Olympics´ Impacts in Rio de Janeiro´s urban sustainability

  • Farideh Baroghi
  • Paulo Ribeiro
  • Júlia M. Lourenço


The aim of this paper is to discuss the relationship between sustainable urban transformation and hosting a sport mega-event. Therefore, indicators were extracted from the literature review of impacts in four dimensions (physical, economic, environmental and social). Corresponding factors were compared with sustainability sub-themes in order to evaluate whether hosting the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro was in line with sustainability goals for the city. Results show that there is a slight alignment between them in terms of event-related transport expansion in the city and green spaces improvement. But, there is a huge gap between the physical, environmental, economic and social-cultural goals of hosting the Games and urban sustainability. Likewise, Rio de Janeiro has not met sustainable objectives in terms of diminishing the mega event´s impacts on: i) urban environment like the offsetting carbon emissions; ii) economic downward trend; iii) social improvement such as reduction of urban poverty; iv) physical development. In terms of economic growth, it seems that the Olympics not only did not contribute to the city's economic growth, but the city faced a financial crisis which was partly due to the economic downturn in Brazil and partly due to the massive costs of hosting the Games.