The City Hall strives to make Rio de Janeiro more accessible, with structural changes that will also leave a legacy of accessibility to residents and visitors. This legacy can be seen in the buses and stations of the Transoeste, Transcarioca and Transolímpica BRT services; in the Family Clinics and Schools of Tomorrow; in the expansion of accessibility at the Sambadrome and new hotels of the city; on the streets of Northern and Western areas contemplated by the Bairro Maravilha Project; in the increasing number of young people with disabilities and specialized teachers at the City Hall’s Olympic Villages; and finally in the surroundings of the Olympic and Paralympic venues.
Check out some projects and initiatives of the City of Rio:
The works of the Urban Domain, in the surroundings of the Deodoro Sports Complex, are a set of interventions that have requalified the neighboring areas of the sports venues. The work followed the standards of the Bairro Maravilha and Flat Asphalt programs, in addition to promoting the urbanization of Avenida Brasil on the stretch between Estrada da Equitação and Estrada Marechal Alencastro. In total, it implemented 269.7 sq meters of new asphalt, 53,8 sq meters of sidewalks and 115 accessibility ramps.
Around Maracanã 2,000 sq mts of promenades and sidewalks have undergone a requalification at the time of the World Cup, which made the region more inclusive and accessible. With the construction of a new station to replace the existing one in São Cristóvão, the State Government improved access ramps and routes to the stadium. On the outskirts of João Havelange Olympic Stadium, 131,840 sq meters of sidewalks have been reurbanized and received 241 ramps (lowering of sidewalks) as well as four elevated crossings, all following the standards of the Bairro Maravilha project. These interventions improved the lives of locals and passers-by, as the region now has more accessible resources. There are 32 streets and roads with newly paved sidewalks, lanes and realigned curbs. In the surroundings of the Sambadrome, 25,600 sq meters of sidewalk were renovated. Besides the new sidewalks, ramps and elevated crossings, Rua Júlio do Carmo was transformed into a large pedestrian zone, which connects the Praça XV subway station to the Passarela do Samba.
The City Department of Conservation and Public Services has built and installed ramps in various districts of the city. A contract of approximately R$ 1.5 million ensures the execution of services. In the last two months, the Department built 152 ramps or level crossings in neighborhoods such as Copacabana, Deodoro, São Cristóvão, Maracanã, Glória, Barra da Tijuca, Catete, Alto da Boa Vista, Ricardo de Albuquerque, among others.
The City Department of Conservation and Public Services stresses that the responsibility for maintaining sidewalk is, as the current legislation provides, shared with property owners. Therefore, sidewalks outside buildings, gated communities, commercial establishments and residences are the responsibility of property owners, who must carry out any necessary maintenance services. As for the so-called public sidewalks – pavement along squares, riversides and waterfronts – it is up to the City administration to perform their maintenance. A total of 26 conservation managers conduct daily inspections to maintain the sidewalks under the responsibility of the City and to monitor conditions of privately owned pavement. In the last 12 months alone, 15,000 notifications were given to ensure that private sidewalks follow the appropriate standards. From this total, 70% of maintenance services were carried out by the population within 45 days.
Between November 2015 and May 2016, the City Department of Conservation and Public Services ran the project called "Accessible Routes." Designed by Riotur, the intervention offered accessibility for people with special needs, by connecting the main modes of transport (subway stations, bus stops etc.) to the city's tourist sights. Services were performed in the following areas: Corcovado, Shopping Rio Sul – Sugar Loaf, Cinelândia (Municipal Theater, Museum of Fine Arts, National Library), Barra da Tijuca Beach, Vista Chinesa, Mesa do Imperador, Botanical Gardens and Copacabana Beach. Approximately R$ 2 million were invested to implement the project, which included building concrete paths with tactile paving and removing a number of obstacles, such as car blocks, junction boxes (manholes) etc.
All buses have accessibility and are level with stations, with non-slip flooring. Sound messages indicate the next stations for people with visual impairments, while visual signage guide the deaf and hard of hearing. The vehicles have dedicated areas for people in wheelchairs – with all the required protection – as well as seats for the disabled, the elderly, pregnant women or passengers with a guide dog. The stations were designed with access ramps, tactile paving, turnstiles for people with disabilities and a waiting area with full accessibility.
All 78 Family Clinics built by the City of Rio also follow standards of accessibility, with ramps and spacious rooms for people with limited mobility.
All school units built since 2009 are adapted for accessibility. By the end of 2016, more than 300 education units will have been built by the City of Rio.
The City Department of People with Disabilities (SMPD in Portuguese) has six Reference Centers in Vila Isabel, Campo Grande, Centro, São Conrado, Irajá, and Santa Cruz. Two units have inclusive daycares (Vila Isabel and Campo Grande), where children with and without disabilities share the same environment, receive stimuli and go through rehabilitation if a deficiency is identified. Currently more than 2,300 people with disabilities are enrolled in these 6 units and receive care on a regular basis. The Reference Centers for People with Disabilities (CRPDs in Portuguese) have multidisciplinary teams formed by physiotherapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, social workers, educators, sign language interpreters, craftspeople, physical education teachers, music therapists, among others. The CRPDs are composed of large environments that follow standards of universal design, with tactile paving for directional guiding, access ramps with handrails and adapted bathrooms. They also have rooms for workshops and appointments. In addition, the units are equipped with changing rooms, conviviality areas, culture and leisure rooms, as well as rooms for computers, administration staff, social services, meetings, and so on. There is also an auditorium and a room for Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), where users learn to perform everyday tasks – cooking, dressing, personal grooming and housekeeping – with more autonomy and independence.
The Rio Paralympic Team is an initiative of the City Department of People with Disabilities and the Brazilian Paralympic Committee (CPB), which offers high-level training conditions and infrastructure to a group of 21 athletes and four guides. Paralympic athletes with visual and motor disabilities compete in four disciplines for the Rio Paralympic Team: athletics, canoeing, swimming and judo. Among the selected athletes are Paralympic medalists, like the judo player Karla Cardoso (silver medal in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008), Lucas Prado, Athletics (three golds in Beijing 2008 and two silvers in London 2012) and Rosinha Santos, Athletics (two golds in Sydney 2000). This is the second phase of the project. In 2012, 16 athletes of the first edition of the Rio Paralympic Team competed in the London games, ensuring seven medals: one gold, three silvers and three bronzes. In 2015, 16 athletes competed in the Parapan American Games and won 30 medals (14 golds, 11 silvers and five bronzes). For the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, the Rio Team had 18 athletes summoned for the Brazilian Paralympic Committee (CPB).
In recent months, the City also completed an accessible gym that allows people with special needs (in wheelchairs) to use its equipment. Outdoor gyms had already been put up on a large scale in various points of Rio, but the experience of the accessible gym was exclusively tested at Praça do Lido – a popular square in Copacabana – where it has been widely accepted and used. The project will be expanded in the next few weeks, when other types of equipment will be put up in areas yet to be determined. Similarly, there has been an improvement in the public playgrounds for children in terms of accessibility. Two months ago, Praça Ricardo Palma, in Lagoa, received new equipment for children with special needs. Praça Niterói, in Tijuca, also has recreational equipment that is accessible for children with limited mobility. The project will soon be expanded to other public squares of Rio de Janeiro.
The City Department of Sports and Leisure (SMEL in Portuguese) develops a number of physical and sports activities in 22 Olympic villages for more than 3,000 students with physical, cognitive and sensory limitations. There are 50 sport and leisure options specifically designed for them. All are inclusive, that is, open to any student with any kind of impairment that is not an impediment to the activity in question. The Department also develops specific sports activities adapted for people with disabilities: athletics (adapted guided walk), adapted personal trainer, adapted gymnastics, gymnastics at work (for adults), psychomotricity workshops, sports initiation (futsal, basketball, athletics, volleyball), adapted dance, sign language choirs, percussion, string instruments, adapted water aerobics, adapted basketball, adapted athletics, adapted swimming, adapted futsal, adapted judo, adapted handball, adapted boccia, inclusive judo, recreation for people with disabilities, inclusive taekwondo, adapted capoeira, inclusive jiu-jitsu, adapted gymnastics, and wheelchair basketball.
New hotel rooms are being built according to the Municipal Act 94, of January 2009, which determines that constructions must have at least 5% of accessible rooms.
Rio has seven traffic signs with warning sounds. The equipment was installed by CET-Rio in locations where there is more demand for accessibility measures for the visually disabled. The signs placement is as follows: - - At Rua São Francisco Xavier, facing UERJ - Tijuca - - Rua Barata Ribeiro, near Praça General Arcoverde - Copacabana - - Rua 24 de Maio, facing Aliança do Cegos - Meier - - Avenida Pasteur, facing Benjamin Constant Institute - Urca - - Rua Cosme Velho, facing São Judas Tadeu School - Cosme Velho - - Avenida Lúcio Costa, near Praça do O - Barra da Tijuca - - Rua Clarimundo de Melo, on the corner with Rua Paraná - Quintino
Started in 2010, the Bairro Maravilha program is responsible for the urbanization and setting up of proper infrastructure in Northern and Western areas. Interventions include new paving, sewage systems, drainage, construction of access ramps and sidewalks, plus tree planting. By the end of June 2016, 8,245 accessibility ramps had been installed. By December, the total number will amount to 10,643.
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