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Skyscrapers Block Out Beach Sunshine in the "Brazilian Monaco"

12/29/2015 - 09h19

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FELIPE BACHTOLD
FROM SÃO PAULO

Along a five kilometer coastal strip, between a busy road and conservation areas, construction firms are building a row of skyscrapers, creating a problem for those on the beach: the buildings throw large shadows onto the sand.

Balneário Camboriú, a resort on the northern coast of the southern state of Santa Catarina, will soon be home to some of the tallest buildings in South America. However, unlike in other cities, these buildings will be home not to offices, but to hotels and other facilities for tourists.

Currently, the city's tallest building is the Millennium Palace, standing at 45 floors and 177 meters. However, there are two buildings currently under construction that will exceed 240 meters: the Yachthouse (74 floors) and Infinity Coast (66).

A city of 128,000 inhabitants, Balneário Camboriú generally attracts the retired and the rich, such as millionaire landowners from the Midwest and South regions.

Barcelona football star Neymar owns property in the region, where the going price for an apartment is around R$3 million (US $778,000).

The architectural style has led to comparisons with Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. However, there has also been much criticism, particularly of the fact that the buildings cast shadows onto the beach from mid-afternoon.

"They want to turn Camboriú into the Brazilian Monaco, but make no mistake: that is no compliment," says the architecture professor Carlos Barbosa.

The city government says that it has been taking measures to prevent urban overcrowding.

Translated by TOM GATEHOUSE

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