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
NameConflict in the Horto, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
ProvinceRio de Janeiro
SiteRio de Janeiro
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Tourism Recreation
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Establishment of reserves/national parks
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific CommoditiesLand
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe total area of the Botanic Garden as defined recently in court would be of 1.3 million square meters, including the area under dispute.

There are aprox. 550 families living in the Horto.
Type of PopulationUrban
Potential Affected Population550 families
Start Date1980
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingNeighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of a network/collective action
Media based activism/alternative media
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Refusal of compensation
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Violations of human rights
Potential: Displacement, Land dispossession
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (failure for environmental justice)
Violent targeting of activists
Development of AlternativesA 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 as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The last court decision was in favor of eviction and of returning the area known as Horto to the park.
Sources and Materials

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

Newspaper O Globo about the Horto
[click to view]

Media Links

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
ContributorThiago Castanho and Alice Kasznar
Last update19/09/2016