Environmental challenges in Rio

  • traffic congestion- most congested city in South America which increases stress and pollution
  • Lots of steep mountains - main roads on costal lowlands become congested
  • new toll roads in the city to reduce congestion
  • making coastal roads one-way in rush hour to improve traffic flow
  • rivers polluted by run-off from open sewers in the favelas
  • 50 tonnes of industrial waste enters the bay each day
  • 12 new sewage networks
  • ships fined for discharging fuel into the bay illegally
  • favelas are built on steep slopes so they have no lorries, so it is dumped in the river-cholera
  • power plant set up using methane from rotting rubbish, and this provides enough energy for 1000 homes
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  • It is the largest favela in Rio
  • built on steep hillsides looking over Ipanema and Copacabana
  • schools
  • health facilities 
  • retail facilities including food and clothes shops 
  • 90% houses are made from brick and have electricity
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The challenges of squatter settlements

  • limited road access
  • unstable, so heavy rain results in landslides
  • sewers are open drains
  • homes use illegal connections to electricity pylons
  • unemployment rate in the favelas is 20%
  • most employment is poorly paid, with irregular jobs in the informal sector
  • CRIME:
  • murder rate of 20/1000
  • drug gangs dominate many favelas
  • some infant mortaility rates are as high as 50/1000
  • waste can't be disposed of, so it builds up in the streets increasing the danger of disease
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Improving the favelas

  • Rehousing people from favelas in basic housing
  • Forced eviction from favelas to clear land for development
  • Developing rural areas to encorage people to live there
  • Raising taxes on the rich to help house the poor
  • Developing cultural activities for youths to prevent them getting involved in crime 
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Favela Bairro project (an example of urban plannin

  • Site and Service scheme - authorities provide land and services for residents to build homes
  • e.g. Complexo de Alemao
  • paved and formally named roads
  • access to water supply and drainage system (sanitation)
  • hillsides secured and people relocated  (landlsides)
  • health, leisure and education facilities built
  • cable car installed to Ipanema (one free return ticket per day)
  • access to credit to allow inhabitants to buy materials for their homes
  • 100% mortgages available to buy homes
  • UPPs set up with police patrolling the comminity to reduce crime
  • SUCCESS - quality of life, mobility and employment prospects have improved 
  • also used for other Brazilian cities
  • FAILURE - budget ($1 million USD) may not cover all favelas
  • new infrastructure not maintained - residents do not have the skills to repair it
  • training required to improve literacy and employment 
  • rent has increased - the poor are even more worse off
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RIO DE JANEIRO (a case study of a major city in an


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