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Re: Urban development



Dear Sanjeev

I have already listed a few points that I culled from the article for
possible inclusion in the manifesto. Please refer to the e-mail I sent in
after that particular article on Curitiba. Yes Curitiba is a very well
known example of urban planning. 

John
----------
> From: Sanjeev Sabhlok <sabhlok@almaak.usc.edu>
> To: india_policy@cinenet.net
> Subject: Re: Urban development
> Date: Tuesday, June 02, 1998 12:54 AM
> 
> Dear John,
> 
> Curitiba is a very well known case to policy makers all over the world
> for much more than a decade now. There has been a lot of discussion of
> this case, movies on this city, etc.
> 
> I would be grateful if you (and perhaps Srini, the architect and urban
> planner on this group), please think up a few - very few - key points,
for
> the manifesto, for debate. 
> 
> Sanjeev
>
***************************************************************************
> 
> On Mon, 1 Jun 1998, Rozario wrote:
> 
> > I want to share this article with you. Perhaps we could adapt some of
the
> > ideas.
> >  
> > Reader's Digest June 1998 :" The Mayor who built Brazil's city of the
> > future."
> > 
> > "Jaime! Jaime!" come shouts from a group of children running toward
him,
> > "Can we have your autograph?" Jaime Lerner, 60, strolls down
flower-lined
> > pedestrian streets and through a cobblestoned historic district where
> > Brazilians at sidewalk cafes reach out to shake the hand of this
> > stout,gray-haired man. "You've done a great job," they tell him. Car
horns
> > honk as drivers wave. "I Love Jaime" adorns bumper stickers.
> > 	Though he enjoys the popularity of a movie star, Lerner is in fact a
> > politician. At the end of his final term as mayor of Curitiba in
January
> > 1993, polls gave him an unprecedented approval rating of 97% for
> > achievements in his hometown that have been called everything short of
a
> > miracle.
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > MODEL CITY
> > 	With 1.5 million people, Curitiba is Brazil's 10th largest city and
the
> > capital of the state of Parana, 500 miles southwest of Rio de Janeiro.
Its
> > streets are clean and safe, with relatively light motor traffic. Infant
> > mortality has dropped in recent years to 20 deaths per thousand births,
and
> > Curitiba has the lowest homicide rate of any Brazilian city.Street
children
> > and slum dwellers are largely cared for, and more people recycle their
> > garbage than any city in the world.
> > 	"Curitiba is a model for the first world, not just for the third,"
says
> > Michael Cohen, a senior advisor to the World Bank in Washington D.C.
> > 	Three decades ago with mechanized farming causing tens of thousands of
> > South Americans to flock to the cities, Curitiba's lack of housing and
jobs
> > lead to slums springing up on the fringes of the pollution-shrouded
city.
> > To deal with the influx of people, Curitiba's city fathers called on a 
> > team of young architects and urban planners to devise a new city plan.
> > 	Among them was Jaime Lerner, head of Curitiba's school of architecture
and
> > the son of a Polish clothing merchant. In 1965 he and his colleagues
> > eagerly set to work.But five years later, none of the new plans
submitted
> > to the city council had been implemented. Then in January 1971 the
state
> > governor suddenly appointed 33-year-old Lerner as Curitiba's mayor.
> > 	He knew he had to win peoples confidence quickly. As an appointed
official
> > under Brazil's military dictatorship, he could lose his job as mayor as
> > quickly as had assumed it.He worried that Curitiba had more cars per
capita
> > than any other Brazilian city. "the less importance you give to cars,"
> > Lerner said, "the better the city becomes for people." An elaborate
plan
> > was carefully hatched.
> > 	Late on the night of May 2,1972, a convoy of city-works trucks arrived
at
> > XV de Novembro street, the main shopping avenue in the heart of
Curitiba's
> > downtown. Late-night strollers stood puzzled as wooden detour signs
were
> > posted redirecting traffic. As dawn cleared the ground-hugging fog,
> > hundreds of workers had already jackhammered and carted away the
street's
> > asphalt while others were on their knees laying a broad carpet of
petite
> > pave, the small black and white paving squares that form the wave and
> > geometric patterns typical of Brazilian sidewalks.
> > 	Work continued at a frenetic pace throughout the weekend. Wooden
benches
> > were set alongside flower beds and trees in planter boxes. When the
first
> > merchants and shoppers arrived on monday morning, they were shocked to
find
> > a newly created pedestrian mall three blocks long.
> > 	Lerner was there to greet them. " Give this plan 30 days," he pleaded
with
> > merchants who believed business would vanish with the cars, " then tell
me
> > what you think." People flocked to the street, and business in the
downtown
> > boomed. Before the end of the week a petition landed on Lerner's desk
from
> > all the merchants of XV de Novembro Street asking him to "please close
the
> > remaining ten blocks to cars as well."
> > 	To stimulate Curitiba's flagging economy, Lerner created a
17-square-mile
> > industrial city six miles from the downtown and imposed strict
> > anti-pollution regulations. Housing was provided near the complex
together
> > with an abundance of parking space. Today there is a waiting list of
> > companies from across Brazil keen to relocate to Curitiba.
> > 	With no more funds to purchase parkland, Lerner passed a bylaw forcing
> > developers to leave a third of any project's area green in return for
> > zoning concessions elsewhere. As well, developers were persuaded with
tax
> > breaks to let land adjoining existing parks remain undeveloped.
> > 	Lerner kept Curitibanos involved in the city's improvement by urging
them
> > to plant trees. Seedlings were handed out and citizens began planting
at
> > the rate of 60000 pine and native tropical trees a year.
> > 	A carpet of bright purple blossoms litters the pathway as I walk with
> > Lerner through  sprawling Barigui Park. To the delight of children, a
flock
> > of sheep is employed to keep the grass trim. Dozens of parks like this
are
> > connected by miles of bicycle paths that Curitibanos use for jogging,
> > strolling and cycling to and from work.
> > 	Lerner likes to begin his early mornings with a walk. "If I don't get
out
> > around the city," he says, "how will I know what is needed?" He often
pulls
> > out a little notebook and "what is needed" is quickly scribbled inside.
> > 
> > 
> > A RARITY
> > 	Perhaps his most important concept was a way to deal with traffic
> > problems. To channel high density office buildings away from the
downtown
> > core, five main transportation axes---main boulevards that already
existed
> > radiating out like spokes of a wheel from the city center---were
> > designated. Zoning laws encouraged the construction of high-rises along
> > these axes, blending with shops and suburban housing. People no longer
had
> > to drive down town to do their shopping.
> > 	Lerner and his team decided against an expensive underground railway
for
> > public transport. Instead they devised a simple plan for exclusive bus
> > lanes down the middle of the five axes and along five main avenues that
run
> > in increasingly wider circles around the downtown. Immune to traffic
jams,
> > buses swiftly whisked people to their destinations.
> > 	When Lerner concluded his second term as mayor in 1983, he turned his
> > attention to consultancy work. But in 1988 Brazil's generals retreated
and
> > democracy was reinstated. Asked to run as a mayoral candidate in
Curitiba's
> > municipal elections, Lerner was swept to a third term in a landslide
> > victory.
> > 	Elected by the people for the first time, it was as though the
energetic
> > mayor had stored up a wealth of ideas during his time out of office,
for
> > when he again took the reigns of Curitiba, the projects came fast and
> > furious.
> > 	By then, the public transportation system was straining to keep up
with
> > demand. Jaime dreamed up a new concept. Articulated buses capable of
> > carrying 270 people would pull up along streamlined glass "tube
stations,"
> > or railway stations, built to the level of the bus doors. As the bus
and
> > station doors open simultaneously, passengers alight and board at the
same
> > time. There are no stairs to climb and passengers pay at the turnstile
at
> > the entrance to the tube.
> > 	The Ligeiriho (Speedy) bus system began operating in April 1991.
Running
> > every four minutes during rush hour over a 155-mile network, the buses
are
> > so efficient that today 75 % of residents use public transport--more
than
> > in any other American city, North or South. As convenient as an
underground
> > railway, the  Ligeirinho system is 200 times cheaper and can be set up
in
> > six months. And it pays for itself, a rarity in urban transit systems.
> > 
> > CLEANING UP THE SLUMS
> > 	Slums are a reality of most cities and Curitiba is no exception;
roughly
> > eight percent of Curitibanos live in poverty. But the favelas here are
> > different from the slums in many South American cities. One reason is a
> > Lerner initiative called Cambio Verde ( Green Exchange). To see this in
> > action, I drove to Vila Verde.
> > 	Although this is one of the poorest areas of the city, the narrow
roads
> > are clean; there is electricity and clean water. We stop alongside a
> > Dumpster amid wooden tin-roofed shanties.
> > 	Wearing a worn cap, a cambio Verde worker holds a clipboard and a
handful
> > of small tickets. She counts the number of plastic bags,filled with
> > garbage, delivered in wooden well barrows by the poor residents.
"Before we
> > had the Cambio Verde, you couldn't walk down the streets because of
> > garbage," she says as she hands out another four tickets.
> > 	Residents exchange tickets for bags of surplus food the city purchases
for
> > a small sum from farmers and then delivers to the neighbourhood. The
people
> > get much-needed eggs, bananas and beans, which improve their nutrition,
and
> > the need for health-care visits in each of the participating
communities
> > has dropped since the programme started in 1989. Diseases rampant in
other
> > South American slums is rare in Curitiba.
> > 	Thanks to public education and support from city hall, over 70% of
> > Curitiba's population separates paper, glass,plastic,metal and organic
> > garbage in their homes, listening for the brass bell that clangs on the
> > green recycling trucks that arrive weekly.
> > 	The city-operated recycling plant is set amid a pine forest a short
drive
> > out of Curitiba. The machinery is made from equipment donated by
> > businesses. All the sorting and packing of plastics,glass and paper is
done
> > by 100 employees---recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. The sorted
> > recyclables are sold to industry, with 80% of the income going to aid
> > Curitiba's poor children.
> > 	For his leadership in making Curitiba an exemplary sustainable city,
Jaime
> > Lerner was awarded a scroll of honor in 1992 by the United Nations
Centre
> > for Human Settlements.
> > 	On January 1, 1993, Jaime Lerner walked out of his city hall office
for
> > the last time, but he did not walk out of the life of Curitiba. In
November
> > 1994, he was elected governor of the state of Parana. He has also
created
> > the Jaime Lerner Institute, an urban-planning think tank that ,among
other
> > mandates, brings together mayors of cities of similar sizes to work on
> > solving common problems.
> > 	The common sense that Lerner teaches is providing a fresh approach to
> > seemingly hopless urban problems. Says Albert Appleton, former head of
New
> > York City's Department of Environment Protection: "If there exists a
model
> > city for the future, it is Curitiba."
> > 	"The dream of a better city is already a vision in the heads of its
> > residents," says Lerner. " All a mayor has to do is tap into those
dreams."
> > 
> > 
> > 
> >