Original article in Portuguese published here.
Projects developed to modernize Rio’s favelas will be presented beginning Tuesday, June 26 in an exhibition called FavelaCity Exchange in downtown Rio de Janeiro. Among the offerings, based on principles of sustainability, are constructions using concrete and bricks made from recycled materials, buildings that optimize natural ventilation and light, and houses with systems to reuse rain water.
All of the proposals were created by Masters and Doctoral students in architecture at Swiss university ETH Zurich, a world leader in multidisciplinary research and education. The group visited Rio communities, such as City of God in the city’s More >
While a group of curious outsiders, including me, visited the favela Complexo da Penha, a few locals and a tame toy poodle named Borris tagged along. Since many Americans don’t visit this part of Rio very often, the locals took this chance as an opportunity to learn more about the United States. One of them tried to corroborate what she heard on television, so she asked me if I had ever experienced earthquakes and hurricanes and I said yes to both. Her eyes grew wide with horror. “We have none of that in Rio,” she said proudly. Someone else butts More >
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As the closing of Rio’s giant Jardim Gramacho landfill is presented at Rio+20 as an example of substituting an untreated open facility for a modern waste treatment plant, the community that worked there as the city’s recycling force for the last three decades face an uncertain future.
The largest garbage dump in Latin America, the metropolitan landfill of Jardim Gramacho received Rio’s daily 9,000 tons of trash up until its closure on June 3rd. Catapulted into the international limelight by the 2010 Oscar-nominated documentary Waste Land, the landfill’s 1,700 registered recyclable material collectors – catadores in Portuguese – are receiving a lump sum More >
Bold words inscribed in Carlos Alberto Costa’s ink marked our group’s entry into Favela Asa Branca: “True leaders don’t create followers; they create more leaders.” Carlos, better known as Bezerra, the president of the Resident’s Association of Asa Branca, is a tremendous figure more than balanced by a tremendously inviting persona that manifests itself in the way he jokes with his residents, in the familiarity with which he embraces his visitors, and in the eagerness that accompanies his stories of old struggles and successes. Gentle attention accompanies his every step, his every word: just the personality needed to coordinate a self-built More >
In front of Rio’s Museum of Modern Art, at the heart of the Rio+20 People’s Summit, community leaders gathered on Saturday morning to create a collective narrative of the favela today. Organized by CatComm, the event brought together representatives from five very different favelas in all three major zones of the city, citizens from the asphalt (or formal city) and NGO representatives in a dynamic discussion of the major themes that can be said to define Rio’s favelas in 2012.
The debate opened with explanations of how the different communities were established, largely by Northeastern workers contracted in the various stages More >