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Conflict in the Horto, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Greener or richer? Resistance to "green gentrification" in the low-income neighborhood closed to the upper middle class area of the hill sides of the Serra da Carioca


Jardim Botanico is a middle to high class neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, where luxurious houses have been constructed on the hill sides of the Serra da Carioca. The main Brazilian TV broadcaster and channel, Rede Globo, who also owns the main newspaper in Rio, O Globo, has its headquarters and other offices in the neighborhood.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Conflict in the Horto, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
State or province:Rio de Janeiro
(municipality or city/town)Rio de Janeiro
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Tourism Recreation
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Land acquisition conflicts
Establishment of reserves/national parks
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

The total area of the Botanic Garden as defined recently in court would be of 1.3 million square meters, including the area under dispute.

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Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:550 families
Start of the conflict:1980
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Media based activism/alternative media
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Refusal of compensation
Impacts of the project
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Violations of human rights
Potential: displacement, Land dispossession
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Violent targeting of activists
Development of alternatives:A bill was proposed to implement proper urbanization and environmental management in the Horto so that the families could stay there, but the Botanic Garden and the residents' association of the Jardim Botânico neighborhood opposed it. The bill was formulated by the local legislative chamber of the city of Rio de Janeiro with support from the Urbanism and Architecture Institute of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The last court decision was in favor of eviction and of returning the area known as Horto to the park.
Sources and Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

The Megazine Carta Capital interviews the Botanic Garden's President
[click to view]

Newspaper O Globo about the Horto
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Residents Association of the Horto
[click to view]

The Horto Museum
[click to view]

Facebook Group called "SOS Horto Residents"
[click to view]

Horto Residents Comission
[click to view]

Other documents

Memories of SOS Horto resistance SOS Horto Facebook Page
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Thiago Castanho and Alice Kasznar
Last update19/09/2016