Rio de Janeiro: A door to the future? Debates about the transformation of Porto Maravilha (2018 - 2021)
Having been historically important for a long time and shaped by slavery and colonialism, Porto Maravilha’s waterfront in Rio de Janeiro, has, since 2011, been fully revitalized through public-private partnerships. In a town which is associated with easy exoticism, but also with delinquency and a drug economy, this zone aims to create an image-improving, internationally respected showcase for responsible urban ethics (with green spaces, affordable housing, clean water), which will simultaneously be fundamental for the whole nation. For the first time, the harbor zone aims to be a space for responsible history policy that manifests itself in cultural historical projects, such as museums, memorials (slave cemetery), cultural centers, and events in the public space, and discusses the crimes of a slave economy. The processes of transformation in Porto Maravilha strive for the social inclusion of still marginalized groups of inhabitants, as formulated and partially enforced on a national level by the former governments of Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff (2003-16). This subproject analyzes which policies in the architectonic-symbolical and economic transformation of this greater area were enforced in a top-down fashion and which policies resulted from negotiation processes between civil and governmental players, which kind of governance, which measures of social creativity can be identified, and which ethical actors and subjects will develop within the transformation processes. On the basis of the six focus areas Living in Porto Maravilha: Ethic actors against gentrification, The slavery museum as an intersection point of social creativity and collective memory, The Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Future) as a vision of a new Rio, Performativity in urban space – urban space as common good, The Waterfront and Cable Car – symbol of a social inclusion policy? the subproject firstly investigates the scope of negotiation processes for civil groups, and strategies as well as successes of oppositional actors. Secondly, it examines the connection between acting within the principles of the market economy and ethical principles, and the negotiation opportunities for moral economies specifically in an inner city zone which is going to be gentrified through “revitalization”. Thirdly, the subproject asks how the displayed sensibility for urban ecology, for a future Good Life of its citizens can be applied to the historical, especially Afro-Brazilian, heritage. The subproject is a first application. It links up with the subprojects Auckland, Istanbul, and Mexico City.