Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil's 2014 World Cup cities face huge challenges

Billions of dollars are to be spent on the building and improvement of stadiums, airports and roads to prepare Brazil for the matches and visitors of the 2014 World Cup.

Here are the plans and challenges for all 12 host cities in detail:

Image caption Images show artists' impressions of the venues

Belo Horizonte: Minerao Stadium to be renovated; will need to increase number of hotels; public transport needs improving.

Brasilia: Mane Garrincha Stadium to be rebuilt; as Brazil's capital, it has good infrastructure but lacks decent public transport network. City designed mainly for cars. Airport needs investment.

Cuiaba: Will build new stadium, the Jose Fragelli. Has been increasing hotel rooms amid local economic growth in recent years. Public transport is fair but needs to be expanded.

Curitiba: Often considered a model for city planning, Curitiba's main challenge is to build its ambitious Cidade da Copa (World Cup City) stadium. Major roadworks planned to avoid congestion.

Fortaleza: Will renovate its Castelao Stadium. Beautiful beaches but city itself has serious infrastructure shortcomings. Water, sewerage, housing and public transport issues all need to be addressed.

Manaus: Will rebuild Vivaldao Stadium. This big city in heart of Amazon jungle needs big investment in its infrastructure. Upgrading the port on the Amazon River should allow cruise ships to function as hotels. Public transport needs major upgrade.

Natal: Will build new stadium, Arena das Dunas. Has out-of-date bus system, run-down railway, hence traffic jams in what is smallish state capital. But has good number of hotels as its beaches attract tourists all year round.

Porto Alegre: Aims to renovate the city's riverfront, including eponymous Beira Rio Stadium. City has good infrastructure but needs to speed up investment in its metro. Airport being expanded.

Recife: Will build new stadium, Cidade da Copa, as part of major football complex to be integrated into city once World Cup over. Public transport extensive but inefficient. Airport needs modernisation.

Rio de Janeiro: Will renovate world-famous Maracana Stadium. Needs major investment in its airport and public transport. Crime is a major concern. Government expected to announce specific plans on this.

Salvador: Will rebuild Fonte Nova Stadium as state-of-the-art complex - not clear if this will be sustainable after the World Cup. Needs to invest heavily in public transport as city suffers serious traffic jams.

Sao Paulo: Will build new stadium, to be home of Corinthians football club. Brazil's biggest city has extensive network of public transport that is being expanded. Traffic jams are serious and international airport already operating well beyond its capacity.