The ‘economic power cluster’ in Rio’s future

If city leaders adopt the right strategies, Rio de Janeiro by 2030 could become not only the Latin American capital of business and high tech but a real-life example of sustainable development in the southern hemisphere, according to a study under way by Siemens.

Siemens’ future scenario for the city — “Pictures of the Future Rio 2030-2040″ — also envisions Rio and Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, coming together in an “economic power cluster” enabled by new technologies and high-speed public transport.

However, another driver for Rio’s development won’t be cleantech but its vast oil and gas resources in deep “pre-salt” layers of the ocean floor below the Atlantic.

Tourism, media and the fashion industry could also become even bigger factors in the city’s future, but only if leaders can overcome current challenges in security, transportation and security. Rio has already made some encouraging inroads in driving away drug gangs and bringing more social programs to previously underserved populations. However, officials will need to keep a continuous focus on the poor favelas and other regions of the city to ensure they are part of comprehensive, citywide efforts in economic development, healthcare and education.

“Part of the solution is using the right technologies and part of the solution is deploying the right policies,” said Paulo Stark, CEO and president of Siemens Brazil. “But the magic recipe is to combine both.”

The complete study of Rio’s future potential is set to be finished sometime this November. It will be based on 80 specialist interviews with Rio leaders and other experts across different sectors.

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