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Transforming Rio – for the benefit of whom?


Gaffney, Christopher (2016). Transforming Rio – for the benefit of whom? Journal of the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE) Bulletin, 70:35-42.

Abstract

One of the justifications deployed for hosting the Olympic Games is that they will offer transformational benefits for metropolitan areas. The extensive upgrades to physical infrastructures that accompany the colossal event are wrapped in the discursive framework of “legacy” – a word that carries positive connotations in social, economic, and physical realms. However, empirical evidence for lasting, positive effects of sport mega-events is sorely lacking (Bass, Pillay, & Tomlinson, 2009; Horne & Manzenreiter, 2006; Porter, Jaconelli, Cheyne, Eby, & Wagenaar, 2009).
This article will examine two major urban interventions that have been undertaken in Rio de Janeiro as the city has prepared for the 2016 Summer Olympics: the extension of the city´s metro and the privatisation of the port region. It will demonstrated that these “legacy” projects have not had positive effects for the city as a whole, but have rather decreased transparency in government, increased socio-economic inequalities, privatised public space, and torqued urban planning agendas to stimulate real-estate speculation and Games-related transportation agendas to the detriment of more equitable long-term planning.

Abstract

One of the justifications deployed for hosting the Olympic Games is that they will offer transformational benefits for metropolitan areas. The extensive upgrades to physical infrastructures that accompany the colossal event are wrapped in the discursive framework of “legacy” – a word that carries positive connotations in social, economic, and physical realms. However, empirical evidence for lasting, positive effects of sport mega-events is sorely lacking (Bass, Pillay, & Tomlinson, 2009; Horne & Manzenreiter, 2006; Porter, Jaconelli, Cheyne, Eby, & Wagenaar, 2009).
This article will examine two major urban interventions that have been undertaken in Rio de Janeiro as the city has prepared for the 2016 Summer Olympics: the extension of the city´s metro and the privatisation of the port region. It will demonstrated that these “legacy” projects have not had positive effects for the city as a whole, but have rather decreased transparency in government, increased socio-economic inequalities, privatised public space, and torqued urban planning agendas to stimulate real-estate speculation and Games-related transportation agendas to the detriment of more equitable long-term planning.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:25 Jan 2017 09:39
Last Modified:25 Jan 2017 10:44
Publisher:International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE)
ISSN:1728-5909
Official URL:https://www.icsspe.org/bookshop/latest-publications-bulletin/no-70

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