By Brennan Stark, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Vila Autódromo, a favela situated in the heart of Barra’s Olympic Park and nearby Rock City, will be removed by 2013 to allow for further Olympic construction, a new public notice states.  The Department of Housing aims to resettle the community’s families by next year at Carioca Residential Park, a residency situated one kilometer away.

Vila Autódromo favela faces removal for Olympic Park construction Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, News
Vila Autódromo favela faces removal for Olympic Park construction, photo by virus planetario.

The decision has been met with much opposition by those who have viewed Vila Autódromo as a symbol of resistance against the forced relocation of thousands of Brazilians to make way for World Cup and Olympic developments. 

President of the community association Altair Guimarães has claimed that the Olympic Park’s original approved plan allowed the favela to stay.  However, there is a gap in the plan’s blueprints which states that amendments can be made if deemed necessary to Olympic Park’s success.

Municipal Secretary for Housing Jorge Bittar attempted to persuade residents to move by meeting with them at the proposed resettlement location near Morro Dois Irmãos, overlooking Curicica.  He has stated that access roads will be extensively upgraded, and families still not agreeing to the change will be compensated based on appraisal reports of their houses.

Architect and UN special reporter for adequate housing Raquel Rolkin remains skeptical to claims that real compensation has been made, however, stating “Every relocation is traumatic.  This seems to me more an economic issue, [in] not wanting a slum area valued [after the Olympics].”

Read more (in Portuguese).

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