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Jacarepaguá (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʒakaɾepaˈɡwa]), with a land area of 29.27 square miles (75.8 km2) is the 4th largest neighborhood in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2000, it had a population of 100,822, making it the 9th most populous neighborhood in the city. The name comes from the indigenous name of the location, "shallow pond of alligators", yakaré(alligator) + upá (pond) + guá (shallow), by the time of the Portuguese invasion.
Jacarepaguá is located in the West Zone of Rio in the Baixada de Jacarepaguá, between Maciço da Tijuca and the Serra da Pedra Branca. The upper middle class Barra da Tijuca separates the suburb from the sea.
Jacarepaguá is divided into the following sub-areas (sub-bairros):
- Cidade de Deus
- Gardênia Azul
- Praça Seca
- Rio das Pedras
- Vila Valqueire.
The suburb is known for large open areas where events and shows, such as the last Rock in Rio, take place.
It holds a samba school called Unidos de Jacarepaguá, churches like Nossa Senhora do Loreto, many shopping centers like RioShopping, QualityShopping, and CenterShopping, and schools such as Garriga de Menezes, Pentágono and Primus, and several clubs, like Olímpico and Bandeirantes.
It is also home to the Autódromo de Jacarepaguá, which hosted the Formula One Brazilian Grand Prix between 1978 and 1990. It also hosted the Rio de Janeiro motorcycle Grand Prix between 1995 and 2004.
Recently, works have been done to build an Olympic Village in an area disputed by Jacarepaguá (or JPA) and Barra da Tijuca, a neighborhood nearby. Regardless of who "owns" the area, the Cariocas that live close to it were very excited about the Pan-American Games that were held there in 2007.
It's also the biggest center of TV recording studios in Latin America, where RecNov (Record's studio), Projac (Globo's studio—the biggest one in Latin America—are located. Band's studio, Polo de Cinema e Video studio are also there, and the Mexican broadcaster Televisa will soon open a branch there.
Jacarepaguá is a middle-class neighborhood, but one of Rio's largest slums, Cidade de Deus, and others like Favela Covanca, Barao, Inacio do Amaral,etc. are located in the region.
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