Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Architect as Mayor in Curitiba, Brazil

Jaime Lerner, an architect in Curitiba, Brazil, knew that in order to change the way a city is designed, he must become active in the political system. Now the mayor of Curitiba, Lerner has instigated a variety of initiatives that have helped the city gain international attention for its humanitarian and ecological systems. Many of the sites about Curitiba are in Portugese, but sites like this one explain some of the initiatives in English.

Some examples of the systems Lerner has established in Curitiba include an excellent bus system that is used by the majority of residents in the city and is both efficient and economical. The city also has initiatives to "pay" the homeless for gathering and recycling waste in the city by offering them food and bus vouchers. All organic waste in the city is put aside and saved as manure.


Blogger Bridger said...

There are at least two architects serving as mayors of Minnesota towns; Nick Ruehl, AIA in Excelsior and Jeff Kagermeier, AIA in Mankato. See if you can contact their offices and interview them. Also, architect Robert Shaffer, AIA of The Foundation Architects serves on the Golden Valley Planning Commission (verify) and he would be another resource.

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Staash said...

Finally! As designers we are always encouraged to educate our clients to sponsor socially and ecologically responsible projects and that it is GOOD to plan for the future rather than for just now. Usually, the designers' good intentions are shot down quickly because of the budget or legal issues. There is a huge gap of what the designer intends and what really is built and implemented. What better way for a responsible designer to bridge the gap by becoming the client him or herself? There is no need for re-educating the client when the client know exactly what is good and responsible design.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Mikester said...

Yes, I was in Curitiba as well and this is probably the most developed city in Brazil, although the south in general is better off. I mostly remember the bus stops as being very aesthetically appealing.

10:32 PM  
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