Jaime Lerner, a former mayor in Curitiba, Brazil, has cracked the problem of getting a city to run well. His idea – to put people before cars – has vastly improved residents’ quality of life.
Lerner has revolutionised transport in his hometown of Curibita, diverting traffic around the centre. Huge pedestrian areas and parks have replaced busy roads and congestion has been tackled with an efficient bus service.
As Lerner explains; “If you want to make life better for people, make the cities better.”
Related links: https://www.ted.com/talks/jaime_lerner_sings_of_the_city
- Jamie Lerner built parks instead of canals to reduce flooding. Also used parks to make the city more liveable.
- Pedestrianised the downtown area.
- He also invented and built the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) – a bus system that works like a light rail system but is 10 times cheaper.
- Gave people bus tokens in return for waste.
- Started a massive recycling scheme – all initiated by children.
- Curitiba has the highest recycling rate in the World – 70%.
- Curitiba has bus system that is so good that car traffic decreased by 30% while the population trebled in a twenty year period.
- Curitiba has the largest downtown pedestrianised shopping area in the World.
- Curitiba has built large numbers of beautiful parks to control floods rather than concrete canals. So many that they use sheep to cut the grass as it’s cheaper than lawnmowers.
- Curitiba is a city where 99% of inhabitants want to live. In comparison, 70% of Sao Paolo’s residents want to live in Curitiba.
- Curitiba’s average income per person has gone from less than the Brazilian average in the 1970’s to 66% greater than the Brazilian average.