Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Sustainable City

Architect and city planner Jaime Lerner revolutionized thinking about the power of planning in his hometown of Curitiba, Brazil.

In his three stints as mayor (beginning in 1971), Lerner fostered a strong sense of co-responsibility between the city and its inhabitants galvanizing support for quick implementation of sustainable ideas.

Today, an intricately designed city-wide bus system is utilized by the majority of city residents - regardless of social or economic status. In Curitiba, it is rare to wait more than 10 minutes for the next bus.

Consequently, as the demand for parking in the inner city subsided - even as the population grew - parks and green space were reintegrated into the city fabric making Curitiba one of the greenest cities in the world.

And this progress was accomplished without huge budgets. In fact, Lerner is fond of saying that creativity happens when you cut a zero from the budget.

Click here for a short lecture by Jaime Lerner on sustainable cities.

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