Archive for August, 2011
Vila Autódromo remains in all phases of the project, see top left corner of the “Olympic Site Triangle:”
As I climbed Morro da Babilônia, up the Leme hillside overlooking Copacabana, I was taken aback by this community’s sheer beauty. Unlike many of the favelas here in Rio, Babilônia sports wide, paved roads with trees lining the walk and scenery that stopped me dead in my tracks. As my friend and I made our way up to meet with the director of Babilônia’s reforestation cooperative, CoopBabilônia, we both agreed that this would be a community both of us would be happy to call home.
Like many other communities here, Babilônia has been assigned by the city of Rio de Janeiro More >
Visitors arriving in Rio de Janeiro are greeted not by Copacabana or Christ the Redeemer, as the postcards suggest, but by a white church perched atop a domed hill. It is the first landmark visible from the international airport, the Rio-Niteroi Bridge, and major freeways. The Santuário de Nossa Senhora da Penha, or simply the Igreja da Penha (Penha Church), was constructed in 1635. According to legend, a local landowner was hiking when a large snake appeared in his path. Fearing for his life, he prayed to the Virgin Mary, and an even larger lizard appeared and attacked the snake. More >
Debates on urban policy tend either to be basically theoretical – who wins, who loses, and why – or else technical – this regulation, that subsidy; this legal process, that funding source. But Carlos Alberto “Bezerra” Costa, President of the Neighborhood Association for the community of Asa Branca, is a reminder of how much urban development can be directed, not by theory or policy, but by personality.
As head of this self-built, self-contained neighborhood on a flat plain in Jacarepaguá, Bezerra is the resolute captain of a ship rocked by the first waves of the Olympics’ turbulent waters. A short walk More >
“É uma vista privilegiada,” – it’s a priviledged view – explains Cremilson Rosa de Oliveira as he sits atop his hostel in construction in the heart of Cantagalo, Rio’s 3rd oldest favela. The striking views of Copacabana and Ipanema beach from the top of a favela provide a fascinating, juxtaposed and accurate picture of Rio’s extreme inequality.
The hostel, to be named Alto Ipanema (High Ipanema), is set to open at the end of 2011, just in time for New Years and Carnival, and de Oliveira anticipates many more tourists through the hostel’s doors with the mega-events scheduled for the coming More >