Barra da Tijuca (Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈbaʀɐ dɐ tiˈʒukɐ]) (mostly referenced as Barra) is a 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. Although representing only 4.7% of the city population and 13% of the total area of Rio de Janeiro, Barra is responsible for 30% of all tax collected in the city. Barra da Tijuca is classified as one of the most developed places in Brazil, with one of the highest HDI (0.970) in the country, as measured in the 2010 Brazil Census.
Differently from 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. A mix of modernity, sustainability and nature create the newest side of the city of Rio de Janeiro. 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 development of the Brazilian economy, Barra has received more than 100,000 new residents and many companies' headquarters looking for a more modern address.
Those born in Barra da Tijuca, or those who live there, are called Barristas, Barrenses or, pejoratively, Barraíbas. The neighborhood of Barra da Tijuca is a cultural, economic, and administrative hub of the city, and is believed to be the safest of Rio's upper-class neighborhoods due to its lack of favelas and plentiful private and public security. Barra da Tijuca neighborhood is well known for being the home of celebrities and soccer stars.
Barra will host most of the venues of the 2016 Summer Olympics, which will be the first held in South America. Demographic data indicates that the region is the fastest growing county in Rio: 98,851 in 1991, 174,353 in 2000, and 300,823 in 2010.
The 18 km long beach is the largest of Rio de Janeiro's beach. Barra's beach starts at Morro do Joá and ends at the Recreio dos Bandeirantes neighborhood, in Pontal de Sernambetiba, beyond Avenida Lúcio Costa. Most of its waters are clear and green, and have an uncommon wave formation. Barra da Tijuca beach is one of the most sought after beaches by surfers, windsurfers, bodyboarders, kitesurfers and fishing enthusiasts. There is also a cycling lane along the beach.