Rio de Janeiro Faces Future – and Games – with Confidence

By Xi Chen

The city of Rio de Janeiro won’t be the same after the ambitious sports projects it faces ahead.

“We believe that along this decade, Rio’s going to be the best city in the southern hemisphere for people to live, work and visit,“ said Thais Oliveira, communication and marketing manager of Municipal Olympic Company, who gave the highlight of these projects that will change Rio de Janeiro.

Olympics - thais Oliveira photo -by xi chen

Oliveira is confident that the city will get there with strategies in four key areas it has identified to realize the Rio 2016 vision: mobility, environment, social development and urban infrastructure.

She said that Rio 2016’s vision has been informed by and linked to the long-term planning strategy of the city and country.

“Always with a legacy and sustainability,“ said Oliveira, “and always remember, the games must serve the city.”

She highlighted two transportation projects for the mobility legacy: the BRT system, which is going to serve more than 2 million people per day by 2016, and the LRT centro, which will be the connection between the Port area and the Sandos Dumont airport.

Oliveira said that the project is going to reduce the commuting time by more than 50 percent.

“Today it takes three hours to get from the house to work,” she said, “but you will only spend half of that time, which means life quality–more time to be with the family, to do what you want to do.”

In terms of the environment legacy, she mentioned that the Rio 2016 Games will catalyze the environmental policies and programs of the three levels of government via the Rio 2016’s Sustainability Management Plan (SMP)– planet, people, prosperity.

SMP will integrate economic, environmental and social elements into the “Green Games for a Blue Planet” vision for the Rio Games.

“Another great thing about the project is to bring sports and education together,” Oliveira said.

Rio 2016 will build on the federal government’s commitment to bring the powerful combination of education and sports, which means up to 11,000 young and talented Brazilian athletes who are not supported through private sponsorship will be offered funding between now and 2018.

The urban infrastructure project ensures the full alignment of the games plan with long-term city objectives, optimizing the urban and social legacy opportunities, each of the city’s four planning zones, including Barra da Tijuca, Deodoro region, Maracanã Zone, and Copacabana, according to Oliveira.

Oliveira has experience in many different fields and before working for the Olympics, she had another offer, but she didn’t accept it.

“I’ll never get the opportunity to change Rio and make it a better place for you, for your kids, and for the next generation,” she said.

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