Adopt a public space in Rio

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O Dia
October 2018

Rio’s mayor, Marcelo Crivella, launched the digital platform Adote.Rio, in which companies, citizens and social organizations can sign up to adopt trees, flower beds, gardens, squares, parks, monuments and fountains in the city. There is no need to pay anything to City Hall for the adoption of a public space. The company or the person who decides to participate in the project is responsible for the maintenance of the area or equipment. On the other hand, their name will be linked to the adoption via a plaque that holds a QR code.

“Adote.Rio arrives at a time when the city needs creativity, in a moment of crisis. We no longer live in a time of populist solutions. This is the spirit of Adote.Rio. We will only overcome this difficult moment with work and solidarity”, said Crivella.

The adoption of the city’s common-use public assets and green areas already exists. Today, Rio has 256 areas, of which 36 are squares. The total space for adoption is 1.5 million square meters, equivalent to three Quintas da Boa Vista.

“What does someone who adopts an area have to do?” “Maintain it,” he says, “as you would your own house.” Make that environment nice and clean. Each person will see what needs do be done according to the space’s use. There will be no expenses beyond these, but it is important to know that the adoption does not give the right to commercial use of the area,” said Cristina Monteiro, Director of Planning and Projects of the Parks and Gardens Foundation.

The Institute of Environmental Events (IEVA) is one of the partners that takes part in this experience. The area they adopted in January of this year is the Recanto do Trovador Park, the former Zoo in Vila Isabel in the Zona Norte. Since then, the now well-taken care of space – which before was visited by 350 people per month – receives 3,000 visitors. “It is a contribution to the community of Morro dos Macacos, above all, adjacent to the park and which has a large need of a leisure area. When companies or citizens do this, they disown City Hall and allow the government to shift its attention to more schools, hospitals and other important sectors,” said IEVA President Alexandre Gontijo.

Mongeral Aegon, an insurance and pension company, has adopted a two-block area two years ago at Travessa Belas Artes and Rua Imperatriz, near Praça Tiradentes, in the city center. The initiative enhanced the area around its headquarters and even improved the atmosphere among employees. “Adopting is worth it. This has created a relaxed atmosphere not only for the neighborhood but also for the employees, who come here with joy today because the surrounding area has become more valuable and more pleasant,” said Isauro Cardoso, advisor to the company’s president.

According to City Hall, the platform Adote.Rio was created to expand this movement and facilitate partnerships, with total transparency. First, areas and monuments downtown will be offered for adoption. Little by little, adoption options in other neighborhoods of the city will be added to the portal. Today, the city of Rio counts 2,200 urbanized plazas, 36 urban parks, 1,300 monuments and fountains and 450 kilometers of bike path as adoptable spaces.

“Those who love (something), take care of it, That’s the spirit of the Adote.Rio portal: to make a rapprochement between those who love a place, in this case, the citizen or the company, and the public good that is the target of this love, so that it may be adopted,” said the city secretary for the Environment, Roberto Nascimento.

How Adote.Rio Works

Initially, downtown areas and their surroundings that are available for adoption, such as Cidade Nova, Santa Teresa, Santo Cristo and São Cristóvão, will be listed on Adote.Rio. This does not prevent spaces from other regions from being adopted. But the idea is that this list is fed continuously, with the insertion of new areas in the city available at each update.

“All the squares and gardens that can be adopted are already cataloged on the site, and it is very easy: just click on the link, sign up and choose which areas to adopt, for example: a bench in a plaza, or a set of playgrounds in another plaza. All that is needed, including documentation, is easily found on the site,” commented the president of Iplan-Rio, Fábio Pimentel.

The digital platform Adote.Rio, created by Rio’s City Hall, is a partnership between Parks and Gardens Foundation, Superintendency of Downtown, João Goulart Foundation, Secretariat of Conservation and Environment, and IplanRio. – Source (PT)

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Origins of the Animal Game

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I translated pieces of an article from 1963 and posted them below. You’ll read about how the animal game was played in Cambodia, how different variations of the game pre-existed the one we all know (including the more prominent flower game), and that Brazilians have a Mexican to thank for the continuation and proliferation of the game in Rio.

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Jornal do Brasil
12/13/1963

Despite a law to the contrary, the animal game is considered one of the most serious institutions in Brazil. And every afternoon, from one end of the country to the other, Brazilians ask themselves: “What animal did you get?” The animal game only exists in Brazil and in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The animal game started to be played in Brazil and only a few years later it was introduced in Phnom Penh. Senator Érico Coelho (depicted), who in 1915 proposed to congress the legalization of the animal game throughout the country – which occurred for the first time – justified his bill with the fact that it was an eminently Brazilian game, warning that it would be easier pass a camel through the eye of a needle than to make people stop gambling on the camel.

Before the animal game appeared in Brazil, there existed, with the same characteristics, the game of flowers, fruits, birds and numbers. Before the advent of the animal game, the numbers game was very popular in Espírito Santo. The flower game, however, was the one that had the most fans throughout the whole country. As in the current animal game, the other games consisted of 25 numbers, a fact for which no one has yet found an explanation. […] A Mexican, by the name of Manoel Ismael Zevada, was the biggest financier of the flower game in Rio. His bank was on Rua do Ouvidor, according to the chroniclers of Old Rio.

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(Almanak Laemmert: Administrativo, Mercantil e Industrial do Rio de Janeiro, 1900)

This is where the Barão de Drummond comes into play. João Batista Viana Drummond, a friend of Dom Pedro II, from Minas Gerais, would address Princess Isabel as “my angel” and, in her honor, named the farm on his property after her. It would become Vila Isabel – on the former Fazenda do Macaco, where he founded a zoo (on the slope of the Serra do Engenho Novo), which was the first that Rio had. […] Because he was one of the monarchists who supported Marechal Deodoro da Fonseca, Barão de Drummond fell into disgrace with Marechal Floriano Peixoto, who cut the annual sum that the Federal Government gave for the maintenance of his Zoo by 10 contos de réis. That was in 1892.

The Mexican, Zevada, knowing that Barão de Drummond was going to close the Zoo, due to a lack of financing, proposed the animal game – just as he did on Rua do Ouvidor – in order to keep it going.

Quickly, the animal game dominated the city and the zoo was no longer big enough for the visitors, who went to Vila Isabel to gamble more than they went there to see the animals in the zoo.

In less than a year there wasn’t a corner in Rio without an animal game, which alarmed the police, who prohibited it at the zoo. Already rooted in the habits of the carioca, it began to be played out of sight…

Source (pdf, PT)

Law of urban responsibility

Nothing guarantees that the population will see the results of promises made in the Constitution, in the laws, or in the Master Plans, to be able to live in a good city. I insist: there is no mechanism within the public administration that protects society from the inefficiency, segregation and diseconomy produced by badly planned and badly managed cities.

The emphasis on management is not for nothing. Even an ill-conceived neighborhood could have its environmental qualities increased if good public spaces were created and, of course, if they were well maintained.

Well-designed streets, places to socialize, urban afforestation, cleanliness, planning and conservation are underrated formulas for success.

They do not alleviate infrastructure shortages, but when they are not implemented, they corrode everyday life. They create empathy for degradation. “That’s the way it is” or “It’s illegal, so what?”

I heard this from Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, a landscape architect, responsible for the rehabilitation of Central Park in New York. Betsy Rogers transformed a den of crime and violence in the 1980s into one of the world’s most vibrant urban parks by simply doing what she defined with three key actions: cleanliness, beauty, and conservation.

Note that “security” was not listed. By qualifying the urban experience, making it inclusive, and always taken care of, there is an increase in good use.

William H. White, another American urban planner, innovator in the field of human behavior in public space, said: “The so-called ‘undesirable people’ are not the problem. It’s the measures taken to fight them, that’s the problem… The best way to deal with the problem of undesirables is to take action and make it attractive to everyone else.”

We verified this hypothesis when the iron bars at Tiradentes Square were removed, in downtown Rio. The place became alive. Fear had motivated the placement of the bars. Franchised and well cared for, it actually came together. However, it was not the simple removal of the bars that produced this effect, but a set of urban management actions that kept it clean, orderly, beautiful and preserved over time.

I insist on the smallest scale. In an urbanism that moves. In a new pedestrian authority. A less pretentious or revolutionary urbanism. More inclusive and loving spaces. This is no small matter. But how?

Despite the advances of the 1988 Constitution, the City Statute, from 2001, and now the newest Metropolis Statute, from 2015, life in Brazilian cities has not improved. Every 13 years or so, we made laws to say “what”, but never to say “how”.

I propose a Law of Urban Responsibility.

The Fiscal Responsibility Law, made in 2000, said how the government should manage public finances. It’s not perfect, but it has ensured social control and transparency with clear goals, making the administrator responsible. There is a clear understanding of the benefits of this way of taking care of the public good.

For another important collective good – the city – Master Plans are made, which, if not attended to, do not imply responsibility for administrators. Such plans err in failing to set goals. This function has been assigned to Strategic Plans.

Rio has been using this methodology since the Cesar Maia administration, when, in 1993, the “Rio Sempre Rio” plan was made. That’s where the vision for and pursuit of the Olympics came from. Then, in 2004, they made “As Cidades da Cidade”, where the “city” of Arts, Samba, and Children come from.

During the 2008 elections, candidates Fernando Gabeira and Eduardo Paes signed on with the Rio Como Vamos initiative for adopting goals.

Having been elected, Paes initially made a 2020 plan and set targets for the end of his first term. In 2013, the State created job titles within the city, known as Goal Management Analysts. And a new plan, with a view towards 2030, and targets for 2016. This methodology was added to the practice of agreements for result and bonuses, giving the city a glimpse of speedier management.

Just when it elaborated a strategic plan with a greater temporal scope, the Plano Rio 500 –  looking towards 2065, and with a greater participation process, and again creating goals for the next four years – the TRE-RJ made Paes and the candidate for his succession, Pedro Paulo, ineligible.

The Marcelo Crivella administration is continuing the methodology and the Strategic Plan.

A collective culture of participatory elaboration of goals in Rio is being consolidated.

But how can results be ensured?

This management model is recommended by the National Front of Mayors and even by international entities, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Based on the 2010 Census, the IBGE launched the unprecedented study “Intra-urban Typology: Spaces of Socioeconomic Differentiation in Urban Concentrations in Brazil”, which shows how acute territorial inequality is. Only 24% of the population in Brazilian urban concentrations live in conditions considered good.

The Constitution and the City Statute failed. There is no use for Plans that do not define goals. There is no point in participating if goals are not achieved.

The Brazilian population needs an Urban Responsibility Law that punishes administrators that don’t strive to make a good city for everyone. – Source (PT)

End of the UPP is nigh

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“We’re just waiting for the order to get out of here.” The Pacifying Police Units (UPPs) budget cut and the law that leaves them subordinate to police battalions were, for the police, two blows by the government declaring the end of the project. On Tuesday, the vote on next year’s Budgetary Law at Alerj, which cut R$500 million from the MP, removed the little bit of hope from MPs who still saw a chance. If in 2017 the maintenance budget of the UPPs was R$5.4 million, for the coming year the 38 units will only have R$10 thousand. The total, mockingly, is equivalent to R$833 per month or R$21 per month for each of the UPPs.

“We’ve been dealing with this instability for months. We don’t know when it’ll end, the only certainty is that it will end at some point”, says a UPP police officer.

Ostensive Policing in Favelas may be Comprimised

Changes in the structure of the project can lead to an increase in the sense of security outside the favelas. This is because the group employed in the poor communities will be added to the battalion’s operational framework – currently at a shortage. Within areas of conflict, however, ostensible policing will not be seen frequently, say CPP (Pacifying Police Coordination) sources.

According to the text of Law 7.799, which was already sanctioned by the governor and currently in the regulatory phase, “the battalion commanders, to which UPP subordination was assigned, will have to add all the existing contingent of UPPs servants to their operational framework, to remove, transfer, exchange and even substitute the existing command posts.” The document also says that the UPPs will continue to carry out their activities, but that their operational framework may be modified.

The transference of the troops to the battalions can also put at stake the MPs’ R$700 salary bonus.

“The state needs to save money, and the battalions need reinforcement. The name “UPP” will remain, the community stations will continue, but ostensible policing inside the favelas will end – said a CPP source, who also notes the sad failing of social projects. – Unfortunately, this ends all articulation of social projects, which is what makes UPP what it is.

With the restructuring of the UPPs, the CPP will become a “supervisory body”, with its captain having prerogatives only in order to guide and define areas of risk, with the PM general commander deliberating the implementation or deactivation of the sites within the State. The coordinating body, which currently functions as the UPP HQ, should no longer control, for example, the Intelligence sector and the special police unit, which acts in community conflicts.

“The CPP will become a kind of Area Police Command (CPA) and should lose about 90% of its staff.”

Between PMs, there is no more light at the end of the tunnel. Many have shown an interest in leaving the favelas, given the vulnerability of poor vehicles and weapons.

“Everything is lacking. Minimal work conditions and a lot of stress. Precarious vehicles and weapons. Everyone wants to leave the favelas. UPP is an operationally failed project”, reveals a soldier.

Devalued Population

Residents living in UPP areas also did not believe in the continuity of the project. For social activist Mariluce Mariá, from Complexo do Alemão, the UPP was nothing more than an “artificial dream”. For her, health and education should have been priorities from the start.

“The security that we always needed was investment in health and education. If the state had invested more in the human being and less in this war on drugs, we would all have had a positive return. Because the insecurity within the favelas also exists outside them, but within favelas it stands out due to the lack of specific public policies. On paper, the UPP project is wonderful, every citizen’s dream, mainly those who live in an area of ​​risk. They present us with an artificial dream, which cannot be realized. Dreams can only come true when there are people committed to make them happen and that’s not what we see.”

On Wednesday, Security Secretary Roberto Sá lamented the 2018 budget cut, but said the police, “giving 2017 as an example, will seek partnerships to assist in the costs, besides establishing priority actions to guarantee service to the population”. In a statement, the secretary said that the creation of the Public Security Fund, approved by Alerj, could ease the needs of the Civil and Military police. – Source (PT)

Rio aims for its own High Line

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Mayor Marcelo Crivella wants a ‘High Line’ over Rio’s Central Station

Even while under criticism about the lack of urban care and money for healthcare, city council announced its intention to make a High Line in Rio, like the one in New York. Yesterday, Mayor Marcelo Crivella signed an agreement with Russia’s Olympic City Group that is prepared to develop, without cost to the city, a Public-Private Partnership to build a “suspended city” on the railway line between Central do Brasil and the Leopoldina station. The work is estimated at R$8 billion (US$2.49 billion), which should be raised within the private sector.

In New York, the High Line was built nine feet high, but over a deactivated railroad line. It started as a local initiative to revitalize the space and ended up as a large success among locals and tourists from all over the world. In the reform, about R$800 million (US$249 million) was spent, ten times less than what’s predicted for Rio’s project. But the Rio High Line has bigger ambitions and, in addition to gardens, plans to include shops and commercial buildings that would occupy an area of ​​about 1 million square meters. It would be 15 meters high on the SuperVia stations. The grandiose venture would pass close to communities, such as Morro da Providência, but the city did not address safety issues.

Olympic City Group says it will study a plan to occupy the area and analyze, for example, what changes would be needed in urban planning legislation. The investments would be made possible by a PPP similar to the one for the Porto Maravilha project, with the issuance of Additional Building Potential Certificates (Cepacs). The analysis is expected to be ready in six months.

The Cepacs formula is facing problems at the port due to the financial crisis, and the certificates ran aground. For six months, the city’s administration took over almost all the infrastructure-related maintenance services that were handled by concessionaire Porto Novo. And then, in a new operation, it began to inject more public money into the project, which returned into the hands of the concessionaire.

The High Line should be started in 2019. Rio’s city hall will still have to sign agreements with the federal and state governments, owners of part of the areas where the suspended gardens would be. – Source (PT)


Not mentioned in the article is the High Line is part of a larger project called Rio Sem Muros, to transform the railway line surrounding eight neighborhoods: Santa Cruz, Campo Grande, Bangu, Padre Miguel, Madureira, Engenho de Dentro and Meier. Read more here (PT)

Rio roadworks failed to help the poor

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World Cup and Olympic roadworks did little to improve Rio’s transport, says IPEA

A new study (PDF, in English) shows that increased social inequality regarding access to quality public transportation, and expensive fares, contribute to low demand for services.

The transportation infrastructure changes, made in Rio to hold the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, barely impacted the life of the city’s population. This is the conclusion (PT) of a study from the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA).

According to the survey, the economic crisis, the high cost of travel and the lack of fare integration help explain the low demand in relation to the means of transport built for these events.

“The investments, due to the World Cup and the Olympics, that could have reversed the situation, or at least ameliorated the situation, actually ended up reinforcing this inequality since the investments were just made in middle-class areas, occupied mostly by middle-class and upper class people,” noted Rafael Pereira, a Planning and Research technician for IPEA.

According to research, the Transolímpica, a roadway connecting Deodoro to Barra da Tijuca, in the Zona Oeste, for example, had no significant effect on people’s access to schools or employment opportunities, as this express corridor is far from the majority of these locations.

Meanwhile, residents complain of overcrowding in public transport and the high price of fares, in addition to travel delays.

“Sometimes I take four hours [to get to and from work], claimed day laborer Luzia Lourenço da Silva. “The metro is mostly very expensive and very full,” said maid Janaína dos Santos.

The IPEA survey showed that in 2014, before the World Cup, the poorest 10% in Rio could reach only 15% of jobs offered in the city in 1 hour. After three years and more than R$13 billion in investments, the same portion of the population can reach 16% of jobs in the same period of 1 hour. An increase of only one percentage point.

Meanwhile, for the richest 10% in Rio, it was more practical to get to work, which only increases the social gaps, according to IPEA. – Source (PT)


G1 comments are usually best given wide berth, but I think we can look at three, while keeping in mind another recent event (PT) – that BRT will close 8 stations in Zona Oeste:

1. “These idiots never stepped foot in the Rio subway to know how it’s full at any time or day of the week. The photo [video still] from the article does not match reality. Try going to the Alvorada Terminal at 17:00 or in the morning to see that the BRT works exactly the opposite to what the “study” presented. It is a work of fiction, IPEA should be ashamed.”

2. “The map of the BRT stations contradicts this “study”. Penha, Vila Kosmos, Olaria, Vicente de Carvalho, Vaz Lobo, Madureira, Campinho, Praça Seca, Tanque, Taquara, Curicica … only rich people live in these neighborhoods [sarcasm]. This is not meant to be taken seriously. The time has passed for the ideological dismemberment of IPEA, which is a federal institution.”

3. “I read it carefully. It’s ideologically determined. Where do the rich and poor live in Rio de Janeiro? In the same place. The only thing missing here is to say that the subway station at the foot of Rocinha (the largest slum in Latin America) was made to benefit the wealthy in São Conrado.”

Rio’s Messy Growth

The messy growth and limited transport links have caused problems that still exist today

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Santa Bárbara Tunnel. The controversial construction was the cause of complaints from residents and killed 18 workers

A public demonstration took over downtown. About five thousand people faced the police, broke posts, and flipped over vehicles. There were records of three deaths, but violence left other victims: countless donkeys stabbed. There was enough even for the animals, the tram-pullers that cut through the city. All this was motivated by the 20 cent increase (vintém) in the fare, a measure that, today, could be equated with the R$0.20 readjustment for buses that also drove a crowd to the streets in 2013. Workers, stimulated by growing opposition to the emperor Dom Pedro II, made the first protest against the transport structure of the city in Rio in 1880, more than 20 years before the Vaccine Revolt (1904).

“At the time, transportation occurred by trams pulled by donkeys. The lower classes and republican opposition rebelled against the monarchy, recalls historian Carlos Addor of the Fluminense Federal University.

The residents of the then-capital of the Empire didn’t know, but their grandchildren and great-grandchildren would grow up facing similar problems. Expensive fares would influence the proliferation of favelas, and the road network grew disorderly, without providing integration between modes of transport. European cities took more than a century to leave behind their rural profile, but Rio took just over 40 years to take on an urban status.

This accelerated pace, coupled with a lack of planning – two large urban projects developed in the last century didn’t leave the planning stage – and localized development aimed at the upper classes, made Rio the uneven metropolis we now know, according to historians, geographers, journalists and writers.

“The entire urbanization process in Rio was done to the exclusion of second-class citizens, says journalist and writer Zuenir Ventura, who in 1994 addressed the roots of this logic in the book “Cidade Partida.”

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Avenida Central. During urban reforms under Pereira Passos, with the intention of turning it into a true Parisian boulevard.

The Center of Everything

At the time of the so-called Vintém Revolt (mentioned at the top), Rio was a city that existed in function of the downtown region. “Suburb” was a word used for the wealthy, and defined neighborhoods such as Glória, Catete and Laranjeiras, still fairly unoccupied and very wooded. This bucolic setting is depicted in Machado de Assis’s “Dom Casmurro”: the protagonist couple, Bentinho and Capitu, lived in Glória, from where one could see the sea through the window, at a time when the Aterro did not exist. Flamengo Beach, with clear waters, was lit up like Copacabana in the first half of the 20th century, but without swimsuits on parade through the sands.

Urban Rio, however, was downtown. In the early 1900s, a quarter of the city lived in slums. At the time, the city took in many poor people: a large number of ex-slaves came here, people who worked in the coffee plantations of the interior. With poor hygiene and housing conditions, these buildings began to be protested – including the folkloric Cabeça de Porco, whose owner lived in Gávea, which was already a noble area of Rio.

To “sanitize” the capital and make it a metropolis like Paris, Mayor Pereira Passos made a series of urban interventions during his term from 1903 to 1906. He demolished about 1,700 buildings to open and widen streets, and practically rebuilt Avenida Central, currently Rio Branco.

“Rio is a city that was founded to expel French invaders and who, at some point, decided that it had to be like France” – mocks historian and Globo columnist Luiz Antônio Simas.

The “sweep” ended with community housing, and the lower classes had to look for other places to live. At the time, says historian Milton Teixeira, it was believed that bad smells transmitted diseases:

“The poor, who could not shower every day or buy French perfumes, were seen as sources of infection.”

Those who could not afford a ride went up the hill. Those who had somewhat better financial conditions were pushed into the new suburbs, now with negative connotations. They were neighborhoods that followed the route of the railroads, created to transport goods. The trolley, controlled by foreign companies, was a symbol of the separation of the city: there was a car for the middle and upper classes and one for the poor, it was the taioba – on which it was possible to read, on a panel, the specification of who was to use it: “For luggage and those with bare feet”.

The trams that took the Zona Sul route, until the Botanic Garden, had a more expensive price because of the length of the route, which ended up limiting its public. As there was no single route, the meeting between the suburbanites and the residents of the Zona Sul took place downtown.

There were times when social classes were coupled with doses of tension. At religious festivals, for example. In the book “Lucíola”, by José de Alencar, Paul meets his beloved, who he later discovers is a courtesan, while she handed out spare change in the celebrations for Nossa Senhora da Glória, on Rua da Lapa. “All the grotesque types of Brazilian society, from the arrogant nullity to vile flattery, paraded in front of me, brushing silk and cashmere with baize or cotton, mixing delicate perfumes with impure exhalations”, he notes, recently-arrived to the city. Luiz Antônio Simas tells us that the feast for Our Lady of Penha in the 1900s and 1910s attracted the Catholic elite and the poor, who formed samba and capoeira groups. At a time when African culture was criminalized, the police always put the blacks on the run.

In the 1930s, with Getulio Vargas’ Estado Novo government, the opening of roads and urbanization projects in the suburbs gained strength. The electricity-powered trains, boosted the occupation of the North and West zones, and bus lines, began to be created. It was a stepping stone for Rio to take on characteristics of a metropolis.

“In 1940, 70% of the Brazilian population lived in the countryside. In 1980, we had 70% of Brazilians in the city. The result of this is “peripheralization”, a slumification, of urban swelling and immobility – notes Marcus Dezemone, professor of History at UERJ and UFF.

Rio, however, had two urban plans drawn up by foreign experts. The first was signed by Alfred Agache in the late 1920s. He had planned the construction of gardens throughout the city – including the suburbs – and opening roads to connect the periphery to downtown, including three subway lines. The project, however, basically didn’t leave the drawing room.

In the 1930s, the suburb was already housing the lower middle class, including immigrants. According to the historian Leonardo Soares, from UFF, the nucleus of the neighborhoods was established around the train stops. The embryo of the Mercadão de Madureira came about – an initiative of Portuguese and Jewish merchants. A May 1936 issue of “Revista da Semana” featured a report about a huge gypsy camp in the region where Cachambi is today (pg 01 & 02). They said they had left Greece, and revealed plans to go to São Paulo.

The more humble people settled in the hills closer to their workplaces. The slumification had a certain complicity from the elite, who needed cheap labor nearby. According to Milton Teixeira, Rocinha, for example, which became a stronghold of Northeastern migrants, began to concentrate, in the 1930s, workers doing construction in São Conrado and Gávea, including that of the Pontifical Catholic University (PUC). Morro Dona Marta, in Botafogo, which was the first community to receive a Peacekeeping Police Unit in 2008, had its first inhabitants brought there by Father José Maria Natuzzi, then-director of the Santo Inácio College. In favelas without water and sewage, the proliferation of diseases so feared by authorities continued – but beyond the reach of Rio’s public opinion.

“Today, Rio has six thousand cases of tuberculosis per year, which occur mainly in favela areas”, says researcher Jorge Castro, from the National School of Public Health at Fiocruz, for whom the urbanization of Rio de Janeiro meant time was needed to realize the importance of basic care in vulnerable locations, which prevents and reduces the demand for more complex care. “In Europe, this vision emerged after the Second World War.”

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Rebouças Tunnel. Construction of tunnels amplified the connection between the Zonas Norte and Sul.

Still Precarious Sanitation

The Rio of the 1950s was a city of precarious services. In addition to seeing the decay of the trams and the growth of mini buses, Cariocas suffered with a lack of electricity and water. The newspapers brought daily reports on the state of the neighborhoods with dry taps. The supply system of the Rio Guandu was only inaugurated in 1965, by governor Carlos Lacerda. Today, Rio still leaves much to be desired in sanitation: only 47% of the sewage is treated, and the municipality is in 50th place among the 100 cities in the 2016 Sanitation Ranking, done by the NGO Trata Brasil. Historian Leonardo Soares points out that, until the 1980s, many residents of Gardênia Azul, in the Zona Oeste, drew water from a large well.

Between 1950 and 1960, the city underwent a new wave of transformations. The favelas, mainly in the South Zone, became a problem that had to be eradicated, and the solution was to remove its residents and accommodate them in planned and often remote farms and neighborhoods. It was in this logic behind the Vila Kennedy, Cidade Alta, Cidade de Deus and Maré – which, with wooden houses, were to be used as temporary residence for families who had been forced to wait for the construction of definitive real estate. A lot of people just stayed there.

“Some housing developments became problems. They took in people who could not sustain themselves”, says Pedro da Luz, president of the Instituto Arquitetos do Brasil (IAB) in Rio. – The Minha Casa Minha Vida program repeated this formula.

Rio invested in road transport. The mini buses were done with, and regular bus lines appeared. The tram, on the other hand, stopped circulating in 1964, and the trains went through a process of being scrapped. Tunnels were opened between the Zona Norte and Sul, which caused controversy. Santa Bárbara, which connects Catumbi and Laranjeiras, was the object of complaints from residents of the two districts, who didn’t want roads that gave access to the tunnels. Before construction was finished, 18 workers died in an explosion. The tunnel, inaugurated in 1964, would be called another name, but ended up dedicated to the saint because, inside, an altar was built in memory of the dead. Santa Bárbara is considered the patron saint of tunnel builders.

Rebouças, inaugurated in 1967, began to let vehicles through still without being totally ready. From 1976, buses began to circulate through its tunnels – it was at this time that the pejorative expression “além túnel” appeared, addressed to the residents of the Zona Norte who became frequenters of the beaches in Ipanema and Leblon.

The subway only came in 1979, almost 90 years after the first lines in the world. It began by connecting five stations, from Glória to Praça Onze.

“Our subway was one of the few on the planet planned to serve the middle class. This type of transport was launched in London, with the aim of taking the poor from the periphery to work”, says Milton Teixeira.

The city also had a second urban plan, in the 1960s, elaborated by the Greek Constantino Doxiadis. In June 1965, Globo reported that it envisaged the construction of an industrial area in the Zona Oeste, of ten thousand homes for slum dwellers and 7,500 classrooms. Only two of the six designed expressways actually left the planning stage: the Linha Vermelha, inaugurated in 1992, and the Linha Amarela, in 1997.

Unconcern with the environment marked the 20th century. The Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, for example, has had several proposals for total landfilling, as revealed in the book “Lagoa”, organized by architect Augusto Ivan de Freitas Pinheiro and urban planner Eliane Pinheiro. The first was from doctor Oswaldo Cruz, in 1894, who thought that the Lagoa, being a marshy area, was a threat to the health of Cariocas. Agache, in the 1920s, wanted the area to be a place to a leisure. In the following decade, Lúcio Costa defended the construction of a university campus in the location. Rodrigo de Freitas resisted, but others did not have the same luck: Bairro Peixoto, in Copacabana, was erected where there was a large base of water.

Reported in O Globo

The Globo edition of October 4, 1967, printed on the front page news of the fire that destroyed the Praia do Pinto Favela in Lagoa, which was eventually removed in the following years. On the same day, the news about the inauguration of Rebouças – then the largest urban tunnel in the world – emphasized that the route from the Zona Norte to the Lagoon could be done in just five minutes.

PS – It seems the article has no real ending…

Source (PT)

Reage, Rio – 50 Proposals

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50 proposals made at ‘Reage, Rio!’ to turn things around

In two days of debates, “Reage, Rio!” outlines ways for the government to turn things around, finding a way to change the pattern of violence, resume the pace of economic growth, improve the circulation of people and ensure institutional transparency and efficiency. The five dozen concrete suggestions in the areas of security, urban mobility, economics, public policies (education and health), ethics and tourism were analyzed by a team of reporters, who’ve suggested what needs to be done to get them off the drawing board and actually implemented. In the proposals [link at the bottom], the reader can find links with the respective reports or videos of the seminar.

Some of the suggestions depend on the approval of constitutional amendments or ordinary laws; others, on public investment. There are still those that need isolated or joint actions from the federal, state and city governments.

O Globo and Extra will follow the progress of each idea presented by experts, businessmen and representatives of the public sector and civil society, and the result of this verification will be published in both newspapers.

[DR Note: to save you time, note that the Implementation plan that follows each Proposal is usually some variation of, “it depends on the government”, which speaks for itself. The breakdown below is as follows: 1 – 10 (Security), 11 – 20 (Economy), 21 – 27 (Tourism), 28 – 33 (Urban Mobility), 34 – 39 (Public Policies), 40 – 50 (Ethics)]


SECURITY

Torquato Jardim, Minister of Justice:

1.

Proposal: Reaffirm the agreement with the government to safely fight crimes in general, with an emphasis on giving more room for municipal participation and re-equipping the Military Police.

Implementation: It depends on amending the Constitution to change competencies in the area of public security. There is a PEC [Stability & Growth Pact] regarding this in the House of Representatives.

2.

Proposal: Operational integration with technology (more drones, satellites and computers), starting at the border.

Implementation: It depends on planned investments in the Budget created by the federal government and approved by Congress.

3.

Proposal: Create a single system for public safety, in the mold of the SUS [Unified Health System], with a division of tasks and without .

Implementation: It depends on the approval of a Constitutional amendment or ordinary law in Congress.

4.

Proposal: Institutionalize the National Public Security Force.

Implementation: It depends on the approval of a Constitutional amendment in Congress. Until now at least two proposals haven’t gone forward.


Robson Rodrigues, Military Police Coronel & ex-UPP Coordinator:

5.

Proposal: Invest in intelligence to investigate drug trafficking, efficiency and creativity to recover and optimize resources, in addition to having priorities and an action plan.

Implementation: It depends on the actions of the federal and state governments, and on the reallocation of resources towards the intelligence sector.


Michele dos Ramos, from the Igarapé Institute:

6.

Proposal: Prioritize the prevention and investigation of life-threatening crimes, with strategies focused on groups, places and behaviors that are more vulnerable to violence. Prioritize evidence-based and results-oriented policies.

Implementation: State government action to prioritize the Civil Police investigation sector and prevention through the Military Police.

7.

Proposal: Qualified repression and modernization of criminal and penitentiary policy.

Implementation: Qualified repression depends on the intelligence sector. And the modernization of the criminal and penitentiary policy, on change in the National Plan of National and Penitentiary Policy, made by a council of the same name from the Ministry of Justice.

8.

Proposal: Discuss the problem of drug use as a public health issue, review drug policy and consolidate responsible regulation of weapons and ammunition.

Implementation: The decriminalization of drugs, or just marijuana, can be done by Congress or by the Federal Supreme Court. The consolidation of the regulation of arms, provided for in the Disarmament Statute, depends on Congress.

9.

Proposal: Disseminate data and information on public policies and programs that work.

Implementation: It depends on joint action between states and the federal government.


Hugo Acero, expert in security and sociology:

10.

Proposal: Increased cooperation among countries in the fight against major mafias, not only drug trafficking, but also trafficking of people, smuggling, the illegal arms trade and terrorism.

Implementation: Cooperation between countries may be promulgated by decree from the President of the Republic, after the policy is drafted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


ECONOMY

Mauro Osório, President of the Pereira Passos Institute:

11.

Proposal: Make a pension reform.

Implementation: There is already a proposal awaiting voting in the House. It is PEC 287/16. In May, the state also approved the 14% increase in social security contribution for public servants.

12.

Proposal: Increase revenue and discuss the collection of ICMS tax at the destination and the Kandir Law (which exempts taxes on exports).

Implementation: By decision of the STF, a commission in Congress is already discussing a change in the Kandir Law. A change in ICMS tax only on the destination of the product (especially oil) depends on the Union’s articulation with all 27 federative units.

13.

Proposal: Establish a policy for territorialized budgets.

Implementation: It depends on the planning of city hall and the approval of the budget law by the House.

14.

Proposal: Sanitize and clean Guanabara Bay.

Implementation: The proposal has been in place since 2012, but has not solved the problem and is threatened by the economic crisis. It’s the Environmental Sanitation Program of the Cities in the Area Around the Bay, created by CEDAE, which may be privatized.

15.

Proposal: Integrate the capital with the interior, and make the city of Rio de Janeiro into a regional economic hub.

Implementation: Integration depends on joint action by city halls and state government.


David Zylbersztajn, partner at DZ Negócios and ex-director of the National Agency of Petroleum (ANP)

16.

Proposal: Stimulate entrepreneurship and reduce bureaucracy.

Implementation: It depends on the action of the city and state power spheres. Since 2015, Rio’s city hall has the Rio + Fácil program, which reduces bureaucracy to open companies. The program can be extended.

17.

Proposal: Invest in a modern, post-oil, low-carbon economy, and in Rio’s vocations (tourism, hospitality, entertainment).

Implementation: The city already has incentive programs for the modern economy, such as RioCriativo and StartupRio. They could be expanded.

18.

Proposal: Create tourism incentive laws and a tourism training school in Rio de Janeiro.

Implementation: Laws to encourage tourism can be created by Alerj, the City Council, the Executive branch or as proposals from civil society. The creation of a tourism training school would also depend on municipal or state initiative, and could be done in partnership with the private sector.


Christino Áureo, State Secretary of the Civil Office and Economic Development:

19.

Proposal: Create a fiscal recovery plan, with impacts for the next six years, foreseeing a R$53.6 billion revenue increase and R$25 billion reduction in expenses, in addition to the suspension of the payment of public debt.

Implementation: The State of Rio and the Union have scheduled the approval of the State Tax Recovery Regime for this week. The state will also receive clearance to take out bank loans, which will allow, for example, the auction that will use Cedae shares as a guarantee. The state expects to obtain up to R$3.5 billion from the operation.

20.

Proposal: Review laws that only affect the State of Rio in relation to ICMS and environmental taxes, to ease investors’ minds and make the environment less adverse for those who invest in Rio.

Implementation: The change in the environmental licensing fee and ICMS may occur at the initiative of the state government. Changes in the rate of control and environmental inspection at the federal and state levels already go through the Legislature.


TOURISM

Roberto Medina, businessman and President of Rock in Rio:

21.

Proposal: Highlight R$200 million of the R$1.3 billion in federal government investment in events to privilege Rio and create the “Rio de Janeiro a Janeiro” calendar of events.

Implementation: The investment has already been announced by the Ministry of Culture. An Embratur ordinance, which will be published by Monday, will create a calendar of 150 cultural, sports and tourism events in the State of Rio, which should receive a contribution of R$200 million.

Bruno Marques, President of the Cataratas group, AquaRio:

22.

Proposal: Reform Rio Zoo to strengthen tourism.

Implementation: It’s already in progress. The city of Rio made a bid to cede the administration of Rio Zoo to the Cataratas Group, which is renovating the site for R$80 million.


Paulo Michel, Vice President of ABIH / RJ:

23.

Proposal: Treat tourism as an economic activity. Teach tourism while in school.

Implementation: It depends on change in the National Curriculum. There is a proposal drawn up by the Ministry of Education, which is in its third version, and citizens can suggest changes at public hearings.

24.

Proposal: Create experiences for tourists.

Implementation: At the city level, experiences in tourism compete with Riotur and the Secretary of Public Order (Seop), which grants a license for new events, registered in the Carioca Digital portal.

25.

Proposal: Bureaucratize the granting of licenses to attract new events.

Implementation: To de-bureaucratize bureaucracy, at the city level, has to be an initiative of the Municipal Secretariat of Public Order (Seop), responsible for granting permits.

26.

Proposal: To guarantee ostensible security in areas of touristic interest.

Implementation: There are already projects financed by Fecomércio, the state and city government, such as Operação Presente, which operates in Lapa, Lagoa, Méier, Aterro and Centro.

27.

Proposal: Establish more flexible rules for granting visas to foreign tourists and strengthen advertising abroad.

Implementation: They can be implemented by an interim measure, signed by the President, or by a change in the Migration Law.


URBAN MOBILITY

Guilherme Ramalho, President of Metrô:

28.

Proposal: Optimize the already-installed transport network, since there are bus lines overlapping with the BRT, train and subway.

Implementation: Joint action of the city halls in the Metropolitan Region of Rio and the State Secretary of Transportation.

29.

Proposal: Create a metropolitan authority to oversee and plan the transportation system as a whole.

Implementation: Approval of Bill No. 10, from 2015, which creates a metropolitan agency, being considered by Alerj.

30.

Proposal: Create sustainable financing solutions, such as urban tolls, to subsidize tariffs, and the expansion of public transportation.

Implementation: Integration between city, state and federal government, and bill approval at the city or state level.


Paulo Cezar Ribeiro, from Coppe/UFRJ:

31.

Proposal: Reorganize Rio’s urban transport before the economy resumes, to avoid bottlenecks in urban mobility. Improve the traffic light system and review the city’s horizontal and vertical signs.

Implementation: Actions by the city hall through the Company of Rio Traffic Engineering (CET-Rio).


Vicente Loureiro, Executive Director of Câmara Metropolitana:

32.

Proposal: Plan the physical and tariff-based integration of urban transport.

Implementation: Actions from the State Secretary of Transport, or through the Strategic Development Plan of the Rio Metropolitan Region which will be submitted to Alerj.

33.

Proposal: Stimulate regional economic growth to unlock the transport system. Establish policies of employment opportunities distributed by region.

Implementation: Approve the Strategic Development Plan of the Rio Metropolitan Region, which will be submitted to Alerj, and changes in the incentive law to strengthen the economy in strategic regions.


PUBLIC POLICIES

César Benjamin, City Secretary of Education:

34.

Proposal: Implement a combined process of qualitative and quantitative assessments in the city’s education network.

Implementation: It depends on a decree.

35.

Proposal: Eliminate functional illiteracy in the city network, starting in 2018, setting up a team of two thousand literacy teachers.

Implementation: Taking into account that city hall is prohibited by the Law of Fiscal Responsibility to promote entry exams or hire staff, the secretary will need to relocate teachers in the network.


Claudia Costin, expert in public administration and former City Secretary of Education:

36.

Proposal: Create alternatives so that students do not stop studying when their schools close because of violence. A plan “b” could come in the form of an activity book, which the student would take home.

Implementation: It depends on administrative action from the Education Department, which would prepare, print and distribute the notebooks.

37.

Proposal: Develop strategies to comply with the Incheon Declaration, of which Brazil is a signatory, which establishes, among other goals, ensuring inclusive, equitable and quality education, as well as promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Implementation: The City Department of Education already published, in the Official Gazette, a schedule and budget for its goals. The implementation of the projects, however, runs up against the city’s budget issues.


Vilma Guimarães, general manager of education at the Roberto Marinho Foundation:

38.

Proposal: Replicate positive experiences in the teaching network, universalizing practical units that were successful in certain schools.

Implementation: Detecting and replicating good practices in the network depends on administrative acts by the city and state education networks.


Márcio Maranhão, thoracic surgeon, health management expert and author of “Sob Pressão”:

39.

Proposal: Create a governance mechanism in the public health sector based on accountability, equity, sustainability and transparency.

Implementation: The National Audit Department exercises audit and specialized inspection activities within SUS. To change or create a new analytical tool in SUS, it would be necessary to approve a complementary law.


ETHICS

Eduardo Gussem, Rio’s Attorney General:

40.

Proposal: Create a committee with the presence of representatives of the Judiciary, Legislative and Executive, Public Prosecutor’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, state and city court, OAB, business, press and other sectors of civil society.

Implementation: It depends on the participation and interest of these sectors.


Felipe Saboya, Ethos Institute:

41.

Proposal: Make public purchases more transparent and with more modern control.

Implementation: Change the Bidding Law in Congress and provide for new control mechanisms.

42.

Proposal: Change the criteria for choosing members of audit courts to restrict the political influence of nominations.

Implementation: It depends on changing federal and state legislations, which adopt different criteria for electing members of these courts.

43.

Proposal: Make the city, state and federal budgets more transparent and with greater popular participation.

Implementation: It’s necessary to review budgetary elaboration processes in the three administrative spheres, modifying Executive and Legislative norms.

44.

Proposal: Hold more public hearings to consult the population before making decisions.

Implementation: Include a device, by constitutional amendment, that generalizes the obligation of public hearings, which today are restricted to some areas.

45.

Proposal: Summon the population more consistently to decide on issues through plebiscites and referendums.

Implementation: Change law 9.709, from 1998, to simplify the convocation of plebiscites and referendums and to increase the possibilities of convocation.

46.

Proposal: Include a “compliance” clause in contracts between companies and public authorities.

Implementation: Change the Bidding Law to include the requirement for public contracting. Government authorities could also adopt this practice by signing contracts.

47.

Proposal: Implement a political reform to ensure greater participation of women and cheapen the cost of election campaigns.

Implementation: Requires constitutional amendment to create a female quota. To lessen the cost of campaigns, Congress must change the law governing the operation of campaigning.


Fernando Gabeira, journalist and former Congressman:

48.

Proposal: Make public contracting through insurers, which could make construction less susceptible to corruption and delays.

Implementation: The House is already negotiating a proposal to amend the Bidding Law and force the contracting of insurance for 100% of the construction that is government contracted.

49.

Proposal: Separate the elections of the Legislative and the Executive, so that the mayor, governor and president have greater parliamentary support.

Implementation: Approve a constitutional amendment to separate the elections.


Miro Teixeira, congressman for the Rio Sustainability Network:

50.

Proposal: Change the internal control system of the ministries, so that the portfolio holder does not choose who will control management.

Implementation: The Head of the Executive can determine, for example, that only auditors of the Federal Audit Office or the Office of the Comptroller General of the Union have the function of controlling expenditure.

Source (PT)

Policing Rio beaches – 1917

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Cariocas and the Sea, Not Always a Love Affair
O Globo, 2005

The history of the evolution of habits shows that going to the beach was already an activity that could end at the police station

The sea bath in 1917 was therapy advised by doctors and restricted, by decree, to certain times. Noise and shouting were also forbidden. Bathing suits, only with “necessary decency”, that is, with the body covered up. The swimsuits were less suffocating in the 1930s, but the police took the looser bathers to jail. It was the “pro-decency campaign.” The libertarian vocation of the Carioca was reborn in the boldness of the fifties, which, even under the sandstorm of conservatives, transgressed with showy “two pieces.” The swimsuit became the bikini, and in the 80s they took off the top. Topless didn’t take root, but the limit was no longer a decree or code of conduct, but the fashion.

With a century having passed, Cariocas have killed off various laws, ordinances and rules of behavior to choose, without repression, the proper conduct for the magical scenery formed by sand, sea and bodies exposed to the sun.

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Outlaw bathers could spend five days in jail

The beaches fell into the purview of the law after a decree (1.143) from Rio Mayor Amaro Cavalcanti in May 1917. The measure, which regulated the use of Leme and Copacabana beaches, instituted: “Sea baths will only be allowed from April 1st to November 30th, from 6 to 9AM and from 4 to 6PM; From December 1st to March 31st from 5 to 8AM and from 5 to 7PM. In other words: during the day, the beach was off limits. Anyone who broke the rules, paid 20 mil reis or spent five days in prison.

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Claudia Gaspar, author of the book “Orla Carioca: história e cultura“, says that the first beaches laws had probable French origin.

“The rules must have come from manuals from that country, so much that the lifeguard stations were called places of sauvatage. Despite the restrictions, it was a step up from the previous period, when some people rented boats in Praça XV to take private baths off the coast. The beach was still more medicinal than social,” recalls Claudia.

Writers came out in defense of the one-piece. The author of “Orla Carioca” found in a 1926 edition of the newspaper “Beira Mar” an ode to freedom: “We are already angry about this false moral civilization created by our grandparents. It is frankly ridiculous that in the mid-twentieth century we want to shape our standard of living in the archaic and moldy mirrors of 1830. ”

It was not long before society reacted: on January 12, 1931, on the front page of Globo, the headline said: “The pro-modesty campaign was initiated by the police on the bathing beaches of Rio.” The photos showed bathers forced to wear long robes and others being taken to the police station. It was forbidden, among other things, to walk the access streets to the beach dressed in swimsuits. The limits continued in the years to come, as 69-year old retired UFRJ history professor Miridan Falci says:

“One would leave the beach with a large towel wrapped around one’s body, and at times it was forbidden. On the buses, a warning said: “the entry of bathers is prohibited”. But I witnessed liberation: I was on Ipanema Beach in 1971, the day that Leila Diniz appeared pregnant in a bikini!

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Topless fashion erupted in the “summer of amnesty”, in 1980, but it never became a broad, general and unrestrained fashion. Legally, it was banned and unbanned several times – the first time in 1973, when the Federal Supreme Court denied an injunction requested by a bather, who wanted to expose her body with the approval of the judges. In 2000, commercial representative Rosimeri Moura da Costa, 34, was arrested while going topless in Recreio, accused of an obscene act. Today, Cariocas are free to leave the beach and go to chic places, but they prefer tempered swimsuits, even on the beach, according to a couple of artists Lúcio Tapajós, 35, and Renata Nonô, 32. She gives her version for the return to the past:

“Even to buy a coconut at the kiosk, many girls wear a shorts or a sarong. And the bikinis look like bathing suits. But this is not a conservative wave, but an excess of body worship. People get hysterical when they have cellulite or a stretch mark.”

It is another kind of dictatorship: that of the perfect body. But at least in sports, there are those who float above the new rules. Marianne Kerr, 23, surfs every day in a bikini at Leblon. When the time is short, one leaves home ready to enter the water without fear of being misinterpreted.

“Since I live close by, when I’m in a hurry, before college or work, I go out in a bikini to the beach. Cariocas do not do much of this, but there is nothing wrong with it”, says the surfer, who studies psychology at PUC.

Marianne would not have a good time on a beach from last century. She would have a problem with her bikini until the 1950s, and in the 1970s she would have to leave the board in the sand for most of the day, as surfing also suffered under the laws. A 1976 resolution by the State Department of Public Safety established that the sport could only be practiced after 2PM on seven beaches in the state. On the rest of the coast it was forbidden. Frescobol continues to be illegal, but the most restricted sport currently is kitesurfing, allowed in Rio just between two kiosks at Barra beach. – Source (PT, PDF)


For more, listen to this 10-minute podcast (PT) from Cultura Popular Carioca, or read this article (PT) from O Globo. From Deep Rio, be sure to check out The Cabines of Copacabana. I’ll also add two articles from Revista da Semana from 1917/18 that talk about the dangers of indecency (once clicked, you can open them full size in the bottom, right-hand corner).

 

Rio Olympics, one year later

I’ve been seeing articles and videos on the topic for a few months but I was waiting for one that could hit upon the zeitgeist. I think this 19-min report by China Global TV Network does a nice job of showing just that.

It’s sad to see but it’s not like this wasn’t the expected outcome. There are so many pressing issues but I feel like if public safety could be at least under control, it’d make a world of difference. For that to happen, police presence would have to be increased by 10 times.