Curitiba – The Showcase City of Brazil
Curitiba, officially Município de Curitiba, is a major city in Brazil and the capital of the state of Paraná. With over 1.9 million inhabitants, Curitiba is the eighth largest city in Brazil. It is the center of the Curitiba metropolitan region, which is home to approximately 3.6 million people. In the last decade, the city has become known for its highly efficient urban planning, developed in the 1960s, which has made it one of the most sustainable cities in the world and a model for many. Back in 1996, it was named the most innovative city in the world at the Congress of Urban Planners in Istanbul, and in 2010 it received the Global Sustainable City Award. If you want to be inspired by innovation on your trip to Brazil, be sure to include a visit to Curitiba!
The city plan of the IPPUC, the "Instituto de Pesquisa e Planejamento Urbano de Curitiba," which has been in existence since 1968, takes into account not only economic but also social and environmental aspects to achieve high efficiency. For example, large inner-city buildings with office space and residential areas are restricted to certain areas, so that high-rise buildings are only built along bus routes and transport hubs. This is to achieve optimal connectivity for the population and ensure that no resident has to walk more than 400 meters to the nearest bus stop.
This bus system has also become a cost-effective alternative means of transport for Curitiba's residents and visitors. In this context, the road layout has also been changed and widened, especially for buses, so that they can find their way around the large network. The same applies to the network of bicycle paths, which has been expanded and simplified. In addition, different types of buses have been created for different tasks, resulting in a better structure and efficiency.
Another innovation in Curitiba is the "glass tubes," or "tubulares", which serve as bus stops and are not only comfortable and dry - it often rains in Curitiba - but also make it easier to get on and off.
As a result, there is less congestion overall, and the nearly 1.5 million people who use this system regularly arrive at their destinations without major delays or other incidents. Other cities have since adopted this model and improved their urban planning.
Network of knowledge
From an educational perspective, the city's so-called "Lighthouses of Knowledge" provide citizens in each neighborhood with a free library and Internet access. This makes it easier for digitalization to progress in Curitiba in the form of simplified bureaucracy and recognition technology. For example, parking will be simplified and improved so that less time is needed to visit the city center. In addition, many transactions can be completed simply with a fingerprint or cell phone. This access will also be available to all Curitiba residents so that this "network" can be widely used. This also serves as a model for improving digitalization.
A barter system has been set up so that the low-income population in the city's surrounding areas can also use the city's facilities. Here, recyclable waste can be collected and given in exchange for food, bus tickets or school books. Curitiba is also a real pioneer in waste separation, which is being improved and expanded from year to year. Another project called "Bairro Novo do Caximba" was launched with the aim of increasing energy efficiency and electric mobility. It also serves as a model for other cities to improve sustainability throughout Brazil.
Jobs and nutrition
An important goal is to create more jobs while implementing social and environmental projects. In addition to recycling projects, especially for poorer people, Curitiba is building urban farms to improve the food situation. In addition, these farms create more jobs, thus reducing unemployment and poverty in Curitiba. There are also plans to expand solar plants, which will both improve the energy budget and create more jobs. In combination with other such projects, Curitiba has a comparatively very low proportion of favelas, which is a great model for other cities in Brazil.
Curitiba is a special city in many ways. As the capital of the state of Paraná, Curitiba has become a role model for many other cities and has implemented a number of innovative ideas, some of which have since been adopted by other cities. Cities outside of Brazil can also borrow an idea or two from Curitiba. So, if you want to experience an innovative city in Brazil and get inspired by a great city during your Brazil vacation, be sure to pay Curitiba a visit!
Sources: blogs.iadb.org, www.padlet.com, www.reset.org, www.unesco.org, www.wikipedia.org