19 Feb 2013 12:30
Rio de Janeiro - The Carioca call it “Perimetral”, the long viaduct built in the heart of Rio de Janeiro, along the banks of the beautiful Guanabara bay, one of the most famous of the world. The Pharaonic perimetral - built during the years of the Brazilian military regime - will be demolished in 2014 to restore the old relationship between the old docklands area with rest of the city and the Atlantic, Ocean, from where conquerors, millions of slaves and immigrants arrived .
"Porto Maravilha" is the name given to a large redeveloped plan conducted by the Prefecture of Rio de Janeiro and the Federal Brazilian Government together with a consortium of private companies to realize a revolution in the ancient urban "barrios" of the city that will host the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics games in 2016. In the area of five million square meters of the Old Rio de Janeiro, they will build tunnels, avenues, squares, museums, corporate headquarters and futuristic buildings, such as the Museum of Tomorrow, designed by Santiago Calatrava, the Spanish architect. The splendid museum will be erected on the old pear Maua across the bay, where a cluster of skyscrapers marks the point where Rio de Janeiro was born, but also where the financial and economic Rio.'s heart beats. The luxurious and modern skyline of the tropical city is surrounded by the rests of an old forgotten town survived until today just because two large avenues, the President Vargas and the Brazil one were isolated from the rest of the city and the wealthy bourgeoisie, which had moved to the South area of Rio, in the quarters of Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, and Barra. In the docklands area the Entrepreneur Donald Trump will build new skyscrapers and the Microsoft company will open its headquarters in Latin America next to the new building of the Central Bank of Brazil. The population in the forgotten neighborhoods of Santo Cristo, Gamboa, Morro da Conceição and Providencia, where the Heart of the ancient African diaspora beats, will suffer a shot in their pure traditional Brazilian culture . Here millions of slaves from Africa landed and samba was born. An historical place, genuine, made of old stories of sailors, slaves, emigrants, travelers and prostitutes. A cultural cosmos probably destined to disappear with the achievement of the Porto Maravilha project. According to the prefecture of Rio de Janeiro, the population of the docklands area will reach 120 000 inhabitants in the next years, today in the same area live less than 11 000. Porto Maravilha is the largest urban redevelopment present in the world today. Five million square meters belonging to the historic districts of the city could fall to urban speculation that could excrete the old inhabitants living in the docklands area. The demolition of "Perimetral" is also a symbol of the cultural challenge that could provoke the urban revolution of the Porto Maravilha project. When the last stretch of the gray snake made by concrete and steel will fall, the old docks in Art Nouveau style, squares, alleys, colonial fortresses, but also the inhabitants of the old districts present in the dockland will have no more barriers to separate them from the ocean, the harbor, where they were born and let them grow up.