Rio de Janeiro is in the midst of a historic boom. Real estate values are soaring to highs never seen before. Shining skyscrapers are reconfiguring the skyline. Perhaps most astoundingly, the informal and historically poor settlements known as favelas are beginning to gentrify. Created by a confluence of lucrative offshore oil discoveries, a surging Brazilian GDP and policies spurred by the 2014 World Cup, 2016 Olympic Games and Rio+20 Earth Summit later this year, this real estate boom has upended the city’s status quo. Rio-based journalist Greg Scruggs examines a controversial force contributing to the change: Police Pacifying Units. Characterized by police invasions and permanent occupations of the favelas, the militaristic urban renewal tactic has raised property values and encouraged development in areas that previously were seen as too dangerous for investment. It has also lead to evictions, displacement and a sense of deep fear among many who have made their lives in these sprawling, makeshift mini-cities. Scruggs explores what the future holds for favela-dwellers and what the international development community can learn from Rio’s controversial experiment.
- Will the "pacification" of favelas improve the safety and quality of life of Rio?
- Hear from experts and locals as they watch Rio's boom and its consequences for the city's favela-dwellers.
- If more development is inevitable in Rio, what are some of the best ways to create a more equitable society?