Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sustainable History of Curitiba, Brazil (1/3)

Curitiba, capital of Paraná State, can be seen as an exponent for collaborative design. As an agricultural market and a regional centre of trade, Curitiba experienced explosive expansion as a result of industrialisation in the second half of the 20th century. The city increased by about 900 people per week for a period of 40 years, from 300.000 inhabitants in 1950 to 2,1 million inhabitants in 1990, an increase that took Paris about 250 years. The urge to canalise growth was recognised in Curitiba already in the early 60’s, contrary to for example São Paulo. During the mandate of mayor Ivo Arzua Pereira (1962-1967) this process was initiated.

[Rua Quinze de Novembro in 1971, just before the transformation of Curitiba]

Initially the masterplan to prevent traffic congestion provided in the construction of a fly over on top of the central shopping street, Rua Quinze de Novembro, and the demolition of existing historic buildings in order to widen the roads. Of similar solutions there are plenty of examples in São Paulo, which resulted in unordered, undefined and socially unsafe urban spaces. Therefore it is no surprise that the plan was protested against, especially by a group of architecture students of the Universidade Federal do Paraná. The group came with an alternative plan, with the preservation of the historic centre of the city as a starting point. From this group a number of now graduated architects got an advising role in 1965, and from this group the Instituto de Persquisa e Planejamento Urbano de Curitiba (IPPUC, Bureau of Research and Urban Development) was formed. The IPPUC designed a new masterplan for Curitiba, which was presented in 1970.


Anonymous said...

Hi maurits, It's me Leo. Well, Curitiba is indeed a good example of the importance of proper planning for cities, specially in Brazil.

Maurits said...

Hi Leo! Good to hear from you again! I agree totally.