Brazilian architecture professor Ana Luiza Nobre and her students at Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, have been meticulously collecting data for their online project RioNow since 2009, when the city was selected to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. The website, which houses extensive research on how the athletic event has impacted Rio, includes a timeline of constructions throughout the city—highlighting important aspects such as locations, and national events which affected building projects. The result is a jarring picture of economic inequality.
The Olympic Park, which also struggled with poorly built structures, ended up displacing 22,000 families in order to create an aesthetically pleasing facade for the world to see. However, new the construction was constricted to only one side of the city, creating a clear line between government housing in the west side, and brand new facilities on the east.
In fact, instead of tackling core issues such as a functioning sewage system, the city proposed the installation of favela cable cars (neither of which were ultimately constructed), illustrating a major gap between what the city and its inhabitants believed to be essential additions.
Though Rio has been in the spotlight recently, Nobre argues that it is not an isolated incident. "The situation in Rio is a good example for people who want to understand Brazil. [It is] like this all over the country," she say in an interview with CityLab.
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