‘It’s been ex­tra­or­di­nary. It has changed whole sec­tions of the city.’

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Un­less you are rollerblad­ing, skate­board­ing, jog­ging or strolling along Rio’s seafront prom­e­nades, get­ting around can be a chal­lenge dur­ing rush hour. But ad­di­tional pub­lic trans­port projects in­clude a space-age VLT tram con­nect­ing 42 sta­tions through­out down­town by 2016, and the BRT (Rapid Bus Tran­sit) sys­tem. Run­ning along the Tran­soeste cor­ri­dor con­nect­ing Barra da Ti­juca to Santa Cruz, it was un­veiled last sum­mer, and three other routes – Trans­brasil, Tran­scar­i­oca and Tran­solimpica – are on the way.

Mean­while, Rio has part­nered with IBM to cre­ate the NASA-like Rio Op­er­a­tions Cen­tre, a hightech“mis­sion con­trol”with live feeds from 900 cam­eras around the city, en­abling au­thor­i­ties to mon­i­tor roads, build­ings and bridges. The center in­te­grates staff from more than 30 agen­cies and as a con­se­quence, has im­proved emer­gency re­sponse time by 30 per­cent.“The center was de­signed to im­prove the qual­ity of life through­out the city but not just in poor com­mu­ni­ties,”Pe­dro Jun­queira, the center’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, says. “By in­te­grat­ing ser­vices

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