Brazilian Boom Town's Troubles are a Warning for Emerging Cities

One of Brazil's most prosperous cities is experiencing a highly visible decline in the quality of life for many residents. Rising crime, stalled infrastructure projects, and general dissatisfaction are turning Salvador into a “failed city”.
November 12, 2013, 9am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Salvador, the largest city in northeastern Brazil, a region that is still posting enviable economic growth even as the national economy slows, should have the wind at its back," writes Simon Romero. "But the boom here is producing another outcome: Instead of celebrating Salvador as its residents have long done — the writer Jorge Amado once called it a laid-back place of 'eternal beauty' — many people here are increasingly revolted by their city."

"In what may serve as a cautionary tale for other cities in the developing world, Salvador’s rising prosperity, on display in new shopping malls, sprawling megachurches and well-guarded gated communities, exists alongside a troubled reality. A surge in violent crime has transformed Salvador into Brazil’s murder capital, motorists grapple with traffic that ranks among the most chaotic and violent of any South American city and resentment festers over the metamorphosis of once-elegant seaside districts into crime-ridden areas with abandoned buildings best described as ruins."

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Published on Sunday, November 10, 2013 in The New York Times
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