These events promise to improve the urban quality of life and to induce social legacy because of investments in urban infrastructure, transportation, and sporting facilities. Our analysis of the case of Brazil, especially in Rio de Janeiro (host of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games) shows that such benefits may differ locally and may accentuate the process of socio-spatial segregation. Urban projects often include forced evictions of low-income populations and the consequent expansion of social segregation. In public opinion, mega events are also responsible for increasing rents and (real estate) prices. However, such inflationary phenomenon occurs in most Brazilian cities, including non-host cities. The appreciation of real estate is explained largely by population and economic growth and the reduction of interest rates through mortgage programs, as well as reduced social inequality. Public investments in mega events account for only approximately 0.15% of Brazilian GDP from 2007 to 2016 and are thus too small to be responsible for the (increasing) social problems. Obviously, the perceived lack of public accountability for mega event finances as well as the perceived lack of susceptibility to social issues by the mega sporting projects may harm the public opinion of mega events. International sporting federations should thus have every interest in ensuring that their mega events target social inclusion and pay more attention to the needs of local urban and social policies.
Housing Prices Real Estate FIFA World Cup Olympics Mega Sporting Events Rio de Janeiro 2016 Urban Planning Accountability