A Divided Rio de Janeiro, Overreaching for the World – NYTimes.com

More on the (slow) rise of Brazil:

But as months of street protests illustrate, progressive ideals run up against age-old, intractable problems in this city where class difference and corruption are nearly as immovable as the mountains. This is a city divided on itself.

That divide is nowhere more apparent than in the mayor’s gargantuan, $4 billion port redevelopment plan, which envisions turning an industrial area on the scale of Lower Manhattan into the glittering, skyscraper-filled hub for a new global Rio.

via A Divided Rio de Janeiro, Overreaching for the World – NYTimes.com.


6 thoughts on “A Divided Rio de Janeiro, Overreaching for the World – NYTimes.com”

  1. I am scared that all this “development” in Rio is nothing more than a smokescreen to hide the true poverty in Brazil. Of course with the Olympics and the World Cup, Brazil wants to prove that it is equal to the task and on the same footing as other major world powers. But once the games are done, the people of Brazil will be no better off and in fact, will probably be in a worse situation because of all the wasted money that could have been used for real development.

  2. Money is to be used to make more money, and not to be given away as charity. The people who fill the “favelas” of Rio are people who came from other regions of the country without any education or preparation, and tried unsuccessfully to find jobs in Rio. Frustrated and with no money, these immigrants took public land and made it their own, and often these lands were in dangerous areas that shouldn’t have construction. What the government of Rio needs to do is to provide resources for the people who work hard to bring about growth to the country, and that is what this development plan is about. When a country invests in its private sector and industries there is more growth overall, and even those uneducated and unprepared people will benefit from the creation of more jobs.

  3. It’s a normal occurrence to see countries to which the World Cup or Olympics come build up all kinds of public projects in preparation for the world’s attention. It’s also a normal occurrence to see these kinds of projects draw criticism for using public funds to beautify and impress rather than build up basic infrastructure and programs, especially in developing countries. Brazil is not a developing country, but there is already widespread public unrest about many public programs, and particularly education. Often building projects for the World Cup are at least a source of pride to the local people, something to point to and be proud of, but it’s too bad to see at least from this article that there is great dissatisfaction with the ineptness of these buildings.

  4. I remember when the Vancouver 2010 olympics were happening and a lot of people in my town were upset because we were paying higher taxes “just to impress the world.” Three years later, we are still paying for the olympics. I think that the olympics are a positive event, but should not contribute to the debt of a nation or take money away from where it is actually needed.

  5. “City face lift” is the perfect way to describe the cities that have too much to fix in too little time. The countries that are hosting these big events recognize that they need better transportation, need attractions, and need to have pretty places for tourists to visit. It is a shame, though, that these changes take precedence over issues facing the population. Like was said above, education and reliable housing are key issues that are not being adequately addressed. It seems that it is more important to the government of Brazil that other countries are impressed and comfortable in their stay than Brazilians are in their life. Hopefully, these events are only kick-starters to continued changes, and hopefully those changes become more effective for cultivating communities.

  6. The World Cup and Olympics are events that could be extremely beneficial to Brazil was not for the corrupt political and social system. Big events such the ones about to happen would be a great way to move the economy, provide more jobs and advertise the country. However, in a place where every politician and government worker is making a profit out of the constructions that take place (and we’re speaking of giant quantities of money and thousands of people involved) it is impossible for the population to be happy with the upcoming events. Not only projects cost absurd amounts of money but are also inefficient and poorly done. For the Cup of Confederations air conditioning systems had to be placed outside of stadiums (that costed more than $1 billion to remodel), because the project wasn’t finished on time. All this waste and negligence with public money causes the population and the rest of the world to wonder if big events are actually beneficial.

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