Barra da Tijuca Beach

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Barra da Tijuca (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈbaʁɐ dɐ tʃiˈʒukɐ]) (usually known as Barra) is an upper-class neighborhood or bairro in the West Zone of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, located in the western portion of the city on the Atlantic Ocean. Barra is well known for its beaches, its many lakes and rivers, and its lifestyle. This neighbourhood represents 4.7% of the city population and 13% of the total area of Rio de Janeiro. Barra da Tijuca is classified as one of the most developed places in Brazil, with one of the highest Human Development Indexes (HDI) in the country, as measured in the 2000 Brazil Census. Unlike the South Zone and Rio's Downtown, Barra da Tijuca, built only 30 years ago, follows the Modernist standards, with large boulevards creating the major transit axis. The area's masterplan was designed by Lúcio Costa, known for his work on Brasília, and creates a region filled with many gardens, shopping malls, apartment buildings and large mansions. In recent years, due to the rapid development of the Brazilian economy, Barra's population has increased by over 100,000, as a large number of residents and companies search for cheaper real estate as an alternative to the densely populated South Zone of Rio. Demographic data indicates that the region is the fastest growing neighborhood in Rio: 98,851 in 1991, 174,353 in 2000, and 300,823 in 2010. Barra natives and residents are known as Barristas, or more popularly, Barrenses. The neighborhood is a cultural, economic, and administrative hub of the city, and is believed to be the safest of Rio's upper-class neighbourhoods because of its lack of favelas and plentiful private and public security. It is the home of several celebrities and football players. In August 2016, Barra hosted most of the venues of the 2016 Summer Olympics, the first held in South America.

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