Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Challenges of City Integration

There seems to be a window of opportunity opening up for some of Rio's favelas, specially now that this happened in Rocinha .

Focusing on Rocinha below is a description of the place by a writer called Paul Berger.

"Probably the most surprising aspect of our visit to Rocinha was just how many goods were on offer there. It was almost a city within a city, with hairdressers, bars, restaurants and stores as well as plenty of garages for repairing motorcycles. Rocinha even has a private cable television station, a radio station, two community newspapers and two official banks"

The article can be found here.

Legal businesses fostering economic development is always good and one activity that has included favelas into their scope is tourism. I researched the subject matter and arrived at this well balanced piece, featuring both pros and cons.

Another good source for learning about favela related issues is a blog authored by a native, bi-lingual Rocinha resident called Zézinho. His work, in English, is linked below.

I wish he used tags in his blog though. It would make it easier to find things like this excellent article containing info that is really hard to come by, even with Uncle Google's help.
Anyway I have babbled on for far too long here (my other posts, which are short and concise, have probably committed suicide by now). So I'll wrap it up with an interview featuring Prof Edward Glaeser whose book "The Triumph of the City" is a great way of looking at how a place like Rocinha could be, and in various aspects already is, a great asset of Rio de Janeiro.


  1. Rocinha is an interesting spot indeed. My personal favorite is the ironic location of The American school. I used to sub there and the richest kids in Rio hardly noticed the poor ones who lived across the street. While an initially shocking sight for this foreigner, it says alot about the zona sul way of staying in your bubble and ignoring the rest...

  2. Well, I think it's a huge change in Rocinha's quality of life. But the reasons of the politicians to make this are untrue. It could have been done 30 or 40 years ago, but it wasn't. The only true reason is the Fifa World Cup, and the possibility of perpetuate the wrong idea that Americans/Europeans have from Rio (guns and drugs), since if occurs a tragedy here at the time of the event, this will appear in every TV around the world.

  3. P.S.: I was talking about the pacification of Rocinha, not about the Nem's arrest.