Curitiba is the capital of the Parana state in the SW of Brazil. On the surface Curitiba seems remarkable only in the speed of its population growth.1950 -300,000 to +2.1mn in 1990.
This growth, along with a change from an agricultural to industrial base, should have led to many problems, such as pollution, congestion, squatter settlements.
Curitiba seems to have avoided the worst of these problems.
Planning for the future
Planning proposals have been aligned to a sustainable future in the following ways:
*Public transport is preferred over private cars.
*The environment is used rather than changed.
*cheap, low technology solutions are used rather than high technology.
*innovation is developed through the participation of the citizens (bottom up).
Architect & planner – James Lerner (Mayor)
His philosophy of designing with nature rather than against it has been carried on subsequent administrations .
The utilisation of the environmental setting such as former quarry sites to become landscape features. It has managed to expand rapidly yet retain 52m ² of green area per inhabitant (twice the UN recommended amount).
During weekends, more than 150,000 visitors enjoy these parklands. Some flood-prone areas have been transformed into parks and came to include sports and leisure facilities. Free green-coloured buses and bicycle paths fully integrate these public spaces into their local and larger communities.
Barigui Park Park Tingui Ecological Trail Passauna Park
Cheap, Low technology solutions
The programme of waste sorting is an example, where workers are sold rubbish carts at cost price. The collect, recycle and sell the waste to private recycling companies .
Curitibanos now recycle two-thirds of their garbage. The city is cleaner, its people have more jobs, farmers have more dependable income, and the poor receive food and transportation benefits. The “Garbage that is not Garbage” and “Garbage Purchase” programs involve curbside pick-up and disposal of recyclables sorted by households and in less accessible areas, exchange of collected garbage for food or transit tickets by low-income residents. The “All Clean” program temporarily hires retired or unemployed persons who concentrate on areas where litter has accumulated. Trash is separated into only two categories, organic and inorganic, picked up in two different types of trucks. Poor residents in areas unreachable by truck bring their waste to neighborhood centers, where they exchange it for bus tickets or eggs, and milk bought from outlying farms. Trash is separated at a plant built of recycled materials, sorted by workers who are handicapped, recent immigrants and alcoholics. Recovered materials are sold to local industries
Trialling Innovative Solutions
The problems of rural-urban migration which have led to the development of numerous shanty towns is tackled by social workers approaching potential migrants at bus stations and offering them free bus tickets to return home ( so far more than 23,000 have been persuaded). Longer term – the villa rural idea has been promoted to provide small farms, where the peasants can farm areas around the city between temporary industrial jobs.
The jewel in the crown
The public transport system has been promoted at the expense of the private car. The transport system is based on bendy buses because it is more economical to establish bus routes than subways. A single far covers the whole city, to encourage use. The customers are provided with quality bus shelters and extra-wide doors to ensure speedy loading. With comfortable buses and express routes, journeys are more pleasant than many city bus rides. The bus companies are paid by km of road they serve, not the number of passengers. This encourages them to serve new areas of the city .
It works as 75% of commuters take the bus.
The Free Environment University provides short courses on environmental management & conservation for the general public and tailor made courses for businesses.
Awareness of environmental sustainability and each individual’s quality of life is part of the education of every person in Curitiba.
Developers and builders receive a tax break when their projects include green areas.