It is not difficult to see the legacy of the World Cup for the city of Porto Alegre. In total, fourteen major transportation public works have been developed in different regions that will dramatically change traffic patterns. Four have already been delivered. In addition to these projects, the revitalization of public areas, investment in spaces for sport and recreation, and investments in education for students of technology and communications are all developments that will provide a better quality of life for citizens. But the legacy of hosting this mega sports event transcends the visible benefits.
In addition to the construction of infrastructure projects qualifying as public services, Mayor José Fortunati points out that the main legacy will be the engagement of the public, a new climate of fraternization, and the interaction with tourists of different nationalities. “We now have a transformed city. Not only because of visible public works. People are now involved and actively participating with the rest of the world. The atmosphere of the city and the perception that visitors enjoyed Porto Alegre affected the self-esteem of the citizens, arousing feelings of pride and value. It is our goal to unite the population and build a better city,” says Fortunati.
The Municipality of Porto Alegre engaged in several necessary large developments before the start of the World Cup matches. Some of the projects, made possible because the Capital was one of the host cities include: the widening of Avenue Pippa Pereira Paiva (Avenida Beira-Rio), construction of the viaduct Pinheiro Borda, the Avenue Padre Cacique corridor, construction on the surrounding streets to improve access to the Beira-Rio Stadium and the Julio Avenue overpass of Castillos. The works already improve urban mobility in the Central region and in the South, while also creating access to Castelo Branco Avenue, relieving traffic in the downtown area.
Other public works that were undertaken include: the widening of the Avenue Tronco and the construction of houses for families living in areas affected by the project, the complex road, the widening of the Voluntários da Pátria Street, the extension of Avenida Severo Dullius, and construction of the BRT corridors of João Pessoa, among many other projects. The total amount funded by the federal government with lower interest rates and extended maturities, exclusive conditions for host cities, was R $888,704,053.52 (U.S. $401 million).
To Fortunati, had it not been for the opportunities that the World Cup provided, these works may not have taken place. “Some of these projects had been on paper for more than thirty years and were never implemented because of a lack of funds. The World Cup allowed us to seek funding and carry out those works that improve mobility and the quality of life of citizens. In the case of Avenida Tronco for example, we undertook very important social work for families who now have housing and will have homes,” affirmed Fortunati.
In the area of health infrastructure, the new Emergency Hospital Emergency Room (HPS), constructed in August 2013 is the result of a partnership between federal, state and local governments with the Hospital Group of Moinhos de Vento. The institution serves approximately 110,000 residents from six districts.
Another development is the Integrated Command Centre of Porto Alegre (CEIC), operating since 2012, which has established itself as the core of operations monitoring and integration of municipal utilities. In the 2014 World Cup, the CEIC coordinated the operational plans of municipal areas, with about forty servers operating twenty-four hours a day, monitoring the city and the main events of the World Cup through 840 cameras. To democratize access to information, CEIC created a “Transparency Website” for monitoring the actions of the technicians and of the videowall. There were about sixteen hours of daily content production, reporting on the changes taking place in the city during the days of the event. CEIC operated in “Warning” status during the five games in the city which strengthened its role as a resource for contingencies, expanding the capability of the city to respond to major emergencies. CEIC also integrated the network of crises and emergencies personnel in preparation for the World Cup.
Three municipal schools of Porto Alegre – Morro da Cruz, President Vargas and Dolores Alcaraz Caldas – each received four 46-inch TVs, eight 40-inch TVs, a DVD player and a printer from FIFA. The schools benefited from these donations of digital products and were chosen for their work with the Digital Inclusion Advisory for Municipal Education (SMED) program, which focused on the topic of the World Cup during the first semester with students. Donations were the result of a partnership with the FIFA Extraordinary Secretariat for the World Cup 2014 (SECOPA).
For technology and communication infrastructure, Wi-Fi hotspots of Procempa were installed on the Caminho do Gol and will remain in operation. Five Wi-Fi hotspots were installed along the Borges de Medeiros Avenue. On the streets, over 600 technological items were placed in strategic locations to engage the community in the World Cup and attract the attention of visitors. These materials will now be properly recycled.
The legacy of the World Cup in Porto Alegre also includes the revitalization of many public areas. The Plaza Isabel, the Marine Park of Brazil and the Pôr-do-Sol Amphitheater were revitalized for the event. The Plaza Isabel housed one of the main stations of the Camiho do Gol project. The place was totally urbanized and received assistance for gravel paving, installing accessibility ramps, tactile flooring that helps visually impaired locomotion, benches with backrests, checkerboard tables, metal bins, new toys for the children’s nook, and infrastructure for lighting. The Marine Park revitalized eleven sports fields. Four football fields, three volleyball courts, two basketball courts, one tennis court and a multi-sports center were all built atop the previous facilities. A skate park was also built.
Lastly, many investments in tourism infrastructure were made as a result of the World Cup in Porto Alegre. The S1 is a selective circular line created to meet visitors from the 2014 World Cup and that will remain in service. Six buses now depart daily from the Salgado Filho Airport to major hotels. During the World Cup, assistants trained in the English language boarded the line to assist passengers. To expand the supply of the city’s tourism infrastructure and the Linha Turismo (Tourism Bus Line), a double-decker bus was purchased which allowed only three vehicles to follow the World Cup itinerary, with 864 remaining seats available to the public daily. The new vehicle will continue in operation.
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Original article, originally published in Portuguese, can be found here.
Credits: Images and data linked to sources.