Using Rio de Janeiro as the case study city, this book highlights and examines issues surrounding the development of mega-cities in Latin America and beyond. Complex dynamics of urbanization such as mega-event-driven development, infrastructure investment, and informal urban expansion are intertwined with changing climatic conditions that demand new approaches to sustainable urbanism. The urban conditions facing 21st century cities such as Rio emphasize the need to revisit urban forms, reintegrate infrastructure, and re-evaluate practices.

With contributions from 15 scholars from several countries exploring urbanism, urbanization, and climate change, this book provides insights into the contextual and environmental issues shaping Rio in the age of globalization. Each of the book’s three sections addresses an interdisciplinary range of topics impacting urbanism in Latin America, which will be accessible to researchers and professionals interested in urbanization, urban design, sustainability, planning, and architecture.

chapter 1|4 pages


Rio de Janeiro – urban expansion and environment
ByJosé L.S. Gámez, Zhongjie Lin, Jeffrey S. Nesbit

chapter 2|13 pages

The impact of future sea-level rise on Rio de Janeiro

A geological perspective
ByScott Hippensteel

chapter 3|9 pages

One Katrina every year

The challenge of urban flooding in tropical cities
ByFernando Lara

chapter 4|12 pages

Changing informality

Gentrification of favelas in Rio de Janeiro
ByZhongjie Lin, Fernando Diniz Moreira, Aline de Melo Nascimento

chapter 5|15 pages

Staging the city, transforming the slum

Festifavalization in Rio de Janeiro 1
ByMalte Steinbrink, José L.S. Gámez

chapter 6|17 pages

Barra da Tijuca

Urban planning challenges in a global suburb 1
ByLawrence A. Herzog

chapter 7|19 pages

The elite enclave of Barra da Tijuca

ByAlexandra Silva de Almeida

chapter 8|11 pages

Costa, coast, and clay

A modern grid revisited in Rio de Janeiro
ByJeffrey S. Nesbit

chapter 9|12 pages

Barra Olympic Park project

Notes on the design process, games, and legacy
ByHenrique Houayek

chapter 10|11 pages

Resilient urban design for flooding areas

A case study of Rio de Janeiro’s risky expansion toward Vargens
ByErika Brum, Maria Fernanda Lemos

chapter 11|15 pages

Mixing modernisms and measuring climate literacy

Costa, Burle Marx, and Rio’s ecological design challenges
ByJosé L.S. Gámez

chapter 12|14 pages

Climate adaptation in Rio

Promoting the resilience of the west zone coastal area of Rio de Janeiro
ByMaria Fernanda Lemos

chapter 13|12 pages

Urban planning for resilience

Thoughts on lessons learned from projects for Rio’s western area
ByRafael Saraiva