chapter  4
17 Pages

Urban planning legacies and corruption

Evidence from the Rio Olympic Games and Lava Jato
WithMárcia R. G. Sanzovo, Karla Y. Ganley

Major international exhibitions, cultural festivals, sports competitions, and similar mega-events present opportunities for much-needed urban development. They also present opportunities for corruption. In preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Brazil spent 7.5 billion USD (24.8 billion BRL) on urban development projects, which led to improvements in public transportation, sewage systems, and water quality. However, many of these projects went over budget, and, as of September 2019, a number of them remain incomplete. Some of the blame goes to corruption: official investigations into the matter have revealed kickbacks, vote-buying, and bribery related to Brazil’s Olympic Games and associated public infrastructure projects. This chapter discusses how certain aspects of mega-events can foster corruption and suggests measures governments and citizens can take to minimize such corruption.