Rio case study

  • Created by: ellamay.x
  • Created on: 20-04-18 17:18

Rio de Janeiro introduction

- Brazil is both an LIC (low income country) and an NEE (newly emerging economy). It is also one of the BRICS group, which show economic importance (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

- Rio is situated on the South-East coast of Brazil and has formed around a natural bay called Guanabara Bay.

- Rio isn't a megacity but is still considered a 'world city' with five ports and three airports.

- The 'Christ the Redeemer' statue is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and attracts many tourists.

- Rio has hosted the 2014 football World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

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Migration and economic opportunities

- Rio has a combined population of 19 million.

- People from all over the world migrate to Rio in search of work and business opportunities.

- Rio has a higher birth rate than the death rate, so has a natural population increase ---> BR: 17 per 1,000     DR: 6 per 1,000

- Rio is the second largest city in Brazil ---> provides 5% of Brazil's GDP and over 6% of Brazil's jobs.

- Key industries include: banking, tourism, oil refining and textiles.

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Rio de Janeiro's Favelas

- Around 40% of Rio's population live in favelas.

- They are mainly concentrated around the South Zone.

- Rocinha is Rio's largest favela.

- Rocinha's official population is 75,000 but it could be up to three times more.

- Favelas are often associated with crime, unemployment and a lack of healthcare and education.

- However, 90% of houses in Rochina are built with brick and have electricity, water and sewage systems.

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Education challenges

- Education is only compulsory for children ages 6-14.

- Only half of Rio's children continue with school past the age of 14.

- Some children who drop out get involved with gangs and crime.

- Rio has a shortage of schools and teachers, leading to poor enrolment.

Education opportunities

- The government have encouraged local people to volunteer in schools.

- Grants are given to poor families to keep their children in school.

- Charity projects in Rochina help to run schools and sports clubs.

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- Unemployment rates in favelas are over 20%.

- Most of the workers in favelas work in the informal economy sector (cash in hand jobs that don't pay any tax).

- Examples of these types of jobs include a street vendor, maid or labourer.

- Projects have been set up to try and improve education for young people who come from poorer areas.

- They are also taught practical skills.

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Healthcare challenges

- Only 55% of Rio's population have access to a local family health clinic.

- Services for the elderly and pregnant women are very poor, especially in the North Zone.

Healthcare solutions

- The Santa Marta favela has set up a project where medical staff take health kits and medicines up to people's homes.

- The favela is 13km away from the nearest hospital so this project is vital.

- As a result, infant mortality rates have fallen and life expectancy has increased in the favela.

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Sanitation and water supply

Sanitation and water supply challenges

- Around 12% of the population used to not have access to running water.

- 37% was lost through leaks and illegal use.

Sanitation and water supply solutions

- Seven new water treatment plants were built between 1998 and 2015.

- Over 300km of new pipes were laid.

- 95% of the population now have access to a mains supply (2014).

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Energy resources

Energy resources challenges

- The whole city experiences frequent blackouts due to the lack of electricity.

- Many people in favelas illegally tap into electricity supplies, which is risky.

Energy resources solutions

- 60km of new power lines.

- A HEP power station has been built near Rio which opened in 2013, which increased the city's energy supply by 30%.

- It took six years to build and cost $2 billion.

- A new nuclear power station was built too.

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Crime challenges

- Robbery and violent crimes such as murder, kidnapping and armed assault all occur regularly.

- Levels of crime are especially high in favelas.

- Lots of violent gangs operate in Rio.

Crime solutions

- In 2013, Pacifying Police Units (PPUs) were established to reclaim favelas from gangs and drug dealers.

- They have been successful and police have taken over some favelas, including Complexo de Alemao.

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Air pollution and traffic congestion

- Rio is South America's most congested city.

- Air pollution causes 5,000 death a year.

- The number of cars in Rio has increased by 40% in the last decade.


- The Metro system has been expanded to 41 stations.

- The 'Surface Metro' bus service has also been expanded.

- New toll roads have been introduced.

- Coastal roads are made one-way in rush hour to improve traffic flow.

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Water pollution

- Guanabara Bay is highly polluted by the 55 rivers that flow into it.

- Over 200 tonnes of raw sewage and 50 tonnes of industrial waste flow into the bay every day.

- There have been oil spills in the bay.

- Because of the pollution, commercial fishing has declined by 90% in the last 20 years.


- Twelve new sewage works have been built since 2004 at the cost of $68 million.

- 5km of new sewage pipes have been laid.

- Ships are fined for dumping unused fuel into the bay illegally.

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Waste disposal


- The worst waste problems are in favelas, as rubbish collection trucks struggle to reach them due to the steep hills.

- Dumped waste also adds to the water pollution and encourages rats.


- A power station that burns methane from rotting rubbish was built.

- It consumes 30 tonnes of rubbish every day.

- This rubbish generates enough electricity to power 1,000 homes.

- This is called 'waste-to-energy'.

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The Favela Bairro Project

- The Favela-Bairro Project is a scheme that helps to improve favelas.

- The scheme gives land to residents to improve their homes.

- One of the improved favelas is Complexo do Alemao, which is home to 26,000 people.

Strategies used

- A cable car has been built which allows residents to reach Ipanema quickly and safely.

- Residents get one return ticket for free daily.

- Sanitation has been improved.

- Hillsides have been secured from landslides and the roads have been paved and formally named.

- New education and health facilities.

- Mortgages are now available so people can buy their homes.

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The Favela Bairro Project: success or not?


Quality of life has been improved.

- Many more favelas have copied the project and have also improved.


- The budget of $1 billion may not cover every favela.

- More schools are still needed.

- Rent prices have increased in the improved favelas, meaning the poorest people have been forced to leave.

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