Rio de Janeiro - This city's historic centre has long been considered dangerous and rundown. But in the run-up to the Olympic Games next month, it has spent tens of millions of dollars on urban renewal and transport.

Many Brazilians see the results as a long-overdue rebirth, though others question the use of taxpayers' money.

For instance, a new tram now cuts through the heart of Rio, a bonus for the city.

The line was part of a $2.5bn redevelopment of downtown Rio and it was made possible because of the Olympics.

Museums, pathways and new bus lines have also been implemented in the city.

Abandoned areas are now packed, with thousands taking trams or walking through the plazas, museums and shops.

Luiz Nunes, an agronomist, said: "In the future we'll look at all this, the museums, the works and the stadiums and we'll realise it's a great legacy."

Many residents are hoping the Olympics' hard-fought and expensive legacy will pay dividends for decades to come.

Source: Al Jazeera