Frontline World

BRAZIL - Curitiba's Urban Experiment, December 2003
a FRONTLINE/World Fellows project
master plan: history
master plan: future
people getting off bus stop
Curitiba's bus tubes speed the boarding process, enabling city transit to handle a growing population for a fraction of a subway's cost.
Curitiba's Innovative Answers to Universal Urban Problems

Curitiba is Brazil's showpiece of urban planning, known among city architects worldwide as a pioneering achievement in metropolitan renovation and innovation. In the 1960s, a redesign effort was initiated by aspiring architects who planned to carry the small but growing capital of the state of Paraná into a new era -- and to do so without the excessive borrowing that Brazilian public works projects are known for. What's more, the designers brought their own values into the planning process, finding cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions to the city's urban problems. Some 40 years later, the Curitiba Master Plan has become an international blueprint for sustainable city design, and its authors have been elevated as city heroes.

It is hard not to be impressed by this city's accomplishments. Exploring Curitiba by foot, bus and car, I discovered this is a city that created a truly interdependent system addressing environmental, social and economic concerns. Every day I saw yet more creative, cost-efficient ways of getting to the core of urban problems. Roll your cursor over the various icons on the map for a tour of several of Curitiba's inventive solutions.

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