Largo do Boticario finds a buyer

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Largo do Boticário will have a hostel with 70 rooms and coworking spaces
AccorHotels bought six houses in the Zona Sul for US$5.1 million

G1
June 2018

A business project – mixing the concepts of a hostel and a coliving center, with gastronomic and coworking areas and a swimming pool – will be implanted in Largo do Boticário, in Cosme Velho. The news was presented to Cariocas in June by AccorHotels, who bought the six houses in the square for US$5.1 million and will invest $7.6 million in equipment and restorations so that the place can receive the first Jo&Joe venture to be opened outside of Europe. With an opening scheduled for September 2020, the space will follow an open house concept, with a large bar open to the public. There will also be a cultural and artistic space. The hostel will consist of an area of 3,500 square meters and will have 70 rooms, of varying prices and sizes. Construction will be started in about four months.

According to Patrick Mendes, CEO of AccorHotels in South America, the hotel network decided to invest in Rio because it believes in the economic recovery of the state and the tourist potential of the cidade maravilhosa.

“The decision to give this gift to Rio shows our intention to bet on the city”, said Patrick Mendes, noting that construction begins at the end of the year.

The purchase of all the houses, explains Patrick, was a negotiation that lasted about a year.

“Since we managed to buy it all, we can restore the whole complex. And rehabilitate this place for Cariocas. It will have a bar, barber, coworking space, plus a hotel. For that, we have brought in a new brand, Jo&Joe, which follows a new concept, with multifunctional spaces”, adding that the hotel will not be the main attraction. “It will be a place of […], in which the hotel will be the consequence and not the main reason.”

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According to the architect responsible for the project, Ernani Freire, the restoration of the space will be the starting point for the revitalization of the entire Cosme Velho area.

– It’s a space that the city complained about the very poor state of conservation. It’s a very charming urban space protected from the traffic of the city. The fact that all six houses were purchased facilitates the restoration project. It’s the phenomenon of the “positive metastasis” by the Catalan architect Oriol Bohigas. I imagine other buildings in the area, such as the Casa dos Abacaxis, will benefit, too”, said the architect Ernani Freire.

The architectural project, says Ernani, will respect the characteristics of the houses and the volumetry of the buildings. The buildings will be interconnected internally, but the facades will be maintained. Additions will be made to areas not related to the buildings. The forest area will also be preserved.

Aimed at a younger audience, the undertaking will have collective dormitories for up to ten people, average rooms for up to four guests, and smaller housing for two people. The estimate is that the tourist rents a bed, in a collective room, for about $25.

A large bar in the middle of the Open House, with capacity for 300 people, will be one of the biggest attractions. It will remain open until 2AM. The new Largo do Boticário will also have swimming pools. – Source (PT)


A news report from the 1960s, and another from 2016 on the space being put up for sale

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Future Rio – 1928

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Top, left
– That little black point on top, at the back, to the right, that’s Corcovado.

Top, right
– Did you see how our favelas became actual fortresses?

Center, left
– Why’d you take off your hat, Brederódes?
– I think I’m in front of a perpetual grave.

Center, right
– Judging by the palm tree, it must be a hill in Glória.
– No, that’s just a vase on the terrace.

Bottom
– How pretty our nature is, don’t you think?
– I don’t think so, but I guess. Imagination exists for a reason…

(Revista da Semana, June 30, 1928)

The future connection to Niteroi – 1929

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The future connection to Niteroi
Revista da Semana – May 1929

The future connection to the neighboring capital has long been debated and defended in our press. In reality a direct communication to the city of Niterói would bring all kinds of advantages to the two capitals, in addition to the direct connection with the State of Rio.

The suggestions put forward for this enterprise by our most distinguished engineers have been several. Mr. Carlos Sampaio is in favor of the idea of the submarine tunnel, as it already exists in several American and European cities, with the most modern being the Holland Tunnel, between New York City and New Jersey. Others, like Mr. A. Graça, defend the idea of a bridge formed by successive arcs or else a suspension bridge, similar to those that the Yankees have executed in the United States. On this last hypothesis, the distinguished engineer-geologist Mr. Alfredo Diniz has just presented the results of his studies, predicting the possibility of such an undertaking.

This solution has the enormous advantage of neglecting obstructions (?) that would impede the free movement of our port. But who was it who devised the first bridge and which was the first one to be built? That’s the question that’s often asked.

Responding is difficult.

As is well known, the evolution of bridges has been very interesting. Everything leads us to believe that what inspired the first bridge was certainly the need that primitive man had to cross or transpose a ravine or a stream. From there, they have been disseminating and evolving.

Small bridges were succeeded by other more daring ones, either in arches or pillars, and later, even nowadays, large spaces have been overcome or reached by stupendous works, such as the Forth Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge and ultimately the Delaware Bridge. The earliest of the latter type of the coming together of two banks is presumed to have been built in the year 65, in Yunnan Province, China, by order of the emperor Ming, and had the approximate length of 100 meters. Nowadays, metal bridges are often used, and James Finley should be considered as the true inventor of modern bridges, which are undoubtedly one of the greatest monuments of engineering.

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These bridges, considered by many an American invention, have had a huge development in the United States, and are currently under construction on the Hudson, linking New York with New Jersey, a suspension bridge that, by its proportions, is considered the largest that has been planned.

They are surprisingly haughty and graceful and have the great advantage of not being destructive and, on the contrary, favoring the most beautiful perspectives of nature, as is the case for our Rio de Janeiro.

Also associated with this are the great constructive advantages over other types of bridges formed by a series of arcs. The engravings we present represent one of the suggestions made by notable architects Cortez & Bruhns, in their debated and remarkable plan for remodeling the capital, for the future connection to the neighboring capital.

From a perspective, one will see the majesty of this gigantic work, which would have, pillar the pillar, the length of 1 kilometer, having on the bay, in its central part, the height of 60 meters, in order to give passage to all types of transatlantic vessels or warships. This bridge would be endowed with two levels, the upper one destined to vehicles and pedestrians, and the lower one reserved only for electric transport; would overcome the distance between Ponte do Aterro and the one in Gragoatá, at a distance of approximately 2 kilometers, suspended in two huge arc-pillars, which should have a height never less than 200 meters.

How dazzling would it not be to enjoy the amazing panoramas of Guanabara and the incomparable cut of the Serra dos Orgões from the top of these arches!

Let us therefore make every wish for the rapid solution of this enterprise, for the century in which we live – the time of the most audacious conceptions – has given us the opportunity to verify the solution for problems that would have been considered true utopias years ago.

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Architects propose solutions for Rio

Architects make proposals to improve Cariocas’ lives through urban interventions – O Globo

Did you know that going on an outing between São Cristóvão and Santa Cruz can say more about the history of the Empire than any other area? All these ideas are in the heads of the architects that O Globo invited to propose projects capable of creating scenarios and solutions that would make Cariocas’ lives more functional, intelligent and even more enchanting, if that’s possible.

From the drawing boards, suggestions appeared that could promote true revolutions, from the Zona Sul to the Zona Norte. Among them are proposals to pump new energy into the Port Region – which is currently undergoing a crisis, but is considered one of the most important urban interventions in recent history, ever since the Pereira Passos reform in the early 20th century. Or an ambitious and inspired plan to reclaim the nobility of the Caminho Imperial, with the urban transformation of a 60 kilometer stretch, from the former residence of the Royal Family, where the National Museum in Quinta da Boa Vista stands today (?), to the Fazenda Real de Santa Cruz, transformed into an Army post.

And there was no lack of daring. For our dreamers, it’s also worth persisting with what didn’t work. This is the case, for example, for the project to replace the Tim Maia Bike Lane, which collapsed in 2016, with another that would guarantee the kind of safety required by the landscape.

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The Dream of Making Martin Luther King Greener

Architect Washington Fajardo has a dream: to see the revitalization of one of the main roads of the Zona Norte – Avenida Pastor Martin Luther King Jr, previously Avenida Automóvel Club. There are 13 kilometers that pass through 11 neighborhoods, from Del Castilho to Pavuna. It’s a journey with bumpy roads, surrounded by slums, and abandoned. In his opinion, the route is very important for the city, it has a good number of stores and subway stations, but there are several idle and underutilized areas that surround it.

“It’s chaotic, disorganized, with no urban amenities, no places to meet people, relax, stroll, or play sports.” An absurd urban waste. We could install a Green Line there, as originally conceived in the Doxiadis Plan (made by Greek urbanist Constantino Doxiadis and commissioned by Carlos Lacerda in the 1960s), with an emphasis on urban afforestation, says Fajardo.

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A Royal Road that Connects the Past and Future

To think about the future, the city must not neglect the past. For this reason, architect Rodrigo Bertamé, a member of Rio’s Council of Architecture and Urbanism, proposes the recovery of the Caminho Imperial. Marked with granite blocks, it was the route taken by the Imperial Family, from their residence in São Cristóvão (presently the National Museum, at Quinta da Boa Vista) to the Fazenda Real de Santa Cruz (now an Army post).

“This road currently passes through many city streets and has very little signage. There are only three colonial landmarks remaining. I suggest a revitalization, having as a premise a mobility system that shows an appreciation for bike paths and public transport, and an urban treaty that encourages and values buildings”, said Bertamé.

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More Life for the Renewed Port Region

The aim of a major revitalization project, with the removal of the Elevado da Perimetral, the design of a new waterfront and the inauguration of museums and an aquarium, the Port Zone changed its appearance and became popular with tourists and locals. In the evaluation of Luiz Fernando Janot, however, life is missing at the port. Therefore, it’s necessary to create a program to encourage the occupation of houses and other residential buildings in the region, so that there’s movement, even on weekends.

“I would create an urban plan, reviewing what was done, because there was an economic plan, which overlapped other aspects. That’s why it’s like this now, empty. We have to rethink this, doing a project with housing and commercial occupations in mind, giving support to office buildings”, he says.

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To Not Miss the Chance in a Panoramic City

Rio looks good in a picture at any angle, especially from the top of its hills. Author of the project Rio Cidade do Leblon, Luiz Eduardo Indio da Costa knows this well and imagined taking even more advantage of this panorama: he designed a circuit of aerial cable cars linking several mountains in Rio. The idea was placed on his drawing board after one of the many walks that the architect usually takes through the streets to think about the city. We need to take advantage of the topography, he believes.

“A potential urban intervention would be to execute my Rio Panorâmico project, which provides aerial cable cars through the chain of mountains that separate Copacabana from Botafogo. The proposal would extend the Sugarloaf cable car to the hills of Babilônia and Cantagalo, with a descent in Lagoa. The other, less viable circuit, would be over the forest through Alto da Boa Vista, dividing Itanhangá.”

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A Habitational Policy to Contain Favelas

With 763 favelas, Rio has the national title of the city with the largest population living in slums. According to the latest IBGE Census, from 2010, there are 1.3 million people living in these areas. Just in Rio das Pedras (slum), in Jacarepaguá, there are 80,000 people, according to city hall. The residents’ association there, however, estimates 140,000 inhabitants. It’s these figures that lead architect Giuseppe Badolato – who designed developments such as the one in the Cidade Alta, in Cordovil, and the one in City of God, in Jacarepaguá – to propose a “radical urbanization” of the favelas:

“Rio needs a short, medium and long-term housing policy that will halt the process of proliferation of new favelas. In existing ones, it’s necessary to open up avenues and access points, to avoid them being a hiding place for bandits.

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To Get on Track with a New Look and Comfort

Among the more than 100 stations on the railway line in the State of Rio, two in the city are small architectural jewels: the one on Marechal Hermes, from 1913, and the one at Olímpica do Engenho de Dentro, from 1937, which was remodeled for the 2016 Olympics. Both are protected by the municipality.

Architect Pedro da Luz, president of Brazil’s Institute of Architects, laments that such beauty is an exception to the rest of the railway network:

“I would implement an urban requalification of the railway, with the revitalization of the stations. We have beautiful stations, like Marechal Hermes and Engenho de Dentro, but we need to reform the whole system. Change the look. There are barbed-wire stations that look like concentration camps. There’s also a lack of comfort for passengers, because in many (stations) the benches are old.

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Insecurity and Abandon with Views of the Sea

On the seafront, between Leblon and São Conrado, facing an incomparable landscape, the Tim Maia Bicycle Lane does not have the kind of image that matches the landscape since a partial collapse that left two dead, three months after its inauguration in 2016. Partly restricted since then, what should be a ‘postcard’ became synonymous with abandonment. Director of the Association of Designers and Architects, architect Paula Neder suggests demolishing the structure, which “was poorly designed and poorly executed”:

“It’s a bold choice, but the bike path leaves everyone insecure. I believe in a new project, the result of an open competition, which, in addition to offering security, shows appreciation for what is one of the most beautiful views in the world, without preventing those who travel on Avenida Niemeyer from also appreciating it.”

A Right to the City

In a city full of ups and downs, urbanistic proposals are not lacking when experts think about the subject. Oscar Niemeyer’s great-grandson, architect Paulo Niemeyer confesses that it’s not easy to choose an intervention in a city lacking infrastructure, opportunities, and a “right to (make use of) the city.” Rio de Janeiro, like countless other cities, he says, has a lot to get done and in several areas.

“A place with enormous potential, if we consider the political, financial and cultural viability, would be Barra da Tijuca, where there is a lack of human scale, a lack of public spaces that are more democratic and accessible to all citizens. I understand that this reclamation, with the deserved improvement that contemporary society demands to update modernist utopia, would be an opportunity to become a model to replicate throughout the city.”

Source (PT)

The Pig’s Head – 1924

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Note: The following article from 1924 which I translated is about the tearing down of tenement housing in downtown Rio. It was said to take the homes of anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 people, who would go on to join the founding residents of Rio’s first favela. The demolition of Cabeça de Porco would also foreshadow the events a decade in the future, such as the Bota-Abaixo, as well as the city’s messy growth in the 20th century. The cartoon above shows a crying pig with a “barata” on it, referencing the then-mayor whose last name means cockroach.  

The Pig’s Head
by Hermeto Lima
Revista da Semana, 1924 [PT]

Imbedded on Rua Barão de S. Felix, up against the Cajueiros quarry, until 1893 there were cortiços (tenement houses), the last of their kind, refuge of capoeiras (hooligan ex-slaves) and murderers of all nationalities. It was the “Pig’s Head”.

A gate or, rather, an immense arch gave access to a large pigpen. From day to day it was dangerous to enter; in the darkness of the night no one dared to do so.

Along the way, hundreds of cottages lined up; rooms that were contaminated, impossible to count their number, would be open coffins, piled up on top of each other and with people inside. Along with all this, were an infinity of buildings, thrown together, with pine board walls and tin sheet roofs. Big stones on them, to keep them there and prevent the wind from carrying them off.

In front of these buildings, a non-paved street. Impossible to cross it from end to end, with such obstacles therein. Here were the tubs of laundry women; there were slings of clothes; a multitude of bamboo everywhere, with enormous twines, where shirts of all kinds and tendrils flutter. Hungry chickens cackle for a grain of corn; stray dogs full of leprosy fight for a crust; trapped enchained parrots scream and, with their paws or their beaks, seek to tear off the parasites that devour their skin; little birds of all species, beset, sprinkle themselves in the mud of their old cages; silent cats, spy frightenly through the cracks between piles of coffins and garbage cans of all kinds. A monkey with skirts, property of an Italian, a mouth-organ player, in an eternal sway, squeaks, showing its teeth. The man with a bear, makes him dance to the sound of a tambourine, whose primitive color no one even knows. A black sorcerer, from Benguela (south of Luanda), with a snake coiled around his neck, jumps and sings to the sound of a maraca.

It’s ten o’clock. The “Pig’s Head” is in its full swing. At first glance, it seems that only women work there, because a swarm of them, of all colors and nationalities – predominantly Italian, Spanish and Portuguese – is seen in a deafening “fervet opus”.

Some wash, others iron, still others in improvised kitchens, stir pots, placed on bricks and not falling only by a whim of the laws of balance.

Almost all of them sing more or less obscene songs. Some babble with the others or scold their children, who whimper there close-by.

The men, very few, work in the shoe repair shops, of which there are ten. From time to time, from one of those dens, emerges a mulatto with a pair of trousers, a belt, and a jersey, known among the hooligans, stretching and opening his huge mouth. Having just woke up.

On one side of the street is a barber shop. The owner, a giant black man who is said to be a deserter from the navy, shaves the customer’s face while telling a group about his exploits.

In front of the barber shop, a cellar draws the attention of those who go to the “Pig’s Head”. An old black man is seated at the door, which he closes as soon as someone enters or leaves. And his work must be painful, because it is a constant come-and-go of people who seem endless.

That’s where “monte” (game of luck) is played.

Naked children of all ages are everywhere; some roll around, crawling through the mud on the street; others, with their bare chest, whimper, confusing the mucus of the nostrils with the saliva and the tears they shed.

Girls, ages 12 and 13, wearing rags, carry other children in their arms or pull them along by the arm, so that they walk fast.

Boys aged 12 to 14, in groups, plan robberies, practice immoralities or tell tales, in a language capable of making a monk blush.

A den of famous criminals, when one fights there, there is no police that dare to haul him away from there.

Armed robberies or assaults are planned right there, in the open, without fear of denunciation.

Suddenly, a ghastly commotion.

There are two black women who wrestle because one wants to take the lover of another, or because she invaded the tub of the other one.

And people join in; and sides are formed, to see which of the two is the bravest. Screams, voices, trills of whistles that reach the street and the ears of the police. But they shrug and says,

“Well, it’s in the Pig’s Head.”

At other times, it is not women who fight. It is men, and then the story takes another shape. There is a hideous shooting, which, once it is over, it is not uncommon to find 2 or 3 corpses lying on the ground.

And then the news runs: – It was “Caboclo” that killed “Barba de bode”. The others had nothing to do with the fight. They were passing by at the time of the shooting.

And thus was life in the “Pig’s Head”, where about two thousand people lived.

In the monarchical regime, it was said that several authorities tried more than once to do away with this tenement, but soon higher orders appeared that neutralized that intention.

In vain, the press complained against that Babylon without assurances and without hygiene and whose property was of many, each one even more prestigious in the political world.

The Republic was made. On December 20, 1892, Mayor Dr. Candido Barata Ribeiro was appointed. One of his first acts was to do away with the “Pig’s Head” however possible.

At 8 o’clock on the morning of January 26, 1893, an infantry force of the police, commanded by Captain Marcellino and another of cavalry, were marching to Rua João Ricardo. A crowd of firefighters and about 300 workers from the Inspectorate of Public Works, the Chief of Police, Dr. Bernardino Fereira da Silva, the Mayor, Dr. Barata Ribeiro, Dr. Corrêa Dutra, second auxiliary delegate, and other authorities followed.

No one knew what that apparatus meant.

Having arriving in front of the “Pig’s Head”, it was like the barbarians entering Rome.

The infamous tenement was invaded and 300 workers with pickaxes in hand began their destructive work. When the dust from the walls was too much, the Fire Department would come to the rescue to complete the task.

The threats of the troublemakers and the lamentations of the women were worthless. Within a few hours, the “Pig’s Head” that had lasted for 53 years was reduced to a heap of debris.

Only then could one see well the many alleys, the nooks, the stores, and the corridors in which it was subdivided.

After a few months, its owners filed a lawsuit claiming compensation for damages and lost profits.

The action was evaluated at five thousand contos that the City had to pay, without a word nor a peep.

That was how much the “Pig’s Head” cost.

But it came down.

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(about 30 years after it came down)

Documentary shows the formation of Rio

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The documentary São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro, from 2015, shows the rich 450-year history of the city of Rio de Janeiro and its profound changes, using archival footage, 3D simulations and testimonials. You can find some more info on the film here (PT).

I was able to finally see it after trying to find it for two years. The documentary is well-done, and a good watch (even if you’re already familiar with the history, like me). Check out the trailer below.

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)

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)

Giant ferris wheel – A new Rio fixture

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A ferris wheel, 88 meters high, will be part of the Olympic Boulevard scenery. To be inaugurated by the first half of 2018, between AquaRio and the Aqwa building (see below), a ticket will cost from US$6-9 (R$20-30). Inspired by other world-famous ferris wheels, such as London Eye, the so-called Estrela do Rio will be the largest in Brazil.

The project, estimated at $6.1 million, will be funded by a company to be created by Esfeco Administração, holding company of Trem do Corcovado, AquaRio and Complexo Paineiras. The wheel will have 48 cabins with air conditioning and capacity for 300 people. Each round will last 30 minutes and will offer the visitor a 330-degree view of the city.

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(One can see the relation between Aqwa and AquaRio, as well as Cidade do Samba on the left, and Pedra do Sal on the right)

“The wheel will be installed in a large square where a gas station was previously located, on an area of ​​2000 m², stretching out the Boulevard walkway. In Guanabara Bay, with the Rio-Niteroi Bridge, it will provide a view of Praça Mauá and the Museum of Tomorrow, and the entire downtown,” said Sávio Neves, director of Esfeco. He initially discussed the idea with the former mayor Eduardo Paes, in 2009.

The Estrela do Rio will run every day of the week from 11h to 22h. The structure will be accessed by VLT stations Cidade do Samba and AquaRio. The expectation is to increase the flow of people in the region, especially to AquaRio, which has already received 1.4 million visitors.

Sávio Neves is going to China in the coming days to choose a supplier. After closing the deal, the product will be transported by ship to Rio. Staff will be trained by Chinese manufacturers. According to Neves, the largest Ferris wheel in Brazil is in the Hopi Hari amusement park, in São Paulo, at 44 meters, half the height of Rio’s. The largest ferris wheel in the world is the High Roller, in Las Vegas, at 167 meters. The Estrela do Rio is also more than double the size of the 2017 Rock in Rio ferris wheel, which was 35 meters, and higher than the one set up at Copacabana Fort in 2008 and 2009, at 36 meters.

A concessionária Porto Novo retomará hoje a operação na Zona Portuária, interrompida em julho por falta de pagamento. Ela fará manutenção, conserto de calçadas, arborização, drenagem, iluminação e controle de tráfego.

The Porto Novo concessionaire has resumed operations in the port area, previously stopped in July due to lack of payment. It will do maintenance, and repair of sidewalks, trees, drainage, illumination and traffic control. – Source (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.”