13 August 2012

Here it comes!!

Below is a transcript from an interview with the journalist Lucy Jordan (www.lucy-jordan.com)about the impending, banalized brutality of Rio 2016.

Lucy Jordan (LJ): Do you think the process of preparing for mega-events such as the Olympics has been a positive thing for Rio? Why not? Can you think of any positive aspects to the 2016 Olympic games? 

Hunting White Elephants (HWE): Yes and no. There has been a lot of investment and the city is nearly at full employment, yet the projects under way will not attend the real needs of the city. The Rio 2016 project has become the effective master plan for the city: a dangerous move in a city with a historical lack of investment in basic infrastructure. Also the interventions are creating a dual city: the Olympic city vs. the Non-Olympic city. There are of course always positive aspects when a city receives such massive investment but how those investments are being directed and what their long term effects will be is another story.

LJ: Do you think Rio is prepared for the Olympics? What measures have been taken so far to prepare Rio? Have they been successful? What are the main obstacles that Rio will face in preparing and being ready in time?

HWE: No. Almost none. Of the four BRT lines, three of which were not part of the original project, the one that has come partially on line has killed five people in the past few months because people are using it as a bike path.Why? There are no bike paths in the region. The question about being ready on time is not completely relevant as the six-week demands of the Games tend to justify a thousand urban interventions that will not prepare the city for the demands of 2017 or 2025. The main obstacles are a lack of professionalism in management, conflicts of interest, bureaucratic obstacles, lack of public participation, lack of transparency, and a lack of planning for post-event uses.

LJ: What do you think will be the main similarities and differences between the London games and the Rio games, and why? Do you think that differences between Rio and London, and Brazil and the UK, will manifest themselves in the difference between the Rio games and the London games? How?

HWE: London’s Games happened in a large city with a relatively functional transportation network and very few physical alterations to the city’s infrastructure had to be undertaken. Rio has many more problems in this regard: transportation is fragile, sewage systems are inadequate, etc. Also there is no terrorist threat in Brazil, so the massive investments in security will be more to control local populations rather than to defend against external threats. Things will happen more spontaneously in Rio and the Brazilian penchant for big parties in public space will make the spirit of the completion more diffuse. Also, Rio is not as cosmopolitan as London so there might be more surprises in store for the wealthy international tourist class that frequents the Games.

LJ: Do you think that Brazilians, and in particular Cariocas, are excited about the 2016 games? Why/Why not? How has Rio reacted to the London games? Do you think Brazil will be able to top the success of the London games?

HWE: The Olympics are exciting and Cariocas are of course excited to have the opportunity to see the games happen on home soil. Yet there is a tremendous anxiety and lingering doubts about the capacity of games organizers and the government to act transparently, professionally, and with the best interests of the city residents at the front of their agendas. There hasn’t been much reaction in Rio to the London
Games as Olympic sports are not of great interest in Brazil. The sexualization of female athletes has dominated the amateurish coverage. Brazil’s medal count has been surprisingly low which has further diminished interest. Top the “success” of the London Games? In what sense? Organization, transportation, security, cost? Successful sporting events are easy enough to pull off, preparing the city for future demands should be the real measure of a Games’ success. London was 5x over budget, hugely militarized, corporatized, etc...now what? 
LJ: What do you think of AECOM’s design? Is had been lauded for sustainability – do you think this is warranted?
HWE: It depends on what sustainability means. 60% of the AECOM project will be given over to real-estate. This will be yet another car-dependent, closed condominium project in Barra de Tijuca. The densification of this wetland region is occurring without the required investment in sanitation or in effective public transportation projects. Without creating jobs in the region, residents will get in their cars to go to centers of employment = not sustainable. AECOM has done some interesting things given the parameters set by Rio 2016, including the urbanization of the Vila Autódromo community. The Vila Autódromo has developed a proposal for how this urbanization should occur, demonstrating that keeping the community in situ will be more economical and sustainable environmentally than removal.
LJ: What kind of lasting “legacy” do you think Brazil will be left with after the games are over? 

HWE: I don’t use the word “legacy” to describe the Olympic project. These are impacts. There will be a massive budgetary overrun, militarization and privatization of public space, huge investments in world-class sporting facilities that will not be supported by programs to develop athletes, transportation lines that fragment instead of connect the city, huge increases in rents, unused four and five star hotel rooms that were subsidized by the public, and millions of good memories for one of the most expensive parties in history. 

No comments:


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