Curitiba

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Curitiba, Where the Rubber Hits the Road in Urban Transportation Planning

Flashy ultra-modern generators of large-scale employment and big government contracts, urban rail projects have long been the darlings of ribbon-cutting, crony-friendly politicians.  However, as the Brazilian city of Curitiba and the visionary planning of architect-turned-politician Jamie Lerner demonstrate, sound planning combined with creative deployment of public transport’s humble workhorse—the bus—can have tremendous impact. Leadership in a particular industry or sector does not depend on superior access to resources or greater depth of experience. “The two things you really need are a breakthrough idea and persistence”, says an emphatic Leny Toniolo, advisor at Curitiba’s Environmental Secretary, who met with me at Athletes’ Park during the Rio+20 summit in June. Athlete’s Park Curitiba exhibition booth, Riocentro; Source: Student Reporter. The populations of major urban centers in the developing world have been increasing at an accelerating rate.  Brazil is no exception.  As populations grow, so does the need to move people into and out of cities.