Thursday, July 16, 2009

Lesson from Curitiba: To go slow you have to move fast

Former Mayor Jaime Lerner discusses how and why he made the first pedestrian street in the middle of downtown Curitiba. And in one second less than four minutes, he gives us a master class on how you get sustainable transport projects done.

- Elizabeth Press of New York’s Streetfilms reports:

This is the third installment of Streetfilms videos from Brazil. Demonstrating again how Brazil is 35+ years in front of our NYC livable streets curve, this video is about a street transformation project in Curitiba, Brazil.

Former Mayor and founder of Bus Rapid Transit, Jaime Lerner sat down with me during my visit to discuss how and why he made the first pedestrian street in the middle of downtown Curitiba.
* Click here to play Streetfilms video.

Rua XV de Novembro (15th of November Street) is a vital artery through downtown Curitiba. In 1972 under the direction of then Mayor Jaime Lerner, it became the first major pedestrian street in Brazil. The first phase of closing the street to automobiles and opening it to people took place in only 72 hours. The pedestrian plaza spans 15 blocks, and although it was initially unpopular, it is now a central meeting spot and the epicenter of local businesses in the center of Curitiba.

- Remarks by videographer Elizabeth Press, Streetfilms.org.elizabeth@openplans.org

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