14 July 2010

Trem Bala Perdida

The news about the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics continues to confuse, amaze, anger, and depress. 

Today's OGlobo ran the headline: Lula tells FIFA 'we're not a bunch of idiots'. Unfortunately, this observation was not confirmed by reading about the launching of the R$33.1 billion high speed train project that is intended to link Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Campinas. As I have mentioned before, there is NO PASSENGER TRAIN SERVICE between these cities, so an entirely new rail system will have to be created. Lula wants this to be completed before the Olympics, though he has delayed the public bidding on the project until 10 days before he leaves office. His solution: "It's really sunny here, if you wanted you could have three shifts working seven days a week." Yes, Senhor Presidente, you could. R$ R$ R$ R$ R$ R$. Ca-ching! The minister of the Casa Civil (responsible for federal construction projects) was asked why the government wanted to build the train: "Because we can. Because we're bold. It's a sign of Brazil's maturation, as a country that is in a period of growth." Spending tens of billions on a high speed train linking the wealthiest cities in the country because you can, is not only a sign of immaturity and insecurity, but is idiotic and irresponsible. 

Yesterday, p.21 of the Economy section: "Real Estate prices in Rio rise 76% and experts see new heights coming." There is a difference in the rise in prices around the city, with Ipanema registering the most growth. But the pattern is clear, from now until after the Olympics there is only going to be an increase in housing prices in what is already one of the most expensive cities in the Americas. OGlobo attributes the astronomical boom in the real estate sector to easy credit, higher wages, the installation of the Police Pacification Units (UPPs) in the Zona Sul, and the coming mega-events. The segment that is seeing the most hyper-valorization is the middle and lower middle class sectors. If you were thinking of buying a place in Rio, you're about a year late. 

In summary: all of the stadiums are behind schedule (and are going to be very expensive white elephants), the airports are not equipped to handle any increase in demand, there is no efficient inter-urban transport so the government wants to build a high speed train, the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) is a closed and corrupt institution and will direct the production of the World Cup, the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) is a closed and corrupt institution and will direct the R$30 billion Olympics through a complex shell game (which involves vague and temporary institutions like the Public Olympic Authority and the Olympic Legacy Company), the same people and companies that went ten times over budget and left no legacy for the 2007 Pan American Games are poised to repeat their sleight of hand, real estate prices are going through the roof, the state government is occupying favelas with shock troops which has increased real estate values by 400% and increased crime in other parts of the city, there are plans to totally reform the Zona Portuaria into something resembling Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires or South Street Seaport in Manhattan despite the fact that 40,000 people live there, there are massive government subsidies to build hotels, museums, and absurd environmental and cultural attractions, new transportation lines will link the international airport with the Olympic Zones and leave the rest of the city to find a way to get to work, the national government just passed a law REDUCING the need for transparent spending on the World Cup and Olympics, no government official wants to begin work until after the elections in November, and the contracts signed by three levels of government with FIFA and the IOC have become more inviolable than the social contract of a democracy. 

These projects will change the urban and social fabrics of Rio de Janeiro and Brazil for generations to come. Much more public participation and coordinated planning should be undertaken in their implementation. Closing one's eyes and hoping for the best is not a solution, unless you happen to own real-estate in a part of town that is already well-served by public transportation and environmental amenities. Money has never flowed more freely from Brasilia to Rio de Janeiro and those with vested interests are far from idiotic but work tirelessly to capture as much wealth as possible. The next post will be positive, but it may take some digging. 

3 comments:

RG Michener said...

Interesting stuff, Chris, though I don't see why creating a train line between three of the most important cities in Brazil is idiotic. At least they'll be doing something with all the tax they're collecting (tax is 34% of GDP--higher than Canada!). Perhaps it will also lower the atrocious death rate from auto accidents, by absorbing excess manual labor--increase the minimum wage and create a new micro-economy based on the rail industry.

Dr. Christopher Gaffney said...

the problem isn't that they are building a train line between those cities, it's that with the same amount of investment, they could build a national rail system. there is no evident demand for a high speed train as it will be more expensive than flying and it won't even be ready for the mega-events that they are supposedly building the train for...

web dagger said...

Hey Thanks a Lot for Sharing a nice Article............
By the way check out the total information about Pan American Games 2011 like events, venues, Pan American Games 2011 Dates, Pan American Games 2011 Schedule, Medal table, Medal tally and more from Pan American Games 2011.

Labels

2014 World Cup Rio de Janeiro Maracanã FIFA 2016 Olympics 2016 Summer Olympics Eduardo Paes CBF Copa do Mundo 2014 Rio de Janeiro Olympics Ricardo Texeira World Cup 2014 Vasco da Gama 2010 World Cup White Elephants mega-events APO UPP BRT Brazil football Flamengo Lula Orlando Silva violence ANT Aldeia Maracana Carlos Nuzman Dilma Eike Batista Rio 2016 Sergio Cabral 2007 Pan American Games Campeonato Carioca Corruption IOC Jerome Valcke Novo Maracanã stadiums BOPE BRASIL 2016 Brasil 2014 Engenhao Joao Havelange Maracana Policia Militar Vila Autódromo Aldo Rebelo Botafogo Henrique Meirelles Medida Provisoria Metro Revolta do Vinagre Sao Paulo Sepp Blatter World Cup 2010 forced removal Carnaval Elefantes Brancos Fechadao Marcia Lins Minerao Morumbi Odebrecht Porto Maravilha Rio+20 Romario Security Walls South Africa South Africa 2010 TCU Transoeste protests public money public transportation slavery transparency x-Maracana Andrew Jennings Argentina Audiencia Publica Barcelona Brazil Carvalho Hosken Comitê Popular Confederatons Cup Copa do Brasil 2010 Cost overruns Crisis of Capital Accumulation EMOP FERJ Favela do Metro Fluminense Fluminese Fonte Novo IMX Jose Marin Leonel Messi London 2012 Marcelo Freixo Maré Museu do Indio Olympic Delivery Authority Perimetral Rocinha Soccerex Transcarioca bicycles consumer society debt idiocy militarization transportation 1995 Rugby World Cup 2004 Olympics 2015 Copa America Banco Imobiliario Barcas SA Belo Horizonte Bom Senso F.C. Brasilerao CDURP CONMEBOL Champions League. Mourinho Complexo do Alemão Copa Libertadores Cupula dos Povos ESPN England FiFA Fan Fest Istanbul 2020 Jogos Militares John Carioca Kaka Manaus McDonald's Obama Olympic Village PPP Paralympics Providencia Recife Russia Salvador Soccer City Taksim Square Tatu-bola Urban Social Forum Vidigal Vila Olimpica War World Cup Xaracana attendance figures cities corrupcao drugs estadios football frangueiro futebol mafia planejamento urbano police repression porn privitization reforms shock doctrine taxes 201 2010 Elections 2010 Vancouver Olypmics 2013 2018 World Cup 2030 Argentina / Uruguay ABRAJI AGENCO ANPUR ANT-SP Amazonia Ancelmo Gois Andrade Gutierrez Anthony Garotinho Arena Amazonia Arena Pernambucana Athens Atlético Paranaense Avenida das Americas BID Barra de Tijuca Blatter Brasil x Cote d'Iviore Brasileirão 2013 Brasilia Brasilierao Bruno Souza Bus fares COB COI COMLURB CPI CPO Cabral Caixa Economica Canal do Anil Cantagalo Celio de Barros Cesar Maia Chapeu Mangueira Chile 2015 Choque do Ordem Cidade da Copa Class One Powerboat Racing Clint Dempsey Comite Companhia das Docas Copa do Brasil Corinthians Cuiabá Curitiba Dave Zrin David Harvey Der Spiegel Eastwood Edge of Sports Escola Friendenrich Expo Estadio Expo Urbano FGV Fonte Nova Gamboa Garotinho Geostadia Ghana Globo Greek Debt Crisis Greek Olympics HBO Hipoptopoma IMG IPHAN ISL Iniesta Internatinal Football Arena Invictus Istanbul Itaquerao Jacque Rogge Jefferson John Coates Jose Beltrame Julio Grondona Julio Lopes Julio de Lamare Knights Templar Korea Lei Geral da Copa MAR MEX Manchester United Mangabeira Unger Maracanã. Soccerex Marina da Gloria Mexico Milton Santos Molotov Cocktail Mr.Balls Neymar Nicholas Leoz Nilton Santos Olympic Flag Olympic Park Project Oscar Niemeyer Pacaembu Pan American Games Parque Olimpico Pernambuco Plano Popular Plano Popular do Maracana Plano Popular do Maracanã Play the Game Pope Porto Alegre Porto Olimpico Porto Seguro Portuguesa Praca Tiradentes Preview Projeto Morrinho Putin Qatar Quatar 2022 RSA Realengo Regis Fichtner Roberto Dinamite Russia 2018 SETRANS SMH Santa Teresa Santos Sao Raimundo Sargento Pepper Security Cameras Smart City Sochi 2014 South Korea Stormtroopers São Januário São Paulo Teargas Templars Tokyo 2020 Tropa do Elite II Turkey UFRJ/IPPUR URU USA USA! Unidos da Tijuca United States government Urban Age Conference VVIP Via Binário Victory Team Vila Autodromo Vila Cruzeiro Vila do Pan Vilvadao Vivaldao Volta Alice Wasteland Workers' Party World Cup 2018 Xavi Zurich apartments atrazos barrier beer bio-fuels bonde capacities civil society comite popular copa sudamericana crack crime dengue dictatorship estádios favelalógica feira livre fiador flooding freedom of information furos geral graffiti guarda municipal host city agreement identity infrastructure ipanema istoe labor rape riots schedule school shooting security segregation social movements stadium state of exception supervia tear gas ticket prices torcidas organizadas tourism traffic tragedy trash trem-bala velodromo wikileaks xingar