- Title: BRAZIL: OLYMPIC GAMES: Preparations in full swing in Rio ahead of 2016 Games
- Date: 20th November 2012
- Summary: RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (FILE) (REUTERS- ACCESS ALL) AERIAL OF VILA AUTODROMO, AN IMPOVERISHED COMMUNITY WHICH SITS RIGHT BY THE OLYMPIC VILLAGE SITE RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (FILE) (REUTERS- ACCESS ALL) VARIOUS OF RIO DE JANEIRO'S MAYOR, EDUARDO PAES, AT NEWS CONFERENCE CAMERAMEN (SOUNDBITE) (PORTUGUESE) RIO DE JANEIRO MAYOR, EDUARDO PAES, SAYING: "The only relocation process underway directly linked to the Olympics is in Vila Autï¿½romo. All the other relocations taking place in the city are purely for infrastructure reasons and for the safety of those communities." GENERAL VIEWS OF CONSTRUCTION WORK AT OLYMPIC VILLAGE SITE CONSTRUCTION WORKERS TAKING DOWN METAL PLATE BELOW THE GROUND WITH THE HELP OF A CRANE
- Embargoed: 5th December 2012 12:00
- Location: Brazil
- Country: Brazil
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVABZ0ZG6D18FDI2TIQIZVM0PU32
- Story Text: Members of the national and foreign media are given exclusive access to Rio's preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games, as officials seek to guarantee the city's readiness to host the biggest sporting event in the world.
Local authorities in Rio de Janeiro sought to reassure national and international journalists on Tuesday (November 20) that the city will be ready for the 2016 Games, by staging a guided tour of the Olympic sites and infrastructure projects.
First on the agenda was a visit to the most recent addition to the city's transport network. The BRT, or Bus Rapid Transit, is expected to play a major role in mitigating the city's chronic traffic problems.
The buses will run on exclusive express corridors, providing an easy connection between the city's west and north regions. It aims to increase the number of journeys made in Rio by public transport from less than 20 percent today, to over 60 percent by 2016. It will cost a reportedly three billion dollars and city officials hope it will be one of the Games' most important and lasting legacies.
Another contentious issue has been the allegedly forced relocations taking place in some of Rio's impoverished communities.
The slum of Vila Autï¿½romo, right beside the Olympic Village site in Rio's west end, will soon disappear.
The city's mayor, Eduardo Paes, said on Tuesday (November 20) that the Vila Autï¿½romo's residents are the only group in Rio that will have to move to make way for the Olympics.
Residents of the Providencia and Mangueira slums, located within walking distance from the world famous Maracana stadium, have also been told they will be relocated. Paes was quick to reassure the relocations taking place in those communities were being done sensibly and had nothing to do with the World Cup or the Olympics.
"The only relocation process underway directly linked to the Olympics is in Vila Autodromo. All the other relocations taking place in the city are purely for infrastructure reasons and for the safety of those communities," he said.
Preparations on the Olympic Park are also in full swing. Located in an area of 1.18 square metres officials hope it will be a symbol of sustainability and sensible planning. It is expected to be ready six months before the Games opening ceremony.
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