Rio hoje!

The New York Times recently published a series of photos illustrating the changes happening in Rio. They are beautiful, but still don’t represent what we see and have seen in the city these days.  What do you think?

The New York Times publicou uma série de fotos que ilustram as mudanças que acontecem no Rio de Janeiro. Eles são lindos, mas ainda não representam o que tudo o que vemos e temos visto na cidade nos dias de hoje. O que você acha?

Sunset at Arpoador Beach, between Ipanema and Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro. Rio is growing in leaps and bounds ahead of the World Cup next year and the 2016 Summer Olympics.


Workers at a tunnel complex under construction as part of a gargantuan $4 billion port redevelopment plan that envisions turning an industrial area on the scale of Lower Manhattan into the glittering, skyscraper-filled hub for a new global Rio.


A traditional Monday night samba at Pedra do Sal square in the Saúde neighborhood. The port encompasses this neighborhood and others like it: poor, run-down but pretty enclaves of multicolored houses and cobblestone streets.


A worker walked under a busy highway that cut a path through the port area. Demolition had begun on the highway to make way for a pedestrian promenade and new tram.


On a hill overlooking downtown Rio, a basket of apples was left as an offering by faithfuls of Afro-Brazilian Candomblé and Umbanda religions.


Tidying up in the port area. Rio’s mayor, Eduardo Paes, is saying all the right things about combating sprawl, beefing up mass transit, constructing new schools and integrating the favelas, where one in five city residents lives, with the rest of the city.


The development threatens to dislodge Vila Autódromo, a longtime favela. As months of street protests illustrate, progressive ideals run up against age-old, intractable problems in this city where class difference and corruption are nearly as immovable as the mountains.


The new cable car streaks over the Complexo do Alemão favela. Cable cars and cultural attractions, the standard tool kit for city face-lifts today, make good illustrations for Olympic brochures and PowerPoint presentations.


Passengers arrived at a bus terminal in the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood. At the heart of Barra is a symbol of profligate spending and class divisions, a new arts center, the City of Music, designed by the French architect Christian de Portzamparc, across from a giant mall with a replica of the Statue of Liberty out front. A project started under the previous mayor, twice over budget at $250 million and marooned in the middle of a highway, the place has provoked complaints that it is out of touch with both the city’s culture and its real needs.


The City of Music with the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood in the background. A concrete complex of theaters, raised sky high on giant piers, the center may be the most absurd new building in years.


Boys practiced a dance at Madureira Park, a mile-and-a-half-long, $50 million concrete and green swath with a huge samba stage and water feature, built on land freed up by relocating high voltage electric lines. The place has been a game changer for residents of a crowded district with precious little open space.


A worker ran to catch a bus as upper class condos in the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood rose in the background. Recent promises by the mayor to insert 2,000 units of public housing are belated and vague, announced to appease detractors while not upsetting investors.


A worker in a tunnel complex under construction as part of the new port area. The port redevelopment is mostly a commercial real estate deal, another example, critics complain, of a government in thrall to developers.


Workers prepared a highway for demolition for the port project. There is no real master plan, no guarantee that what’s good and worth preserving about the urban mix of the existing port won’t be sacrificed to a sea of office towers.


A lake at the Vila Autódromo favela. Winning community support for these projects takes time, and collaboration is slow. Rio is in a hurry.




3 thoughts on “Rio hoje!

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