26 April 2011

More of the same, as usual

As usual, it is difficult to know where to begin, so let’s take it from the top.

A Presidenta da República, Dilma is planning on calling a meeting with the twelve governors of the states that will host the World Cup. The federal government is beginning to realize that someone has to take the lead in organizing things, now, or there are going to be some major problems in 2014. INFRAERO, the Brazilian air transport authority, has already assured everyone that 9 or the 12 airport projects will not be ready in time. Dilma is trying to find ways to avoid an international embarrassment and so is taking steps to have “preventative auditing measures” put in place so that the major projects won’t be unnecessarily delayed by pesky accountants once they are actually under way. The generalized lack of planning is hopefully no longer going to be acceptable as both Plan A and Plan B. However, as we know, the stadium projects have doubled in price since 2009, with three of them already scheduled to cost well over R$1 billion. So much for preventative measures.

But really, the problem is not with spending public money on stadia. It’s in the almost complete lack of return on investment, not spending it on other projects and ruining lives to make the stadiums happen. The following are reports that will be seen again, and again, and again as Brazil “gets ready” to host the mega-events.

This one, in Portuguese, is about the people who are being forcibly removed from their homes around the Sambódromo:

This one, in English, is about the total lack of humanity shown by the Prefeitura in removing people from around the Maracanã to make way for a parking lot. The text that accompanies the video is here.

           

           

           

           

           


This week, Amnesty International and the United Nations are in town to 1) deliver condemnations of the Brazilian government for violating human rights agreements that Brazil has signed onto 2) interview activists and residents about the ongoing disappropriations 3) call international attention to the problems of mega-events and their urban and social impacts. The author of the United Nations report is Raquel Rolink, professor of Urbanism at the University of São Paulo. Her report can be found though this excellent website on the human right to dignified housing. Other information regarding the forced removals in Rio can be found here.  

It’s doubtful that anyone in the City Government will be listening or if they are, they will hear only what they want to hear. My evidence for this presumption comes from a talk entitled O Plano do Legado para Cidade do Rio de Janeiro that the Secretário Extraordinário de Desenvolvimento [sic] Felipe Goes gave last week at the Instituto de Arquitetos do Brasil (IAB, where despite their insistence on smart urban design, they don’t have a bicycle rack).

Goes opened his talk by reflecting upon the “Olympic Legacy” in Athens. He told the crowd that in his conversations with Greek government officials, the principal Olympic legacy was an improvement in the social comportment of the Athenians. In the lead up to the Olympics there was much less graffiti and tagging. Of course, once the economy collapsed and students and government workers took to the streets in violent protest, graffiti becomes a much less subtle weapon that a Molotov cocktail (as I described in this post from 2010). Come on Felipe! Comportamento Social? Fala Sério. But then, to give you an idea of how the government can turn a turd into a flower, this really very Extraordinary Secretary said that a BRT system slashing through neighborhoods is actually much better than a Metro because you get to see the landscape and not be trapped underground. In Rio de Janeiro, you either drink the Olympic Kool-aid ©® TM or get your house knocked over.

It’s not just that mega-event development projects are ill-considered, poorly planned, attend the demands of international capital at the expense of the population, install extra-legal authorities, privatize and militarize public space, throw public money at Pharanoic projects, and allow for the installation of neo-liberal tactics of governance. 

What really irks is that even with all this, nothing gets done properly. The announcement for the opening of bidding for the Olympic Park project had two different dates. In Portuguese it was 25.4.11, in English 25.5.11. Naturally, this generated some confusion and the pdf was re-released. This was the same bidding process that was cancelled earlier in the year because the IAB was screaming about Rio 2016’s lack of transparency. Today’s O Globo informed that the Velódromo built for the 2007 Pan American Games for R$14,1 million does not meet IOC or international cycling federation regulations and will have to be completely rebuilt. The same holds true for the Pan swimming center which will only be capable of hosting synchronized swimming and water polo for the Olympics. Is it incompetence? Ignorance? Corruption?  Can it all be going so wrong?

There are many discouraging signs as Rio de Janeiro and Brazil prepare to host a series of mega-events over the next five years. The city has a difficult time handling rain, much less interminable and poorly planned urban interventions. On the bright side, the soccer stadiums are not as violent as those in Buenos Aires. Of course, when at the Engenhão, one can’t even see the goal line. Nice legacy.



No comments:

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