How a Small Brazilian Community Fought Big Powers and Won

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Vila Autódromo is a small Brazilian Community in Rio de Janeiro with 450 families. During 20 years they have been building their houses, raising their families but also fighting with the government for the right to live there. There have been numerous threats of forced evictions from local authorities throughout the years: for environmental, security and development reasons. But in reality, these aren’t the real reasons. It’s a very well located waterside area and of course there are many powerful people with other plans.

Every year this Community is threatened and now, with the coming of the 2016 Olympics, the government wants to build the Oliympic Park, where the center stage would be. But Vila Autódromo has a very united community and together they made history by, not only organizing protests, filling legal petitions and talking to the media, but above all by developing a counter plan to the government’s plan of eviction with the help of local universities. The community proved it was actually cheaper and more sustainable to keep everyone in their homes and the mayor agreed to take eviction off the table and set up a special commission to discuss the community’s counter-proposal. Vila Autódromo stays!

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