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Curitiba: a model for sustainable urban planning

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One of Greenbang’s mates in South Africa alerted him to this amazing story about a Brazilian city called Curitiba. Ever heard of it? No, neither had we. But it turns out that the city is a showcase for excellent urban planning in all kinds of ways. In a poll of its residents, 99% of the locals said they were happy with their town.

The story has a much more detailed account of the initiatives that the city has run, but one of Greenbang’s favourite anecdotes is about the city’s slums, but unlike slums in other relatively poor countries, these ones are clean. Why? A programme run by the city that gives slum-dwellers a sack of food in exchange for a sack of garbage.

Locals also use 25% less fuel than other Brazilians, as the city’s planners have ensured that while buses are everywhere, most of the centre of town is closed to cars — with cobbled walkways, lights and flowers dominating the scene instead.

In all kinds of ways, from flood control to pedestrian access, Curitiba is a model of how good planning can positively change the way we live our lives.

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