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Maria Terezinha Vaz.
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Curitiba Creators Portrayal 

The images displayed here are snapshots of some of the most important people who made Curitiba what the city is today, a “Green City,” one of “The most livable cities in the world.”

Architect and Civil Engineer Jaime Lerner has dedicated his life to Curitiba. He is one of the most important characters in the historic transformation processes that made Curitiba one of the most livable cities in the world.

In 1962, right after graduating as an Urban Architect, Lerner was invited by the Mayor Ivo Arzua to work with the director of the Department of Urbanism of Curitiba, Ari de Jesus Silva. Ironically, Lerner tells us that Engineer Silva said to him that urban planning developments were not possible because Curitiba did not have money for a single eminent domain property purchase. Today one of the great merits of Curitiba is due to the fact that the city budget has always been low, but that did not prevent urban innovations projects. Around 1963, Lerner joined a group of people , Lubomir Ficisnki, Luiz Forte Neto, Jose Maria Gandolfi, Almir Fernandes, Franchette Richbieter, and Domingos Bongestabs to write the Preliminary Plan of Curitiba. In 1965, the Institute of Urban Research and Planning of Curitiba (IPPUC) was created to assist the city. In 1968, Jaime Lerner was IPPUC’s president. In the early 1970s,’ Lerner was appointed twice mayor of Curitiba (Brazil was under the dictatorship regime without direct election), directly elected once, and one time elected state of Paraná Governor. Lerner invited the engineers and architects to join him in implementing and applying the Preliminary Plan to develop the Curitiba Master Plan right at the beginning of his first administration. In the hands of Jaime Lerner and his creators portrayed here, along with Hitoshi Nakamura, Abrão Assad, and Osvaldo Navarro Alves, Curitiba became what the city is today, a world class model.

Civil Engineer Nicolau Kluppel has been working to make Curitiba a better place to live since 1950. It was from the development of his brilliant ideas back in 1966/67 that Curitiba gained the parks and the recycling program.

Kluppel, during the administration of Mayor Jaime Lerner, began a recycling program that rewarded Curitiba with a United Nations’ award in 1990. The program consisted of having the population collect waste, or “Trash that is not trash,” and exchanges it for transportation passes. Immediately after the positive response from the population, Kluppel created a recycling station, where trash has been separated, packed, and sold to private companies. The income generated goes to charity programs run by the city’s first lady. The program, in addition to alleviating the landfill problem, helps the city to generate funds to assist impoverished people. Today the county recycling program still exists; however, it rapidly became a profitable business for many private companies that started buying the waste. The program has evolved into a parallel big business, which has spread to other states in Brazil. “The trash that is not trash” idea was so successful that it became the only source of income for many families in Curitiba and many other areas as well. Kluppel’s ideas - the first of its kind in the world - transformed Curitiba into a pioneer in recycling.

Kluppel’s parks were not intentionally designed to give the city beautiful green areas; the main point was to resolve flood problems; however, it enhanced other areas. The design of each park varies according to the natural course of the river along the riverbanks; they all have a lake, which is an excavated permanent flood control area to retain rainwater. In addition to this utility, these areas became beautiful recreational parks for Curitiba’s citizens and tourists. His work has also transformed problematic areas into valuable ones, resulting in increased real estate values and green space from seven square meter per inhabitant in the 1960’s to fifty square meters per inhabitant by the end of 1990s.’ In contrast to the international requirement of only twelve square meters per inhabitant, Curitiba is a truly green city at fifty square meters. Kluppel still works to this day to improve Curitiba’s and other urban problems. He has just created another own of its kind in the world system to control city floods.

Architect Rafael Dely is the father of the extraordinary Trinary Road System design, which is known in the United States as Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system that makes Curitiba, a city of almost two million inhabitants, an almost traffic free city.

Dely created the Trinary Road System to enhance public transportation and reduce growing traffic problems. The design consists of three parallel roads, each a block apart. The two roads on the side are for cross-city traffic called Rapidas (speedy street). The middle road has three sections, where the center lanes (Canaletas) are designated exclusively to high-density buses, and the outer lanes for local traffic. The middle road center section, which was created and has existed exclusively and successfully in Curitiba for over thirty years, is the BRT. This system has been partially implemented in Los Angeles, Seattle, Honolulu, Boulder, Reston, and other cities around the world.

The creator Dely says that Paris was his inspiring city, but it was observing the pedestrian-dedicated streets in Rotterdam, Holland that the idea of the Trinary Road Design came about. He considers Curitiba and its administration as a great success of multifaceted operation stating that his and other successful projects occurred because neither he nor the other members of the team were specialists. Dely believes that many specialists think the world spins around their specialties, which reduces creativity greatly. Dely has served as President of numerous organizations, including Institute of Urban Research and Planning of Curitiba (IPPUC), Brazilian Habitation Company (COHAB), and QUAPAR, a State run related organization. In these organizations, he has implemented tremendous changes. The most significant ones are:

· Autogestão is direct financing that allows citizens to build their own houses according to their own design. Through the program, houses are built quickly and citizens feel happy. In addition to have individualized houses, people are happy pay for something they built, said Dely. Such growing community involvement has had profound psychological and social effects in creating a positive attitude toward city government.

· Vilas Rurais are new villages developed to reduce migration by providing rural people with homes, farms, health, education, especially for their little ones, and jobs - In other words, an opportunity for a better quality of life. Dely thought if services and opportunities were provided where one lives, migration would be greatly reduced, giving the city more time and varied options to properly accommodate the ones who will come anyway. The program was successful. The Trinary Road System is his most significant project to me because it improved public transportation reliability, reduced traffic and commuting time. It eliminated the problems of 4-way stoplights, dangerous left turns that can halt traffic for many miles, and reduced oil consumption and pollution by taking many cars out of the streets.

Dely now works as a consultant for many cities around the world, helping them to develop transportation systems that fit their needs.

Architect Carlos Ceneviva is the designer of many buses that run on Curitiba’s street. An architect graduated from University of Architecture and Urbanism of Curitiba he has been with Mayor Jaime Lerner since he was a student in 1962.

In 1971, he joined the team led by Jaime Lerner. His first job was to develop land use directives. Ceneviva states that the team’s main objective was to develop Curitiba, keeping in mind three basic directives: land use, transportation, and roadway system. He believes all city planning needs to be from these three directives to function properly.

Ceneviva was IPPUC’s President when the Rede Integrada de Transporte System was implemented in 1979 - The first of its kind in the world system. He was president of URBS for eight years. Throughout these years of services for Curitiba’s transportation, Ceneviva designed the public transportation buses such as the Speedy Bus (Ligeirinho), then the Articulated, which was the first bus designed to run in the dedicated lanes (Canaletas), and the long Biarticulated, which is the equivalent of a light rail system, but on wheels.

Today, Ceneviva works to improve the transportation system, which demand has grown considerably from 50,000 passengers per corridor per day to 15,000 per hour, per direction. He has just finished a new design for the dedicated lanes to improve efficiency to meet new public transportation demand, in Curitiba. More details on film Urban Solutions from Curitiba, Brazil by Giovanni Vaz Del Bello.

Civil Engineer Cassio Tanigushi has been working for Curitiba since 1971. He started as president of URBS, and then was elected two terms mayor of Curitiba. Under his URBS presidency, the Rodoferroviaria (Bus-train Station) of Curitiba and the Industrial City were established. However, the most important things came during his two terms as mayor of Curitiba. Tanigushi conceived a project that has enhanced Curitiba’s social development greatly to this day. Among them is Linhão de Emprego, which includes Linhas de Oficio, Barracão Industrial, etc. a multi-faceted trainee project to employ economically distressed people and help some to create small and micro businesses as well. He is one of the most known and loved politician among Curitiba’s citizens.

Currently Tanigushi works for the United Nations as a consultant in the area of social structures for cities around the world, a program similar to the training program for politicians and planners that Curitiba started about 20 years ago.


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