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Curitiba, a small city located in the southern area of Brazil, has several special titles: The world’s most ecological city, the world’s smartest city, and the city of hope.
Curitiba is a city which was planned and changed by the city’s former mayor Jaime Lerner, who applied his insight and wisdom into making the city a better place to live. In the 1950s, Curitiba witnessed an increasing number of people flowing into the city, as it experienced industrial development. As a result, various environmental problems began to surface. However, after Jaime Lerner was elected the city started to see hope for change.
The very first thing Lerner did was change government employees’ way to deal with the city’s budget. He encouraged them to achieve efficiently, and with less money. Around that time the city was considering installing a subway system, but it cost too much money to complete the entire process, making government employees hesitant to push for it. However, after being inspired by Lerner they thought of a new way to save money and increase efficiency. As a result, Curitiba’s unique bus system was invented. It was designed after the way a subway system works, but since the system used existing roads, they did not need to dig tunnels or purchase new subway trains, which would have cost a lot of money. Nowadays, many cities worldwide have adopted Curitiba’s bus system to save on their budget.
In the 1970s Curitiba wanted to build more parks in the city in order to improve its air quality. This was also met with difficulty because of the lack of budget to do it. There was, however, remaining room in the budget for building facilities to prevent the river from flooding. The city came up with an idea to build a new type of place that could be used for preventing the flood, as well as a public park. It made a huge hole around the river, which flooded frequently, and created a public park around this area.
In addition, Curitiba tried its best to reuse abandoned or old buildings in the city, instead of building new structures. They changed an abandoned ammunition dump into a day care center. Other old building were changed into a community center, as well as other amenities for people in the city.
Besides these works, Curitiba has achieved many other things which make the city a better place to live in. There are always things that people want to change but do nothing about. However, by putting what people imagine into practice, Curitiba has become a model city for other cities worldwide.