Rio de Janeiro - urban growth

Case study of a major city in an LIC or NEE.

  • Created by: tas.xq
  • Created on: 31-03-19 12:03

Background information

Rio is an emerging city in Brazil.

  • The second most populated city in Brazil
  • Millions of people have been migrating from urban to rural areas (like Rio)
    • This is usually to look for better opportunities (rio has national and international significance)

Rio is ...

  • The cultural capital of Brazil
  • UNESCO world heritage site
  • host of 2016 olympics and 2014 world cup
  • 2nd most important industrial centre (in brazil)
  • Major port
  • Statue of Christ the Redeemer
  • One of the most visited places in southern hemisphere
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City challenges

Access to Services and resources:

  • 55% of populution without access to a local clinic
  • 1/2 of Children continue education beyond 14
  • 12% without access to running water
  • Blackouts are frequent (due to powercuts)
  • Hight crime rates
  • WAGES - wide gap between rich and poor
  • People living in favelas often work in the informal sector
  • High unemployment in favelas
  • Pollution (high) - industialization and poor sanitation
  • Squatter settlements built on unstable hilltops
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City challenges (more info)

Air Pollution:

  • Estimate = 5000 deaths per year
    • Heavy traffic congestion (extra exhaust fumes)
    • Pollutants from factories

Traffic Congestion:

  • Lots of steep areas - roads only built of lowland (coastal) - becomes congested
  • Tunnels through mountains connect areas of the city
  • Cars + 40% in last decade
    • High crime rates (people prefer travelling by car)


  • expanding metro system (under Guanabara bay)
  • Toll roads
  • One way roads during rush hour
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City challenges (more info)

Water Pollution:

  • Guanabara Bay highly populated (threat to wildlife)
  • Commercial fishing declined by 905 in last 20 years
  • Pollution could affect major beaches

Causes ...

  • Lots of polluted rivers flow into bay
  • Polluted from runoff (open sewers) + industrial waste + oil spills
  • Ships empty fuel tanks in bay


  • New sewage works built since 2004 ($68 mill.)
  • Ships fined for emptying fuel in rivers
  • 5km of sewage pipes in badly polluted areas
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City challenges (more info)

Waste Pollution:

  • Worst problems in Favelas
    • Location of Favelas difficult to get to.
    • Most waste is dumped and pollutes water system (risk of disease spreading)


  • Power plant set up (uses biogas)
    • uses 30 tonnes of rubbish per day (enough electricity for 1000 homes)
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City Opportunities

· Rio has one of the highest income/person in Brazil

· 6% of Bravil's total employment

· Improving people's access to services and resources

· Economic development ( growing industrial areas)

· + industrialized = + wealth

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There are up to 1000 favelas in Rio:

  • 60% are in the suburbs
  • 25% are in the outer parts of the city (some are 40km from the city centre)
    • Authorities have cleared those near the city centre (makes Rio more attractive for business and tourism)

ROCHINA: the largest favela in Rio

- 2000 : 75,000 - now likely to be 3x higher (population)


  • 90% of houses with all main resources
  • Many houses have TVs and fridges
  • The Favela has its own newspaper and radio station
  • Has retail facilities
  • Access to schools, health facilities and a private university
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Challenges of the favelas


  • Houses are poorly constructed (self built with basic materials)
  • Built on steep slopes (landslides)
    • 2010 - 224 people killed in a landslide and 13,000 lost their homes
  • Limited road access


  • Rates as high as 20%
  • Most of employment is in the informal sector (poorly paid)
  • Avg. income may be less than £75/month


  • 12% with no running water, 30%+ with no electricity, 50% with no sewage conections
  • Illegal connections to pylons and open sewage
  • Water from tapping into city and taps at bottom of slope (several trips/day)
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Challenges of the favelas


  • High murder rate (20 per 1000 in many favelas)
  • Drug gangs dominate many favelas
  • People distrust the police duet o violence and corruption


  • High population densities
  • Infant mortality -as high as 50 per 1000
  • Waste is not removed so builds up on streets, this increases danger of disease
  • Burning rubbish sets fire to wooden houses + smoke is harmful
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