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Architects welcome £42bn Brazil infrastructure boost

A $66 billion (£42bn) infrastructure investment package from the Brazilian government has been hailed as a major boost for architects in the country

The government plans to spend the money on road and railway development, with the majority coming in the next five years.

Transport inefficiencies are widely seen as a major brake on growth in Brazil as it gears up to host the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016.

Des Curran – director of Nottingham practice Marchini Curran Associates, which recently masterplanned a beach resort in Bahia – welcomed the latest package.

‘A major factor in the success of our project is accessibility,’ he told AJ.

‘Anything that promotes easy access for the domestic and international markets is a good thing.

‘Infrastructure investment has perhaps lagged behind investment in social programmes, and this could be a sign that this is being addressed.’

The majority of the stimulus will be in the form of concessions to build roads and railways, with finance being provided by Brazil’s state development bank.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said the move showed the government recognised the problems caused by its infrastructure.

‘Known as the Brazil Cost, these supply-side constraints are the cause of high transport costs and reduced productivity,’ said RICS economist Himanshu Wani.

RICS quoted sources saying prime central homes in Rio de Janeiro had risen by 50 per cent in 18 months.

Alexandre Hepner, partner at Sao Paulo firm Estudio Arkiz, told AJ in June that the country’s relaxed culture could benefit UK firms as it prepares to host the Olympics

‘The general culture of leaving everything to the last minute means we will have to do more than what was done in London [for the 2012 Games] in much less time,’ he said.

‘The knowledge and experience accumulated by UK architects could be very useful in helping to overcome these challenges.’


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