I first saw this documentary in my transportation geography course and just had to share it. The documentary observes the city’s public transit system and its widespread success. While its innovations here are enough to inspire hope for a transportation solution Curitiba, Brazil has done much more for its people in social programs, parks, recreation, recycling, affordable housing options and enthusiasm and support for small business owners. This city wins my heart as the worlds most successful city with its philosophy of being a city for the people NOT the automobile.
(The above video is only the trailer as there is not a free version to present)
Unlike the cities of North America public transportation via bus is the preferred mode of transportation for many reasons. While congestion and traffic problems plague American cities our solution has been the construction of additional roadways to accommodate MORE traffic. When you think about this it seems very counter intuitive. MORE roadways = MORE traffic which contributes to the vicious cycle between supply and
demand also known as triple convergence. If you build it they will come, ignoring any previous progress made with alternative modes of transport.
Curitiba has perfected a cost efficient design that reflects an above ground subway system (of buses not rail) with a design that encourages business and foot traffic in the city center while new development is created in a linear fashion along transit lines rather than around a centroid.
There is so much more that this city has done in the realms of energy, recycling, transportation, education, affordable housing, and providing public services and jobs to the under privelaged. Check out “A Convenient Truth” a documentary about Curitiba, Brazil. This is truly a pioneering city that has created a model for other cities of the world. In my opinion, more credit can be given to Brazil in the realms of environmental policy considering the efficiency and cleanliness of this city.
What obstacles does the United States face if it wants to amp up its public transportation? See my post here on ostacles the U.S. faces.