By Antoni Galbany, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Yesterday the new Metro station license was approved by INEA (Instituto Estadual do Ambiente) to be built at Praça Nossa Senhora da Paz (Our Lady of Peace Park) in the heart of Ipanema. Residents have been protesting the project due to the destruction of the park trees and the neighborhood way-of-life.
The State Secretary of Environment, Carlos Minc, and the president of the INEA, Marilene Ramos, presented the installation license for the works of metro (subway) station.
The lack of an environmental license was one of the obstacles faced by the state, which promised to complete the Metro Line 4 to reach Barra de Tijuca before the 2016 Olympics Games.
Part of the approved plan is a restriction of building big commercial malls that could affect small stores and local businesses. It was also foreseen the construction of bicycles lockers at subway stations.
In addition to environmental preservation, the consortium Rio Barra, responsible for the works, will have to maintain the recreational aspect of the park, which is planned to be restored.
The coordinator of the NGO Projeto de Segurança de Ipanema, Ines Barreto, who have been protesting the new station says the project will damage the square. “Even if the accesses will be around [the park], there will be about 40,000 people per day walking around the square”, said Barreto to O Globo.
In Ipanema parking spaces will be reduced as well as the number of recreational areas, since the works will need extra space for infrastructure and trucks. It is estimated that the subway construction will receive an average of 270 trucks per day in the first year of works, according to an environmental impact study.
The next station planned for the line is in Jardim de Alah along the canal between Ipanema and Leblon, just four blocks away. Once complete Line 4 will carry an average of 300,000 passengers per day, according to the state, connecting Barra da Tijuca to Centro in just thirty minutes commute time.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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