The scandal of the polluted Guanbara Bay has a coming out now. Multiresistent bacteria were found in the sewage water flowing from the old Rio Carioca directly into Guanbara Bay near Flamengo Beach – one of the declared olympic sailing areas (read more in BBC, The Telegraph and Reuters). Of course one can argue about the origin of the pollution. In the adjacent parts of the city Laranjeiras and Botafogo we find lots of hospitals.
In Aug 2014, some officials described the pollution not as dangerous and the water quality as more or less the same as in other comparable locations (read more).
But the real scandal is not the severe danger for health to the Olympics. Its rather the fact that the majorality of Rio de Janeiro knew about this problem for much more than a decade. On Flamengo Beach, a lot of families and little children having a good time on weekends, swiming, playing, etc. This situation seems to reflect again the exotic mindset of many officials – a combination of arrogance, disrespect, thoughtlessness and asininity.
In mid 2014, Eduardo Paes already announced (read more), that the ambicious targets towards a clean bay could (probably) not be held. Lets have a look in 2015 what other developments will take place.
Exit of RIO CARIOCA near Flamengo Beach.
Please have a look at the following video, which gives a nice view of the Museo do Amanha and the local port area after the demolition of the Perimetral city highway. Some more comments on the new vision of this old urban part are found at O Globo – in Portguese.
As a regular visitor and „almost“ citizen of Rio de Janeiro, I was very interested about the trail of the new „Transcarioca“ bus line, connecting the Olympic City in Barra da Tijuca with the „Galeao“ – Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport. To tell the truth, I had no idea about the correct trail. The video behind the link gives a very good insight into the road line with of length of approx. 39 km and also the dimension of the city, crossing parts a regular tourist does not take into account.
Of course one could ask why not use a train or metro to connect this urban regions, givin‘ the city a new innovative perspective. In fact a metro connection to the airport would be very useful. Maybe one day the public transport lobby can be convinced towards new solutions… using the present bus basement to install some kind of „trem-sinho„, which is already part of the plans of the New Harbour District in Rio. Some talk about a rebirth of the old harbour area – maybe justified.
As announced some months ago, today the renovation of the city area of Rio de Janeiro started in a new area. The demolition of the PERIMETRAL is almost done. Please see the following videos ( Link ).
If you are interested in details about the demolition and logistics please have a look here and here.
Further, a new and different view of the nedesigned portal area of Rio de Janeiro we can gain through new mobility concepts like the VLT – Veiculo Leve Sobre Trilho as seen here and here.
As already announced on the German-Brazilian-Economic Meeting in Rio de Janeiro, 2011, the local authorities has decided to redesign the prot area and to demolish the port highway „Perimetrial“ – it will disappear in near future, the reconstruction is already going.
The following video of O Globo (Redesign Perimetral) gives a vision of the new port area and the surprising possibilities for urban life. Worthwile looking !
In particular, a very inconspicuous detail in this video is very cool – a new city train, metro, up-way (call it as you like). In former times the old (no, very old!) „bondinha“ in Santa Teresa was used from citizens and tourists as well . Since some years it became closed due to an accident, this new idea seems to be a real innovation in the public transport concept.
A more detailed view on the present situation and on some details concerning the activities can be viewed here (Construction details).
Remarkable effect of local tax reduction on both economical development and tax increase is recently demostrated by the local government of Santa Catarina state in Brasil. It is well known, that Brazil suffers from a tremendous number and height of different taxes, putting pressure on international exporters in particular.
Besides a long number of national import taxes, the ICMS is under the control of each federal state.
To empower local activities of foreign companies, the ICMS taxes were reduced from 17% to 3% in Santa Catarina. In fact, a few Brazilian regional governements decrease the ICMS taxation level. The intention of the local authority is clear – reduced taxes will empower foreign activitites to increase their business within this region.
As a result of this adjustement, in 2010 the quantity of imports in Santa Catarina increased up to 140% (in Brasil only 50%). Four years ago, the state was on rank 9 in number of imports, nowadays it is on rank 5. Surprisingly the total tax income on ICMS increased about 50%.
As a further consequence a partly deindustrialization could be a severe effect. In the first seven months of 2011, import volume enlarged to about 28%. In the same time span the industrial production declined 2,4%.
A brief example: After all taxes, the market price of an electric shaver in Brazil is 177 R$, including 32 R$ ICMS tax. In Santa Catarina, the part of ICMS is only 20 R$ – a difference of 12 R$. This about 8% increase in product margin could help to develop new products and services or even help organisational restructuring – or could be used to adjust prices to gain advantages against competitors.