Monday, August 13, 2012

what providence?

In a New York Times Op-Ed, Theresa Williamson, of, and MaurĂ­cio Hora,  of Favelarte, document how Rio de Janeiro's Olympic plans involve the destruction of most of the first favela, Morro do ProvidĂȘncia.

Here's a frightening detail: "at the very top of the hill, some 70 percent of homes are marked for eviction — an area supposedly set to benefit from the transportation investments being made. But the luxury cable car will transport 1,000 to 3,000 people per hour during the Olympics. It’s not residents who will benefit, but investors."

Their proposal is inclusion:  "Rio is becoming a playground for the rich, and inequality breeds instability. It would be much more cost-effective to invest in urban improvements that communities help shape through a participatory democratic process. This would ultimately strengthen Rio’s economy and improve its infrastructure while also reducing inequality and empowering the city’s still marginalized Afro-Brazilian population"

Seems like a gold medal solution--but Rio seems determined to pave ProvidĂȘncia and put up a parking lot.