The favelas of Rio de Janeiro

The favelas of Rio de Janeiro

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To get out of the energy crisis and global warming it Sustainable Development must invade the world and, the shanty town Brazilians of Rio de Janeiro could be an example.

While a part of the globe is committed to save energy and reduce consumption, a good part of the world is only today heading towards development and talking about “saving” and “reducing consumption” with these populations would be completely out of place. But if only today these peoples are heading towards development, why not make them sustainable since birth? The concept seems very simple in theory, but practical applications are not at all.


Despite the concrete difficulties, Rio de Janeiro wants to try with a program that aims to urbanize the favelas by exploiting the principles of green building and waste management to revitalize local economies. The project of favelas of Rio de Janeiro it is in its infancy, but its success could mean a lot for other developing countries.

The favelas of Rio de Janeiro are the most famous slums in the world. According to the Global Human Settlements report, in 1970 13% of the population lived in shanty town, the percentage has grown dramatically over the years, reaching 22% of the population and today, according to data from the City Hall Housing Office more than 1.4 million people live in shacks. Not only misery and poverty but also organized crime and violence. Drug trading and homicides: In 1992, Rio recorded 3,547 murders, about 10 per day. Fortunately, the killings have been significantly reduced but Rio could still be called one of the most dangerous cities in the world.


The landscape of decay wants to change. This is how the plan forsustainable urbanization but first the intervention of the police was necessary with a program that aims to eradicate the oppression of the gangs on the population. The program is called UPP and to date has saved 28 favelas by fighting criminal gangs, drug traffickers and other organized crime. Thanks to this first progress, the doors to the Morar Carioca urbanization plan have been opened wide.

With the name “Morar Carioca” we refer to the plan which aims to transform all the favelas into dignified neighborhoods. The conversion is expected to take place by 2020. The plan is funded by City Hall, the federal government and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The conversion of shanty town includes plans for the collection of rainwater, access and transport facilities such as stairs, lifts, cable cars and programs for waste management and especially forwastewater which, unfortunately, in most favelas are open-air sewers. The recovery and conversion program has already begun.

The favelas of Rio de Janeiro towards green building
Morar Carioca Green is the pilot program at the favelas Babilonia / Chapeu-Mangueira, this location has become a real laboratory to test sustainable practices that can then be applied to communities.


The new homes include the use of LED lamps, low-consumption equipment, solar water heaters and everything that promotesenergy efficiency. There are reforestation and development programs for ecologically protected areas. Waste management and recycling for the recovery of raw materials and for the entire construction process of the new structures will be used sustainable materials.

With the conversion of shanty town, Rio de Janeiro will be able to focus on sustainable economic development where tourism and waste management itself can move the local economy.


Video: Inside Rios favelas, the citys neglected neighborhoods (May 2022).