Neo-liberal exceptionalism in Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic port regeneration
This chapter investigates the rise of a new, exceptional, form of neo-liberal urban regeneration in the Latin American landscape through a study of Rio de Janeiro’s port revitalization. Combining an eventled model with a cultural strategy, it is characterized by the imposition of a ‘state of emergency’ related to the 2016 Olympics that helps accelerate the regeneration planning process while legitimizing exceptional measures and exemptions. The chapter investigates the impacts of this approach, in terms of population displacement, gentrification, socio-spatial polarization and the commodification of urban space. It discusses the role of this entrepreneurial approach in the reconfiguration of power relations at the local level, with the growing involvement of private sector actors and other non-elected participants in decision-making.