Monday, March 26, 2018

Transport legacy of mega-events and the redistribution of accessibility to urban destinations

Good news! The 2nd paper of my thesis is coming out of the oven \o/ . The paper has not been assigned to a journal issue yet, but here you go (pdf).

The paper engages with the literature on mega-events and urban development to understand the particularities of transport planning in Rio de Janeiro, conducted for almost two decades under a context of mega-events planning. It is argued in the study that evaluations of the impacts of mega-events on urban infrastructure should take into account the distributional effects of the transport legacies created by those events, looking particularly at how such transport developments reshape social and spatial inequalities in access to opportunities.

This is the first empirical paper of my thesis. Two other empirical papers are currently under review, but you can read their preprints here and hereMy theoretical paper is available herein case you are interested  or have sleeping problems .

Pereira, R. H. M. (2018). Transport legacy of mega-events and the redistribution of accessibility to urban destinations. Cities. doi:10.1016/j.cities.2018.03.013

Local governments increasingly justify the hosting of mega-events because of their legacy value, assuming that all local residents benefit from those events. Yet, little attention has been paid to the distributive question of who benefits from the transport legacy left by those events. This paper reflects on the delimitation of transport legacies and its social impacts in terms of how such developments can reshape urban accessibility to opportunities. It analyses the transformation in the transport system of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in preparation for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. That transformation involved substantial expansion in public transport infrastructure, followed by cuts in service levels and a reorganization of many bus lines to streamline the transport system. The paper examines whether those recent changes have increased the number of people from different income levels who could access Olympic sports venues and healthcare facilities by public transport within 15, 30, 60 and 90 min. The analysis uses a before-and-after comparison of Rio's transport network (2014–2017) and a quasi-counterfactual scenario to separate the effects of newly added infrastructure from the reorganization and cuts of transport services. The results show that the infrastructure expansion alone would have increased the number of people who could access the Olympic sports venues, but it would have only marginally improved people's access to healthcare facilities. Nonetheless, the findings indicate that the streamlined bus system have offset the benefits of infrastructure investments in a way that particularly penalizes the poor. The analysis of both the implemented changes to the public transport network and the counterfactual scenario show that the accessibility benefits from the recent cycle of investments and disinvestments in Rio generally accrued to middle- and higher-income groups, reinforcing existing patterns of urban inequality.

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