to that end. This government action has been focused on the favelas; where the poorest people of Rio live. This act of pacification consists of having the government send in police to root out drug traffickers, and then installing a permanent police presence in the neighborhood.  While the police historically would go in to do an operation and then leave, they now stay and make sure things are kept under control. On our trip to Brazil we heard from various people and got different perspectives on their ideas and thoughts about this government action. Two people we heard from were Julia Michaels and Jamie Lerner.

    Julia was the first person we met with when we traveled to Rio. Julia is an American-born writer who has lived in Brazil for more than thirty years. We had the wonderful opportunity to meet with her on the day after we arrived. Julia maintains a blog where she writes about Rio and the transformation it is going through due to these games.

    She talked to us about what she knew had been going on for the preparation for these mega events, and then we asked questions. Some of the things I found out were that she doesn’t feel confident that the government’s actions are going to improve the living conditions in those neighborhoods, after the games departure. She said these mega events are having a negative impact for the poor people, and nothing has gotten better for those who need it.

    One final resource was Jamie Lerner. He was the Mayor of Curitiba multiple times. He now is in private practice working as an architect with other people on mainly improving transportation. He is still actively involved in designing public area usage, for example, the waterfront in Porto Alegre. We got to ask him questions about pacification and if he thought it was helping the favelas or not.  Some of his thoughts were that it is helping a lot, but not everything has been solved. There has been a great improvement for violence and drug trafficking. He knows the people that live in the favelas and does not think they are any different to those who live in the city.

    Overall, pacification is helping improve the city by lowering rates of violence. A negative part to it is that it is also hiding the true culture of Rio by hiding the favelas from the visitors of the soon to come World Cup and the Olympics.