Uneven development and the making of Rio de Janeiro

Authored by: Anjuli N. Fahlberg

The Routledge Companion to the Suburbs

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138290235
eBook ISBN: 9781315266442
Adobe ISBN:


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Rio de Janeiro is known as much for its beautiful beaches and vibrant culture as for the dramatic contrast between its wealthy neighborhoods and numerous favelas – areas historically characterized by high rates of housing informality, poverty, and resource scarcity. This polarization has earned Rio de Janeiro the label of the “dual city,” the “divided city,” or the “split city” (Ribeiro and Telles, 2011; Rocha, 2005; Ventura, 1994) and made it a popular case study for understanding how global, national, and municipal level trends and policies contribute to urban inequality. Unlike other cities where poor neighborhoods are concentrated along the peripheries (Hardoy and Satterthwaite, 2014; Simon, 2008), many of Rio’s favelas abut downtown and tourist areas and wealthy neighborhoods, reflecting a certain embeddedness of “the fringes” of the city within its core geographic, economic, and social spaces.

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