Issues concerning the Occupation of Riverbanks in Metropolitan Rio de Janeiro

Environmental and Ecological Inequalities: Appropriate Responses in Territories and Services
By Ana Lucia Britto, Audauto Cardoso

This paper focuses on the environmental inequalities affecting the process of urban development in the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro. This territory is characterised by an unequal distribution of elements constituting environmental quality : access to urban services and exposure to risks including flooding. The latter affect more strongly the low-income population living in flood risk areas located along rivers and urban streams. The banks are public land, and therefore their occupation is in principle prohibited by law, but they are more and more likely to be occupied, in an irregular manner, by those who are unable to find housing in the formal market or who do not have access to public social housing. We examine the public policies regarding riverbanks, their revitalization and flooding control from a perspective of environmental justice. The objective is to analyse how so-called ‘ecological’ programmes reduce or reinforce situations of environmental inequality.

Go to the article on