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Contribution to Book
Urban Design, Planning, and the Politics of Development in Curitiba
Contemporary Urbanism in Brazil: Beyond Brasilia (2009)
  • Clara Irazabal, Columbia University
Over the past several decades, Curitiba, Brazil has been referred to as an environmentally sustainable ¨model city¨and as a remarkable example of both a succesful urban planning process and a large array of urban design projects that are attractive, innovative, functional, cost'effective, and replicable. This chapter examines urban design and planning projects and processes in Curitiba since the 1960s, and shows many reasons why the city deserves praiseÑ an effective and continuous planning process has guaranteed efficiency in public transit, historic andcultural preservation, a revitalized and pedestrian'friendly downtown, effective environmental programs, and a series of urban design and architectural catalyst projects. This chapter also discusses some political and isntitutional factors that have facilitated the development of Curitiba´s planning process has been shaped by the accommodation of diverse interests around a political project, the media disseemination of a particular city image, and the permeation of material gains to the lower income classes. Conversely, some factors that are challenging the city´s governance model and threaten to subvert the future of planning processes include icnreases in urban problems and inequalities across the municipalities of the metropolitan region, deficiencies of institutional structure and coordination at the level of metropolitan planning and governance, and inadquate responses to the increasing challenges to government and planning institutions from citizens demanding greater accountability and participation. I argue that the institution of more effective citizen involvement in Curitiba´s decision making is the way to relegitimize and continue the processes of urban design and planning that had such a brilliant start in the 1960s and a commendable implementation record from the 1970s to the early 1990s.
Publication Date
University Press of Florida
Citation Information
Clara Irazabal. "Urban Design, Planning, and the Politics of Development in Curitiba" Contemporary Urbanism in Brazil: Beyond Brasilia (2009)
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