Session: Mega Event Planning for Sustainable Legacies
Mega-events, transport legacy and the redistribution of employment accessibility
Rafael H M Pereira
A growing number of studies have discussed how mega-event strategies to fast-track urban development in host cities are commonly backed by pro-growth discourses, which rely on the assumption that all local residents equally benefit from the trickle-down effect of economic growth and infrastructure investments. What has received much less attention in the literature, however, is the discussion of transport legacy, and particularly the distributive aspects of who benefits from the new transport infrastructure developments once they have been put in place. This paper discusses the social impact of transport legacies in terms of how such developments affect the transport accessibility to job opportunities of different social groups in host cities and whether local governments mobilize these events to reinforce or redress existing patterns of urban inequalities and segregation. As a case study, we analyze Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), looking particularly at the transformations carried out in the city’s transport system in preparation for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. We make a before-and-after comparison of Rio’s transport system, calculating employment accessibility changes that have resulted from these new investments between 2013 and 2016 and compare how accessibility gains vary across different social groups and areas of the city.