By Astrid Gühnemann
On Friday, a day after the WCTR conference several colleagues (Paul Timms, Greg Marsden, Ersilia Verlinghieri and myself) visited IPPUR (Institudo de Pesquisa e Planejamento Urbano e Regional), the Urban Planning Institute at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (http://www.ippur.ufrj.br/).
We were welcomed by Director Prof. Raimund Randolph and his colleagues Prof. Mauro Kleimann, Prof. Alberto de Oliveira, Prof. Marcelo Gomes Ribeiro. The visit was excellently prepared by our colleague Antonio Ferreira who could not be present in Rio in person but by video. We found that there is significant common research interest between the two institutes in many areas, for example urban mobility and social impacts, urban and multi-level governance, wider economic impacts of large investments on e.g. labour markets, and policy integration. We agreed to further explore detailed co-operation options through e.g. exchange programmes of researchers and PhD students in the near future.
After the visit Greg had to make his way home to Leeds, while Paul, Ersilia and myself took the opportunity to visit the Cantagalo favela where we were guided by a local inhabitant through the numerous alleys. I was impressed by the friendliness of the people, but the cramped living conditions with very poor accessibility in such close vicinity of the richer parts and tourist buzz of Copacabana just highlight how important work on urban development and mobility is and we hope that our joint research with IPPUR can one day make some positive impact.