Environmental Justice and Production of Space in Rio de Janeiro 2016 Summer Olympics

Authors: Gilmar Mascarenhas*, State University of Rio de Janeiro
Topics: Urban Geography, Social Geography, Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: Production of space, Environmental justice, Sustainability, Rio de Janeiro, Olympic Games , Golf.
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 2:00 PM / 3:40 PM
Room: Marshall West, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Over the last four decades, Olympic urbanism has been constantly evolving, producing increasingly onerous large-scale urban projects with high visibility impacts on social and environmental issues in each host city. Considering the worldwide consecration of the sustainable development model and its incorporation by the Olympic system over the last two decades, we have sought to verify if the Olympic Games has achieved success in this field. Under current conditions, can sports mega-events contribute to the construction of environmental justice? We assess the degree of coherence between the principles of sustainability explicitly contained in the Rio 2016 Olympic Project and its effective results in terms of legacy for the city. We consider the specific case of golf, sport criticized by environmentalists and highly connected with real estate interests, to reflect on the limits and contradictions of the environmental rhetoric of the Olympic system, especially in cities managed by neoliberal trends, such as Rio de Janeiro nowadays. This article aims to reflect on the nature and the limits of the adoption of the concept of sustainability by contemporary Olympic projects and as a consequence understand the environmental dimension of the ongoing Olympic crisis.

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