The authors thank Vassar College's Environmental Research Institute and Ford Scholars program for funding this collaborative research project. In Rio de Janeiro, the Getúlio Vargas Foundation, the Pereira Passos Institute (iplan/rio), and the National Library assisted our research. We are also grateful for the generous local help of Gabriel Alvim, Colin Crawford and participants in the Study Space V program, Regina Gonçalves, Jurandyr Florentino Miguez, Sam Thypin-Bermeo, and the residents who agreed to be interviewed for our study. Unless otherwise noted, all translations from the original Portuguese are the authors'.
REGULATING PUBLIC SPACE ON THE BEACHFRONTS OF RIO DE JANEIRO*
Article first published online: 1 MAR 2012
© 2012 by the American Geographical Society of New York
Volume 102, Issue 1, pages 17–34, January 2012
How to Cite
GODFREY, B. J. and ARGUINZONI, O. M. (2012), REGULATING PUBLIC SPACE ON THE BEACHFRONTS OF RIO DE JANEIRO. Geographical Review, 102: 17–34. doi: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2012.00128.x
- Issue published online: 1 MAR 2012
- Article first published online: 1 MAR 2012
- public space;
- Rio de Janeiro;
Despite the fortification of buildings, streets, and public squares, Rio de Janeiro's beaches remain widely regarded as democratic spaces of social diversity and accessibility. Our study revisits the question of Rio's “democratic” beachfronts, based on local interviews, field observations, official reports, and newspaper accounts. We focus on historical and contemporary perceptions of planning, privatization, and public-order programs on the city's southern seaside. Institutional discourses have justified increasing regulation to combat threats of disorder and insecurity. While residents value the relative openness of beachfronts, they also acknowledge issues of safety, social segmentation, and subtle forms of bias. The public generally applauds recent “Shock of Order” policing and commercial revitalization, although critics lament the loss of traditional freedoms for informal beach vendors and casual sports. These paradoxes highlight enduring tensions between social order and hierarchy on one hand, and democratic rights and equality on the other.