Cobertura Pancetti
CASA COR 2012 - Rio de Janeiro
Cobertura Castilho
Cobertura 111
Residência Barra
Hotel Trancoso
Hotel Trancoso
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As Olympic fever reaches crescendo as the final week of London 2012 kicks off, organizers, fans and failed athletes have already set their sights towards the next Olympic stage- Rio 2016. The choice of the iconic Somerset House as the home for the Brazilian committee and pop-up CasaBrasil was a very smart move: Not only does it provide a suitably elaborate base to showcase Brazilian creativity and home grown talent in the form of art exhibitions and free concerts lead by samba bands and Bossa Nova legends, it has created a honey-trap to attract big British corporations and investors to a series of meetings and networking events organized by Rio Negocios to promote Rio as the next Olympic city, over-run with business opportunities. While satellite cultural homes (National Hospitality Houses) have sprung up across the city, with a Dutch beer garden at Holland House and an African culture display at Kensington Gardens, these were created purely as cultural hubs to draw nationals and supporters to watch the Games together. With Casa Brasil, the message from London is that Rio means business.

In the wake of hosting Rio+20 in June, heralded as the primary international conference on the environment and sustainability of the decade, Rio appears to be committed to carrying its green credentials forward and outdoing London when it comes to Olympic sustainability. With the construction of the Olympic Village in East London, much has been made of the revitalization of a formerly destitute waste-land and the lasting effect it will have on local communities, with both the Olympic Park and the Athletes’ Village to be transformed into residential neighborhoods as the second phase, post-Olympics, is rolled out. London is also the first Olympic Games to monitor its Carbon footprint throughout construction, with temporary stadiums such as the Velodrome and Basketball arena set to broken down and almost completely recycled – the aim is that everything that is demolished will be re-used. While London has succeeded in a 98% success rate, Rio is aiming for 100%.

As well as matching London’s achievements, Rio aims to go one step further in planning a Carbon Neutral Olympic Games, where all carbon omission are neutralized through the reforestation of areas such as Parque de Pedra Blanca near the Olympic Park, alongside using predominantly local rather than imported materials for construction and creating a concrete factory next to the Village to save on transportation of raw materials. And although Rio’s Olympic Park will be located in Barra, an area that is already much better valued than its London equivalent was back at the time of bidding, it will benefit from the considerable investment in eco projects (such as cleaning and maintaining Jacarepagua lake), alongside an over-haul of the transport system, something the city has long been crying out for. Fast bus and tram links set to criss-cross the city, and an extended metro line will see public transport usage rise from 16- 60%. The neighborhoods planned to evolve out of Rio’s Olympic Park will be intelligently designed to create a more hermetic community- something that Barra, with an American style highway as its backbone, has long been lacking. Energy efficiency and reduction of water waste are a few of the sustainable features due to be built into the new developments, each designed under Leed (Green Building Council) specifications that will see these new Olympic neighborhoods become the blueprint for urban development in the region.

So far, so good: Plans for Rio look set towards the target, the question now is if they can out-do what London has already proved.