Creative Sustainable Development Methods in Curitiba, Brazil Favorite 



Mar 3 1972


Curitiba Brazil

In the 1970s, Jaime Lerner, the former mayor of Curitiba, Brazil, transformed six blocks of the main downtown shopping street into a pedestrian zone in 1972, despite fierce objections from the merchants. He quickly accomplished this change in just three days by installing paving, lighting, planters, and furniture. The once-resistant merchants were impressed by the increase in their business and soon demanded an expansion of the traffic-free district. In response to a planned protest by motorists to drive their cars into the street on a Saturday morning, Lerner assembled several hundred children in the street to draw pictures as a way to say the city was not for cars. This event marked the last resistance to the pedestrianization of the shopping area, which has since expanded to 15 blocks. This action not only demonstrated Lerner's ability to accomplish anything but also showed the city's commitment to prioritize people over cars.

Lerner's accomplishments and creativity made Curitiba a model for sustainable urban development, and have inspired cities around the world to adopt similar initiatives.

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