September 9, 2013
Jane Wakefield – BBC News, 09/08/2013
Rio de Janeiro’s famously chaotic favelas are as much a landmark of the city as the Christ statue or Sugarloaf Mountain but few would see them as the natural home to smart technologies.
However, a remarkable project is under way that is already changing lives, and it is one of which the city government, keen to put Rio on the map as Latin America’s first smart city, should take note.
The project, co-ordinated by Unicef in collaboration with local non-government organisation CEDAPS (Centro de Promocao da Saude) has local teenagers digitally mapping five favelas in order to highlight some of the challenges for those living there.
August 22, 2013
Hannah Strange – The Telegraph, 08/22/2013
Speaking after June riots that saw public fury at spending on sporting events spill out onto the streets of Rio and other cities, Eduardo Paes said: “It is a shame that Brazil is hosting the Olympic Games… We must handle the legacy of the Olympics in the city”.
He suggested that while the infrastructure being built in Rio would benefit the city, it was uncertain who would maintain and fund parts of it in the future.
“Rio will have to look after the legacy of infrastructure,” he said in an interview with sports channel ESPN to be broadcast on Friday. “But it’s unclear who will run the sports centres after the Olympics.”
August 20, 2013
Jonathan Watts – The Guardian, 08/20/2013
Rio de Janeiro’s preparations for the World Cup and Olympics have so far mostly focussed on efforts to sweep crime off the streets, but now the city has opened up a new front in its clean-up campaign: a draconian clampdown on litterbugs.
As well as an escalating scale of fines, ranging from £30 for pet litter to almost £1,000 for large-scale fly-tipping, the authorities say they will also give a “dirty name” to citizens who are caught dropping rubbish, and who fail to pay the penalty. This will be noted on their identification documents, and will appear whenever they apply for credit cards or loans.
The lixo zero (zero waste) law was supposed to have have been introduced in July but was postponed because of the recent papal visit and mass demonstrations against public bus fare increases, which showed widespread resistance to new levies. Rio’s mayor, Eduardo Paes, said he also wanted more time to raise public awareness.
July 30, 2013
Paulo Prada & Anthony Boadle- Reuters, 07/28/2013
A string of organizational flaws during the visit of Pope Francis to Brazil that put him at risk and stranded thousands of visiting faithful has deepened concern about the country’s ability to host the upcoming World Cup and Olympic Games.
Even Rio de Janeiro’s mayor gave himself a failing grade in organizing World Youth Day, a biennial gathering of young Catholics that on Sunday drew some 3 million people to a seaside mass delivered by the pope on Copacabana beach.
The city, said Eduardo Paes in a radio interview on Friday, “scored closer to zero than ten.”
June 28, 2013
BBC News, 06/27/2013
Brazil “lost a great opportunity” to improve public services when it won the right to host the 2014 football World Cup, Rio de Janeiro’s mayor says.
Eduardo Paes told the BBC Brazil should have seized the occasion to invest in healthcare, education and transport.
He spoke after another day of protests against corruption and the high cost of preparations for the World Cup.
June 27, 2013
Eduardo Paes – Huffington Post, 06/27/2013
Eduardo Paes is the current mayor of Rio de Janeiro
According to United Nations 70 percent of the global population will live in cities by 2050. Within this new world order, conurbations play the lead role and are fiercely competing for supremacy. Yet our global economy does not respect the traditional political boundaries defined between nations. Political movements are now spreading on a global scale and more quickly than ever, something we have witnessed at street level with public demonstrations taking place in Brazil and around the world.
Such disputes are vital to so-called “global cities” — a term coined by sociologist Saskia Sassen. These large-scale metropolises have become an international metaphor for the global community, vying amongst themselves to become key economic hubs, centers for decision-making and policy and home to internationally renowned cultural institutions. New York, London, Singapore, Tokyo and Rio are all part of this select club.
Attracting world-class events such as the Olympics and the World Cup is now regarded as a fundamental strategy to help these global cities and their countries elevate themselves. The question of who will host the next Olympic Games is now a geopolitical concern. When Seoul hosted the Games in 1988 it became a symbol of the Asian Tigers’ ascent onto the world stage. In 1992, the Barcelona Olympics represented the unification of Europe. And when Rio plays host in 2016, it will reinforce the growing importance of Brazil and Latin America as a whole.
June 25, 2013
North American Congress on Latin America, 06/25/2013
Hundreds crammed into a room for over six hours, passing around the microphone so that everyone could weigh in. The protestors, mostly students, called the meeting in order to better articulate their message after Rio de Janeiro’s Mayor, Eduardo Paes, had requested to meet with one of the university groups. They emerged that Thursday night with five demands—”five points”—they felt would bring cohesion to the slogans splashed across the signs being waved in the street.
This meeting, or plenaria, took place on Tuesday, June 18, the day after the protests first surged and two days before over a million people took to the streets in over 100 cities across Brazil. While there is no uniformity to all the protests from city to city, and—as Kate Steiker-Ginzberg, a 23-year-old from Philadelphia who attended the plenaria insisted—there exists diversity among protestors within each city, the five points coming out of the plenaria address issues cutting across the various protests.
The first point addresses the 20-cent increase in transportation fare, what has been seen as the catalyst for the protests. While this may not sound like a significant fare hike, as Steiker-Ginzberg explains, it represents a “political miscalculation” on the part of the administration. The fare increase was implemented the same day as the Confederation Cup opened in Brazil. Since 2005, this international soccer tournament had served as a rehearsal for the World Cup, which will be held in Brazil next year. Many were frustrated that the price hike would go toward the extravagant sporting facilities instead of improving the dismal public transportation that is often slow, overcrowded, and dangerous—despite the relatively steep price Brazilians pay for their public transportation.
June 20, 2013
Steve Anderson – The Independent, 06/20/2013
Mass protests continued across Brazil last night despite leaders of the country’s two biggest cities saying that they would reverse the increase in bus and subway fares that ignited the week-long demonstrations in the first place.
Both the mayors of Rio de Janeiro and the country’s largest city Sao Paulo pledged to reverse the hike, with the Sao Paulo leader Fernando Haddad saying at a press conference that the U-turn “will represent a big sacrifice and we will have to reduce investments in other areas.”
However, many are doubting that the move will quiet demonstrations – which have moved on from the outrage over the fare hikes and onto general cries against poor public services and corruption in the run up to 2014′s World Cup – and protests continued throughout the country yesterday evening.
June 20, 2013
Latin American Herald Tribune, 06/20/2013
Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s two largest cities, on Wednesday announced a reduction in bus fares after a week of nationwide protests.
After seven days of protests in the country’s largest city, Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad announced his decision to cancel the bus fare hike from 3 reais to 3.20 reais ($1.36 to $1.45) that had been put in place at the beginning of the month.
Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, meanwhile, also announced a 20-centavo reduction in bus fares, bringing the price of a ride on city buses back down to 2.75 reais ($1.25), where it was before the increase.