How to integrate marginalized populations into the social and economic fabric of our societies is the premier public policy challenge of this century. Ahead of the World Cup and Olympic Games, the government of Rio de Janeiro has been aggressively seeking to regain control of and integrate select favelas (shantytowns) into the larger city. This has been done principally by the State government’s police pacification program, which permanently establishes a community-policing unit (UPP) to maintain security gains, along with UPP Social to facilitate social and physical investments (Municipal Government of Rio de Janeiro, 2013). In response to this public investment in physical capital and security in formerly inaccessible real estate markets, international and Brazilian speculators and developers are buying up valuable property while it is cheap (Steele, 2013). While existing favela homeowners with titles to their land have gained from increased land value, there is growing concern that their children will not be able to afford to buy a home in the neighborhood or even afford to rent after the mega-events (Barbassa, 2012).
The ability to broadly provide infrastructure for its population is the basic premise for a country’s sustainable growth and economic development. There is a great consensus among scholars that infrastructure directly affects the development of a society (ABOSEDRA et al., 2009; MANDEL, 2008; FRISCHMANN, 2007; PENDSE, 1980). As used, the term infrastructure is very broad, since it may involve several activities that are distinguished depending on their economic and technological nature.
In the most curious Brazilian election of the last two decades, President Dilma Rousseff will faceoff with the Social Democrat candidate, Senator Aécio Neves, and not Marina Silva, as predicted by many political commentators.
To understand the current situation, we must look back four years when Rousseff was first elected president. (more…)
September 18th, 2014. It is 5 pm in São Paulo. Carlos Braga, a street vendor, is shot in the head while trying to protect his friend from the pepper spray used during a police blitz. He was unarmed. The police officer is taken into custody, but released four days later. According to the judge responsible for the case there were not enough elements to justify the imprisonment. The other police officers who witnessed the incident declared it was accidental. Other witnesses declared it was deliberate murder.