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Since the preparation process for the 2007 Pan American Games, Rio de Janeiro has been undergoing wide reaching changes in infrastructure terms. Indeed, this process was enhanced after the city earned the right – on 2 October 2009, in Copenhagen Denmark – to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

In order to host the Games, Rio de Janeiro is currently investing in several infrastructure projects to improve transport and the port region. It is building and renovating sport centres that will host competitions, as well as the Olympic Villa, where athletes will stay during the Games. In addition, investments are being made in a variety of social and environmental projects.

Cidade Olímpica

Cidade Olímpica # Transcarioca


Read about the projects and how they will change Rio de Janeiro after the Games, becoming the biggest legacy for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics host city.

Athletes’ Park

Cidade OlímpicaConcluded in August 2011 and located in Barra da Tijuca, Parque dos Atletas (Athletes’ Park) was the first Olympic facility delivered in Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Games. The park has an area of 150 thousand square metres. Before becoming a sport venue, the area was the stage of another event known the world over: Rock in Rio. Since 2011, several international music stars have been playing at the festival, entertaining millions of fans.

From Monday to Friday, the park is used by Rio de Janeiro City Hall teachers, who offer free tennis, volleyball, basketball, football (on court), handball and weight training lessons.

The park is equipped with tennis courts, climbing wall, area for children and a gym for people from all ages. There are also changing rooms, showers and a 1,420 metre track for cyclists, runners or those who just want to go for a walk.

During the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the park will be used as a leisure area for delegations staying at the Olympic Villa, which is across the road.

Porto Maravilha

The Rio de Janeiro Port is where anyone coming into city by sea arrives at. After being left aside for decades, it will be completely renovated for the 2016 Games. The Maravilha Port Urban Operation will turn the region into one of the most important legacies for the city. The Porto Maravilha (Wonderful Port) has already reurbanised lots of roads in the region, some of them in the Gamboa and Saúde neighbourhoods and another ones in the historic area of Morro da Conceição (Conceição Mountain).

In all, 5 million square metres are being renovated through the project, which has also removed the Permitral overpass and is replacing it with express roadways, tunnels and underground passages. The idea is to reintegrate the area to the rest of the city.  

In addition, two new museums were opened and part of the Rodrigo Alves Avenue turned into a boulevard, which will be cut through by a light rail vehicle (LRV), a type of non-polluting modern tram able to transport up to 450 people.

A dual carriageway named Oscar Nieymer, in honour of the famous architect who passed away at the end of 2012, will be built to cater for traffic that today passes through Rodrigo Alves Avenue. With the new roadways, the port region will go into a new stage in relation to traffic flow.

Centro de Operações Rio (Rio Operations Centre)

The Rio Operations Centre is considered the most modern in Latin America and is in charge of monitoring the day-to-day activities of the city. In order to perform its role, it has over 560 cameras spread out through the municipality and a big screen made up of 80 monitors (46 inch each). Through this high level technology, the centre monitors (24/7) services provided by other organisations and utilities companies, as well as maps, graphs and aerial photos.

In addition, the Operations Centre works as a tool to monitor traffic in real time.

Hence, it is able to interconnect the whole city, bringing services rendered together and finding solutions for several sectors, managing possible crises. For example, in case of a problem, the centre provides critical data so that the information may be crossed and a strategy plan drawn up as fast as possible.


The Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) is currently being built. The system will have six lines, carrying 450 passengers and will completely change traffic in Rio de Janeiro. The modern transport system will be integrated to other transport modes in the region, such as the BRT system, buses, metro, ferries and the Providência Mountain cable car. The system will stretch over 30 kilometres.

In all, the system will have 42 stations, with main stops at the Novo Rio Coach Station, Central do Brasil, Santos Dumont Airport and Praça XV, where the ferries stop. The expectation is that the LRV system will reduce and optimise the flow of cars and buses in the region. In addition, another benefit will be the reurbanisation of degraded areas in Rio’s City Centre.  An old tunnel at Providência Mountain will also be revitalised to be used exclusively by the new tram.


In operation since June 2012, the TansOeste connects Barra da Tijuca to Santa Cruz de Campo Grande. It is the first high capacity exclusive lane for BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) systems in Rio de Janeiro. It cuts through nine neighbourhoods and shortens distances, benefitting 150 thousand passengers a day, reducing commuting time in up to 40%.

The TransOeste stretches over a 52 km route, crossing Barra da Tijuca (starting at Jardim Botânico), Santa Cruz, Campo Grande, Paciência, Sepetiba, Inhoaíba, Cosmos, Guaratiba and Recreio dos Bandeirantes. One of the system's main achievements so far was the reduction of traffic jams, above all in the Grota Funda area, due to construction woks of the tunnel in the region. Another great gain for the city was the restoration of 255 thousand m² of tarmac (in addition to another 522 m² being put down).  Furthermore, another 3,650 lamp posts have been put up in Rio.

The new construction works will take the exclusive lane all the way to Jardim Oceânico in Barra, integrating it with the future metro station, where Line 4 will leave from. The new stretch, called Lote Zero, will have another eight stations, increasing the route to 58 kilometres by 2016.


The main regions that will host competitions at the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be interconnected. The TransOlímpica will connect the region of Deodoro to Barra da Tijuca, areas that will house the two Olympic Parks and host most of the competitions. The 26 kilometre express corridor will have three lanes on each side, one of them to be used exclusively by the BRT system.

The TransOlímpica will go through neighbourhoods such as Magalhães Bastos, Jardim Sulacap, Recreio dos Bandeirantes, Camorim and Curicica, and it will have 18 BRT stations and two terminals throughout the route. In addition, there will be no traffic lights and the corridor will connect TransCarioca with TransOeste.

70 thousand people will see their daily commute considerably reduced. Other legacies for the city will be doubling of avenues and roadways, as well as a tunnel, being built  at the Maciço da Pedra Branca.

Cidade Olímpica

Cidade Olímpica#TransOlímpica



The TransCarioca project means a 39 kilometre exclusive corridor between Barra da Tijuca and Ilha do Governador, where the Rio de Janeiro International Airport is located. The route goes through 27 neighbourhoods. Thus, Rio de Janeiro is cut across by transport, which is the result of R$ 1.7 billion in investments - R$ 1.1 billion of which from federal resources and R$ 600 million as a financial matching action by City Hall.

Approximately, 320 thousand people a day benefit from the high capacity service, which cuts across the city, interconnecting the neighbourhoods of Barra, Jacarepaguá, Curicica, Cidade de Deus, Taquara, Tanque, Praça Seca, Campinho, Madureira, Cascadura, Engenheiro Leal, Turiaçu, Vaz Lobo, Vicente de Carvalho, Irajá, Vila da Penha, Vila Kosmos, Brás de Pina, Penha Circular, Penha, Olaria, Ramos, Bonsucesso, Complexo do Alemão, Maré, Fundão and Galeão.

With the inauguration of the Transcarioca corridor in 2013,  the passengers who commute between Barra da Tijuca and the Tom Jobim International Airport, in Ilha do Governador reduce their commuting time for up to 60%.

Reforesting of hillsides

Cidade OlímpicaAmongst so many infrastructure projects, the preparation work being done by Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games is also paying attention to the environment. Therefore, projects aimed at reducing deforestation are being developed as a way of avoiding landslide and preserving the fauna and flora.

The reforestation programme has relied on popular participation for its implementation and has already produced some good results. For example, between 2010 and 2012, two million buds were planted in the municipality, particularly in the West Zone, one of the most affected areas in Rio de Janeiro. Residents from several communities have been contributing to the reforestation efforts.

Seropédica Waste Treatment Centre (CTR)

Cidade OlímpicaThe Seropédica Waste Treatment Centre was officially opened in 2011 to replace the old Gramacho landfill, which had been in operation since 1978 in Rio de Janeiro. Located in Baixada Fluminense, the Seropédica CTR is where the litter produced in Rio is sent. The centre uses modern techniques and equipment, meeting international environmental solid waste processing standards. It has a processing capacity of up to 10 thousand tons of waste a day.

Environmental concern is one of Seropédica’s CTR’s main trademarks. In order to avoid soil contamination, extra layers of protection and sensors have been put in to identify leaks. There are three water proof polyethene sheets – type of plastic used in objects such as bags, packaging and bubble wrap.

Before arriving at Seropédica CTR, the rubbish is taken to the transfer stations on lorries.  From the stations, the rubbish is put onto carts and taken to the centre. Once there, it is weighed and classified according to final destination. For safety reasons, all content brought into the CTR has to be covered up in up to 24 hours, thus, avoiding the proliferation of insects, rodents and vultures.

Madureira Park

Opened in 2012, the Madureira Park covers an area of over 90 thousand square metres and has become a leisure attraction for residents of Rio de Janeiro's North Zone. Equipped with sport courts, cycle lanes, walking and running tracks, as well as a skateboarding track, the park has become the city's third biggest. Indeed, it is only smaller than Aterro do Flamengo and Quinta da Boa Vista Parks.

Located in the Madureira neighbourhood, one of samba’s birthplaces, the park is also the stage of cultural performances. In addition, it has a green corridor with over 1,500 trees and the so-called Madureira beach, with its waterfall where local residents cool down on hot days.

The next stages of the project will enhance the place’s position as a leisure attraction. The park will have an exclusive bicycle lane and a new skateboarding track. The project also anticipates a water circuit and artificial waterfalls and lakes. One of the most awaited parts of the project is the water-ski ramp, made out of polymer and with its own irrigation system. Visitors may rent water-skies at the place.

Olympic Villas

Cidade OlímpicaPlaying host to the world’s sporting elite will certainly encourage young Brazilians to get involved in sport related activities. Watching different sport heroes up close may help the country become an Olympic powerhouse. Another important step in relation to this is the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Villas. In all, the city has  sporting complexes aimed for the use of the population. Each villa caters for around 10 thousand children and adolescents, not just for sports, but also providing them with the possibility of taking part in cultural, educational, social and health related activities.

Each complex has a swimming pool, multi-purpose court with roof, athletics track, football pitch and rooms for activities such as ballet, martial arts, gymnastics, activities for people over 60, park for children and barbecue area. Some units also have tennis and beach volleyball courts, as well as skateboarding tracks.

Every day, the Olympic Villas provide services for public school students and are strategically positioned in places that had no leisure or sport facilities previously. The villas have the aim of integrating underprivileged young people. The work is done by the Municipal Secretariat of Sport and Leisure, in charge of managing the facilities and developing projects.

Olympic Experimental Gymnasium (GEO)

Cidade OlímpicaThe Olympic Experimental Gymnasium (GEO) is a project that brings together education and sport development. Designed for lower secondary education students, the GEO integrates educational training with the possibility of developing new athletes. In total, Rio de Janeiro will have five units until 2016 (one of the them Paralympic). Three of the GEOs are already in full operation.

In order to enrol in the GEO, applicants take a physical fitness test. After passing the test, they have to meet a number of requirements to continue training - with a training load of at least two hours a day -, such as academic performance. Students’ grades are monitored and they have to keep their grades up in order to be able to continue training.

In addition to sport related activities, the GEO provides extra Portuguese, Mathematics, Science and English lessons to students. At the moment, the following sports are offered at the GEOs: athletics, table tennis, volleyball, swimming and soccer.

Morar Carioca

The Morar Carioca was set up in 2010 and has the aim of revolutionising Rio de Janeiro’s favelas. Developed based on a social integration concept, the project anticipates the reurbanisation of all favelas in Rio de Janeiro until 2020. In addition to introducing new housing units, the project will also improve the infrastructure of communities, with interventions that involve landscaping and the building of leisure areas and educational venues.

The first areas reached by the Morar Carioca were the Chapéu Mangueira and Babilônia Mountains, in the city’s South Zone. The flats built by the project are made of a recycled metal structure and have a system that reuses rainwater, with sewage treatment and individual water meters.

Like in most of the legacy projects for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, sustainability is key to the Morar Carioca. The project does not use material that makes the soil waterproof and all public lighting at the communities will use LED bulbs. Selective rubbish collection will also be implemented, as well as the use of solar power.

Cidade Olímpica

Source: Cidade Olímpica (Olympic City)