Postmodernity and economic globalization incite countries, regions, and cities to compete for investments, consumers, and resources. In aspiring for a new position in this global market, cities utilize new urban practices that lead them to rediscover and reinvent identities and traditions. In Rio de Janeiro, the mythical dimension of the South Zone is inseparably incorporated to its identity. In evaluating the history of the imagery linked to the beaches and the projects for the waterfront, one may observe a social construction of a reality that is marked by a continuous redesigning of symbols but also by a discontinuity in the history of urban interventions. Although tourism and marketing continually praise the waterfront as a fundamental factor in the image of the city, a continuous public management process never really existed. The city managers must understand the beaches, the waterfront, and development along the shoreline as important resources in a continuous process of social construction of a reality that should not only address their images as commodities but should treat them as inseparable from the city's daily public and social lives.
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