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Curitiba, Brazil

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Curitiba, Brazil

For the plant genus, see Curitiba prismatica.

The Municipality of Curitiba

Curitiba skyline from Barigui Park

Nickname(s): Cidade Modelo ("Model City"); Capital Ecológica do Brasil ("Ecological Capital of Brazil"); Cidade Verde ("Green City"); Capital das Araucárias ("Capital of Araucarias"); A Cidade da Névoa Eterna ("The City of Eternal Fog")
Motto: A Cidade da Gente (Our City)
Location in Brazil

Coordinates: 25°25′S 49°15′W / 25.417°S 49.250°W / -25.417; -49.250Coordinates: 25°25′S 49°15′W / 25.417°S 49.250°W / -25.417; -49.250

Country  Brazil
Region South
State Paraná
Founded 29 March 1693
Incorporated 1842
 • Mayor Gustavo Fruet (PDT)
 • Municipality 430.9 km2 (166.4 sq mi)
 • Metro 15,416.9 km2 (5,952 sq mi)
Elevation 934.6 m (3,066.3 ft)
Population (2010)
 • Municipality 1,764,540 (8th)
 • Density 4,062/km2 (10,523/sq mi)
 • Metro 3,209,980 (7th)
 • Metro density 210.9/km2 (546.2/sq mi)
Time zone UTC-3 (UTC-3)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-2 (UTC-2)
CEP 80000-000 to 82999-999
Area code(s) +55 41
Website Curitiba, Paraná

Curitiba (Tupi: "Pine Nut Land", Portuguese pronunciation: [kuɾiˈtibɐ] or [kuɾiˈtʃibɐ]) is the capital and largest city of the Brazilian state of Paraná. The city's population numbers approximately 1,760,500 people as of 2010, making it the eighth most populous city in the country, and the largest in Brazil's South Region. Its metropolitan area, called Curitiba Metropolitan Area (Região Metropolitana de Curitiba, in Portuguese), comprises 26 municipalities[1] with a total population of over 3.2 million (IBGE estimate in 2010),[2] making it the seventh most populous city in the country.

Curitiba is a cultural, political, and economic center in the country and in Latin America. [Citation needed]The city sits on a plateau at 932 metres (3,058 ft) above sea level. It is located 105 kilometres (65 mi) west of the sea port of Paranaguá and is served by the Afonso Pena International and Bacacheri airports. The city hosts the Federal University of Paraná, established in 1912.

In the 1700s Curitiba possessed a favorable location between cattle-breeding country and marketplaces, leading to a successful cattle trade and the city's first major expansion. Later, between 1850 and 1950, it grew due to logging and agricultural expansion in the Paraná State (first Araucaria logging, later mate and coffee cultivation and in the 1970s wheat, corn and soybean cultivation). In the 1850s waves of European immigrants arrived in Curitiba, mainly Germans, Italians, Poles and Ukrainians, contributing to the economic and cultural development of the city.[3] Nowadays, only smaller numbers of foreign immigrants arrive, primarily from Middle Eastern[4] and other Latin American countries.

The biggest city expansion occurred after the 1950s, with an innovative urban planning that changed the population size from some hundreds of thousands to more than a million people.[5] Curitiba's current economy is based on industry and services and is the fourth largest economy in Brazil.[6] The economy growth occurred in parallel to a substantial inward flow of Brazilians from other cities of the country, as approximately half of the population of Curitiba was not born in the city.[7]

Curitiba presents one of the highest HDI of Brazil at 0.856, and in 2010 was awarded the Globe Sustainable City Award, given to cities and municipalities which excel in sustainable urban development around the world.[8] According to the US magazine Reader's Digest, Curitiba is the best "Brazilian Big City" in which to live.[9][10] It is still considered the most "organized, clean and safe" Brazilian metropolis.


One theory about the name "Curitiba" comes from the Tupi words kurí tyba, "many pine seeds" due to the large number of pinecones of Paraná pines in the region prior to its foundation.[11] The other version, also from the Tupi language, originates in the combination of kurit (pine tree) and yba (large amount).[12]

The Portuguese who founded a settlement on the site in 1693 named it "Vila da Nossa Senhora da Luz dos Pinhais" (Village of "Our Lady of the Light" of the Pines). The name was changed to "Curitiba" in 1721. Curitiba officially became a town in 1812, spelling its name as "Curityba." An alternative spelling is: "Coritiba." This was used in press and state documents, and a state decree in 1919 settled the dispute by spelling the city name "Curitiba."[11]


The first ten years of the 16th century marked the beginning of a war of conquest of Europeans (Portuguese colonists) against the indigenous peoples who inhabited the area of the city. Waves of European immigrants started arriving after 1850, mainly Germans (mostly from Russia), Italians, Poles and Ukrainians.[3] In 1853, the south and southwest of the province of São Paulo were separated, forming the new province of Paraná, and Curitiba became its capital.

During the 20th century, especially after 1950, the city rapidly increased in population and consolidated its position as a regional hub for trade and services, becoming one of the richest cities in Brazil and a pioneer in urban solutions. In the 1940s and 1950s, Alfred Agache, co-founder of the French Society for Urban Studies, was hired to produce the first city plan. It emphasised a "star" of boulevards, with public amenities downtown, an industrial district and sanitation. It was followed when possible, but was too expensive to complete.[13]

For three days in 1969, Curitiba was the capital of Brazil.[14]



Curitiba has a maritime temperate climate or subtropical highland climate (Cfb), according to the Köppen classification. Located in Southern Brazil, the humid city lies in a temperate zone.[15] It is located on a plateau and the flat terrain with flooded areas contribute to its mild and damp winter, with an average minimum temperature of 7 °C (45 °F) in the coldest month, occasionally falling below 0 °C (32 °F) in the coldest nights. During summertime, the average temperature is around 18 °C (64 °F), but it can get above 30 °C (86 °F) on the hottest days. Snowfall was experienced in 1889, 1892, 1912, 1928 (two days), 1942, 1955, 1957, 1962, 1975, and for the last time in 2013.[16][17] Among Brazil's twenty-six state capitals, Curitiba is the coldest due to its altitude.

The flatness of the terrain hinders quick water drainage after rain, therefore providing a good source of water vapor for the atmosphere. Cold fronts come often from Antarctica and Argentina all year round, bringing tropical storms in summer and cold winds in the winter. They can move very quickly, with no more than one day between the start of the southern winds and the start of rain.[18] Curitiba's weather is also influenced by the dry air masses that dominate Brazil's midwest most of the year, bringing hot and dry weather, sometimes even in winter.[19]

Climate data for Curitiba
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 34
Average high °C (°F) 25.6
Daily mean °C (°F) 19.6
Average low °C (°F) 15.8
Record low °C (°F) 5
Precipitation mm (inches) 165.0
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 17 15 16 14 14 12 12 10 12 13 13 16 164
 % humidity 81 80 81 81 81 79 78 77 80 80 80 81 79.9
Mean monthly sunshine hours 161.2 135.6 142.6 138.0 151.9 129.0 148.8 148.8 123.0 136.4 153.0 151.9 1,720.2
Source #1: World Meteorological Organization.[20] Hong Kong Observatory.[21]
Source #2: Weatherbase (record highs and lows, humidity)[22]


Curitiba is located in the area of the Ombrophilous Mixed Forest (also known as Araucaria moist forests), a sub-type of the Atlantic Forest. In Curitiba it is possible to find steppes, Araucaria forests, and other formations. The local vegetation consists of remnants of the Paraná (or Brazilian) pine (Araucaria angustifolia), which resisted the effects of modern civilization. The Paraná pines are in private and public areas, now protected by environmental legislation which prevents them from being logged. The Municipal Secretariat of the Environment maintains a botanical garden and three green houses for the annual production of 150,000 seedlings of native and exotic tree species, 16,000 seedlings of fruit trees, 260,000 seedlings of flowers, foliage and underbrush, as well as the maintenance of 350,000 seedlings.[23]

The total green area of Curitiba is one of the largest in cities in Brazil. The vegetation of Curitiba is also characterized by the existence of a large quantity of purple and yellow ipês (tabebuias), making a beautiful sight during the flowering at the end of winter. Currently, the yellow ipê is the most common tree in the city.[24]

Hydrography and pluviometry

The catchment area of Curitiba consists of several rivers and streams that cross the city in different directions, grouped in six river basins. The main rivers that form the watershed of the city are: Atuba River, Belém River, Barigüi River, Passaúna River, Ribeirão dos Padilhas and the Iguaçu River, all with characteristics of dendritic drainage. Since the 1970s, Curitiba has been working on alternatives to minimize the negative impacts of urbanization on rivers. An example of this was the construction of parks along the rivers with artificial lakes, which retain the water for longer periods of time, minimizing floods.[23]

After many studies of the local water flows, almost all of the rivers were found to be subject to a canalization process. Other alternatives developed to minimize the effects of urbanization are the implementation of the programs for environmental education, inspection and monitoring, elaboration and application of legislation and infrastructure works.[23]


The city has a surface of 432.17 square kilometres (166.86 sq mi) in the First Plateau of Paraná. Curitiba has a topography of smooth, rounded hills, giving it a relatively regular shape. The municipality of Curitiba has an average altitude of 934.6 metres (3,066 ft) above sea level, where the highest point is to the north at 1,021 metres (3,350 ft), and with lower altitudes at 864 metres (2,835 ft) to the south.

There are mountain ranges and sets of rocky hills surrounding parts of the city, including the Serra do Mar (Portuguese for "Mountain Range of the Sea"), located in the east that separates the plateau from the coast of Paraná.


The executive is currently exercised by Gustavo Fruet, who replaced mayor Luciano Ducci, and by the municipal secretaries appointed by the mayor.

The City Council of Curitiba was created in 1693, and has a total of 38 councillors elected since 2004.

Curitiba is divided into nine regional governments (equivalent to subprefecture), who manage the 75 districts of the municipality. The Rua da Cidadania ("Street of Citizenship") is the symbol of administrative decentralization; it is a reference point and meeting place for the user of municipal utilities, in a regional context, taking into account the needs and rights of the citizen in trade, leisure and services, facilitating the access of the population for different services in the areas of health, justice, policing, education, sport, house, environment, urban planning, social service and supply, etc.

Several units work annexed to the terminals of public transport in Curitiba. Their nuclei offer services in the local, state and federal areas.


According to the 2010 IBGE Census, there were 2,469,489 people residing in the city of Curitiba.[25] The census revealed the following numbers: 1,381,938 White people (78.9%), 294,127 Brown (Multiracial) people (16.8%), 49,978 Black people (2.9%), 23,138 Asian people (1.4%), 2,693 Amerindian people (0.2%).[26]

In 2010, the city of Curitiba was the 8th most populous city in Brazil.[27]

In 2010, the city had 359,201 opposite-sex couples and 974 same-sex couples. The population of Curitiba was 52.3% female and 47.7% male.[26]

As most of Southern Brazil's population, Curitiba is mostly inhabited by Brazilians of European descent. The first Europeans to arrive in the region were of Portuguese origin, during the 17th century. They intermarried with the native people and with the African slaves.[28]

The Memorial of Polish Immigration was inaugurated on 13 December 1980, after the visit of the Pope John Paul II to the city of Curitiba in June of that year. Its area is 46 thousand square meters and was part of the former Candles plant. The seven wooden log houses are parts of this memorial area, as a souvenir of the Polish immigrants, and their struggles and faith. Objects like the old wagon, the pipe of cabbage and the print of the black virgin of Częstochowa, who is the patron saint of Polish people, form parts of the memorial.[29]

The first non-Iberic (Portuguese and Spaniard) immigrants to come to the city were German.[30]

Italian immigrants started arriving in Brazil in 1875 and in Curitiba in 1878 coming mostly from the Veneto and Trento regions of Northern Italy. They settled mostly in the Santa Felicidade neighborhood which to this day remains the center of the large Italian community of Curitiba.[31]

Nearly 20,000 Ukrainian immigrants settled in Curitiba between 1895 and 1897, consisting mostly of peasants from Galicia who emigrated to Brazil to become farmers. Nowadays there are around 300,000 Ukrainian-Brazilians living in Paraná.[32][33] The State of Paraná has the largest Ukrainian community and Slavic community of the Latin America.[34]

Curitiba has a well established Jewish community[35] that was originally established in the 1870s.[36] Much of the early Jewish congregation has been assimilated.[37] In 1937 with the conquest of power by Nazi Germany, several notable German Jewish academics were allowed into Brazil, some of them settling in Curitiba.[38]

Physicist César Lattes and former mayors Jaime Lerner[39] and Saul Raiz were Jewish. A monument in memory of the Holocaust has been erected in the city. There is also a community center, a Jewish school, a Chabad house (Beit Chabad),[40] a synagogue,[41] and two Jewish cemeteries,[42] one of which was defiled in 2004.[43]

Japanese immigrants began settling in the region in 1915, with a larger contingent arriving in 1924. Curitiba received a significant influx of Japanese immigration, which established themselves mostly between Paraná and São Paulo state. The city has the second largest Japanese community in Brazil, only behind São Paulo according to IBGE. Although both cities have around the same proportion of Japanese descendant population, other large cities in the countryside, such as Maringá and Londrina, have a much higher rate. Some estimates point to a number superior to 40,000 Japanese-Brazilians living in the Curitiba.[44] The city has elected in 1996 the first Japanese descendant Mayor of a Brazilian state capital. Cássio Taniguchi served two consecutive terms, 1997-2000 and 2001-2004.


Since it was declared the capital of the State of Paraná in 1853, the city has gone through several major urban planning projects to avoid uncontrolled growth and thus has become an international role model in dealing with such sensitive issues as transportation and the environment.[45] The city is the second largest car manufacturer in the country, and its economy is based on industry, commerce and services. For that reason, Curitiba is considered by many specialists of the financial sector to be the best location for investors in Brazil. At the moment, the city receives more than two million tourists every year. Most arrive via Afonso Pena International Airport, where almost sixty thousand airplanes land annually.[46]

According to IPEA data, the GDP in 2006 at real 32 billion, without recording activities in the agriculture and livestock farming (0.03%) sectors. Industry represented 34.13% and the commerce and service sectors 65.84%.[47] Cidade Industrial de Curitiba, the industrial district of Curitiba, is home to many multinational industries, such as Nissan, Renault, Volkswagen, Philip Morris, Audi, Volvo, HSBC, Siemens, ExxonMobil, Electrolux and Kraft Foods, as well as many well known national industries, such as Sadia, O Boticário, Positivo Informática. Curitiba's infrastructure makes bus travel fast and convenient, effectively creating demand for bus use in the same way that the infrastructure of traditional cities creates demand for private motor vehicles. In July 2001, Curitiba has become the first city in the country to receive the prize "Pole of Information Technology", granted by InfoExame magazine, because the performance of their companies of technology. According to the magazine, the number of companies of "Technology and Information Technology" based in Curitiba submitted in 2001 a turnover of US$ 1.2 billion, representing a growth of 21% over the previous year.[48]

The city's 30-year economic growth rate is 7.1%, higher than the national average of 4.2%, and per capita income is 66% higher than the Brazilian average. Between 1975 and 1995, Curitiba's domestic product grew by some 75% more than the entire State of Paraná, and 48% more than Brazil as a whole. In 1994, tourism generated US$ 280 million, 4% of the city's net income. Curitiba has municipal health, education and day care networks, neighborhood libraries shared by schools and citizens, and Citizenship Streets, where buildings provide essential public services, sports and cultural facilities near mass transportation terminals. At the Open University, residents can take courses in subjects such as mechanics, hair styling and environmental protection for a small fee. Policies for job creation and income generation also became part of the city's strategic planning in the 1990s, for the metropolitan area as well as the city.[49]

Since 1990, the Municipal Housing Fund has been providing financial support to housing for lower income populations. After national housing finance collapsed in 1985, just as people from the countryside poured into Curitiba, the city's public housing program bought one of the few remaining large plots of land, "Novo Bairro" (New Neighborhood), as home for 50,000 families. While landowners built the houses themselves, each received a pair of trees and an hour's consultation with an architect to help them develop their plan. COHAB also built Technology Street, an avenue of 24 homes in the centre of Novo Bairro, each built using different construction techniques.[50]

There are also six massive shopping malls in Curitiba shopping: Mueller, Estação, Curitiba, Crystal, Palladium and Park Barigüi. The Mueller is one of the best shopping malls, coupled with Crystal, which is a high class, haute-couture based mall. Curitiba and Estação are smaller, while less expensive kinds of shopping malls, and the newer one, Palladium, is one of the biggest. The Rua das Flores (Flower's Street) is the home of the majority of stores in Curitiba, and this is so for a very good reason. The area is pedestrianized, thus there are no cars around the centre. An essential element of Curitiba shopping is the Feira do Largo da Ordem, or Largo da Ordem Street Fair, where Paraná fashion, Curitiba gemstones, Brazil furniture Curitiba-made, Curitiba Brazil leather equipment, crafts, arts etc. can be found.[51]

In 2008, according to IBGE the Curitiba´s nominal GDP was R$45,7 billion (or about of US$22,5 billion)[52] (with R$25,934, or US$13,000, by nominal GDP per capita, about of US$5,000 more than Brazilian 2008 nominal GDP per capita), making it the fourth richest city in the country, after only São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and the capital Brasilia.

Tourism and recreation

Attractions in the city include the...

German Woods[53]

A beautiful place in honor of German immigration.

Italian Woods

This is where a number of local celebrations take place.[54]

Japan Square

Homage to Japanese immigrants who settled there dedicating themselves to agriculture. Scattered around the square are 30 cherry trees sent from Japan and artificial lakes. In 1993 the Japanese Portal, the Culture House and the Tea House were built.

Tingüi Park

Part of the biggest linear environmental park in the Country, established at the Barigüi river margins, it reminds us of the Indians who used to live there, with the statue of Tindiqüera Chieftain. The Ukrainian Memorial is also there, homage to the immigrants, in a replica of an Orthodox church, originally built in inland Paraná State, hosting pysankas (Ukrainian Pascha eggs) and an icon exhibition.

Wire Opera House

This was built on the site of an abandoned quarry.[55]

Tanguá Park

This park was inaugurated in 1996, the Tanguá Park surprises with its beauty as an example of urban space being re-utilized, on one old complex of disactivated quarries, and it is part of the Barigüi river preservation project joining Tingüi and Barigüi parks. This park with an area of 450 thousand square meters has two quarries connected by a 45 meter tunnel that may be crossed on foot by a path over the water. It can be visited on boat or on foot (hiking). The park has a cooper and bicycle track, snack bar, belvedere and Poty Lazzaroto garden.

Portugal Wood

Homage to the Portuguese-Brazilian bonds, this space is highlighted by a track following a small brook, where one can see drawn on tiles excerpts from famous Portuguese language poets, as well as a tribute to the great Portuguese navigators and their discoveries.

Curitiba International Ecological Marathon

The Maratona Ecológica Internacional de Curitiba ("Curitiba International Ecological marathon")is held in November and is known as the hardest in Brazil,[56] because it happens in the end of the year in the summer heat, and because of the hilly course.

Tourism Line

The Linha Tourismo bus stops at key tourist attractions in the city.[57]

Panoramic view of Curitiba.


There are more than 183 universities in whole state of Paraná.[58]

Educational institutions

  • Universidade Federal do Paraná (UFPR) – Federal University of Paraná – This State university is largest of Paraná, with more than 20.000 students. The first university of Brazil;
  • Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná (UTFPR) – Federal University of Technology is the first University of Technology from Brazil;
  • Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia do Paraná - Paraná Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology;
  • Universidade Positivo (UP) -
  • Universidade Estadual do Paraná (UNESPAR) - State University of Paraná;
  • Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná (PUCPR) – A major private University
  • ESIC Business and Marketing School – International Website ESIC
  • Centro Universitário Curitiba (UNICURITIBA) - University Center Curitiba, old Law School Curitiba.[60][61]

Educational system

In the 1990s, the city started a project called '’Faróis do Saber ("Lighthouses of Knowledge"). These Lighthouses are free educational centers which include libraries, Internet access, and other cultural resources. This community libraries works with municipal schools, have a collection of approximately 5000 books, and be cultural reference and leisure for the community, and are designed to diversify the opportunities of access to knowledge, expanding the area of formal education.[62] In each quarter of the city these "Lighthouses of Knowledge" have been implanted containing library and room of computer science, to public use, mainly by students; job training, social welfare and educational programs are coordinated, and often supply labor to improve the city's amenities or services, as well as education and income. Among the Brazilian capitals, Curitiba has the lowest rate of illiteracy,[63] and also number 1 in education between the Brazilian capitals.[64]

Urban planning

Curitiba has a planned transportation system, which includes lanes on major streets devoted to a bus rapid transit system. The buses are long, split into three sections (bi-articulated), and stop at designated elevated tubes, complete with disabled access. There is only one price no matter how far you travel and you pay at the bus stop.[65]

The city has also paid careful attention to preserving and caring for its green areas, boasting 51.5 square metres (554 sq ft) of green space per inhabitant.[66]

In the 1940s and 1950s, Alfred Agache, cofounder of the French Society for Urban Studies, was hired to produce the first city plan. It emphasised a star of boulevards, with public amenities downtown, an industrial district and sanitation. It was followed when possible, but was too expensive to complete.[67]

By the 1960s, Curitiba's population had ballooned to 430,000, and some residents feared that the growth in population threatened to drastically change the character of the city. In 1964, Mayor Ivo Arzua solicited proposals for urban design. Architect Jaime Lerner, who later became mayor, led a team from the Universidade Federal do Paraná that suggested strict controls on urban sprawl, a reduction of traffic in the downtown area, preservation of Curitiba's Historic Sector, and a convenient and affordable public transit system.[68]

This plan, known as the Curitiba Master Plan, was adopted in 1968. Lerner closed XV de Novembro St. to vehicles, because it had very high pedestrian traffic. The plan had a new road design to minimise traffic: the Trinary Road System. This uses two one-way streets moving in opposite directions which surround a smaller, two-lane street where the express buses have their exclusive lane. Five of these roads form a star that converges on the city centre. Land farther from these roads is zoned for lower density developments, to reduce traffic away from the main roads. In a number of areas subject to floods, buildings were condemned and the land became parks.[69]

Today, Curitiba is considered one of the best examples of urban planning worldwide.[70] In June 1996, the chairman of the Habitat II summit of mayors and urban planners in Istanbul praised Curitiba as "the most innovative city in the country."[71]

Curitiba was recently recommended by UNESCO as a model for the reconstruction of the cities of Afghanistan.[72]

In the 1980s, the RIT (Rede Integrada de Transporte, Integrated Transport Network) was created, allowing transit between any point in the city by paying just one fare.[73] At the same time, the city began a project called the "Faróis de Saber" (Lighthouses of Knowledge). These Lighthouses are free educational centers which include libraries, Internet access, and other cultural resources. Job training, social welfare and educational programs are coordinated, and often supply labor to improve the city's amenities or services, as well as education and income.[74]

The city has more than 400 square kilometres (154 sq mi) of public parks and forests.[75]

In 2007, the city was placed third in a list of "15 Green Cities" in the world, according the U.S. magazine "Grist", after Reykjavík in Iceland and Portland, Oregon in the United States. As a result, according to one survey, 99% of Curitibans are happy with their hometown.[76] The "green exchange" employment program focuses on social inclusion, benefiting both those in need and the environment. Low-income families living in shantytowns unreachable by truck bring their trash bags to neighborhood centers, where they exchange them for bus tickets and food. This means less city litter and less disease, less garbage dumped in sensitive areas such as rivers and a better life for the undernourished poor. There's also a program for children where they can exchange recyclable garbage for school supplies, chocolate, toys and tickets for shows.

Jaime Lerner suggests urban acupuncture as the future solution for contemporary urban issues; by focusing on very narrow pressure points in cities, we can initiate positive ripple effects for the greater society. Urban acupuncture reclaims the ownership of land to the public and emphasizes the importance of community development through small interventions in design of cities.[77] It involves pinpointed interventions that can be accomplished quickly to release energy and create a positive ripple effect.[78] He described in 2007:
I believe that some medicinal “magic” can and should be applied to cities, as many are sick and some nearly terminal. As with the medicine needed in the interaction between doctor and patient, in urban planning it is also necessary to make the city react; to poke an area in such a way that it is able to help heal, improve, and create positive chain reactions. It is indispensable in revitalizing interventions to make the organism work in a different way.[79]

Under the "garbage that's not garbage" program, 70% of the city's trash is recycled by its residents. Once a week, a truck collects paper, cardboard, metal, plastic and glass that has been sorted in the city's homes. The city's paper recycling alone saves the equivalent of 1,200 trees a day. As well as the environmental benefits, money raised from selling materials goes into social programs, and the city employs the homeless and recovering alcoholics in its garbage separation plant. Open University, created by the city, lets residents take courses in many subjects such as mechanics, hair styling and environmental protection for a small fee. Retired city buses are often used as mobile schools or offices. Downtown areas were transformed into pedestrian streets, including a 24-hour mall with shops, restaurants and cafes, and a street of flowers with gardens tended by street kids.

The "capacity building job line" was created to generate a better quality of life for people in the region surrounding a new economic development axis of Curitiba. Key initiatives include the South-Circular bus line, which links the southern and eastern regions of town; Entrepreneurial Sheds, business incubators designed to help small companies get established and prosper; and the Crafts Lycée, which trains people for professions such as marketing and finance so that they can find employment in new companies that emerge from the business incubator. Specifically, the goal is to provide jobs and income for the unemployed among 400,000 people living in 15 peripheral towns, and to structure and develop the region according to integrated planning principles. About 15,000 new jobs have been generated so far, and 15,000 more are expected.[80]

There's a model, inexpensive, speedy transit service used by more than 2 million people a day. There are more car owners per capita than anywhere else in Brazil, and the population has doubled since 1974, yet auto traffic has declined by 30%, and atmospheric pollution is the lowest in Brazil.[81]


Arts and entertainment

Curitiba is the first city in Brazil to have an IMAX movie theatre. It is in the Palladium Shopping Center which is the biggest mall in Southern Brazil.[82] Curitiba also has many theaters. The biggest and most important one is the Guaíra Theater.[83] Every year, in April, it hosts the Curitiba Theater Festival, with various artists playing in Curitiba Theaters and even on the squares.


For the famous Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer Curitiba became the home to his extravagantly designed museum, the state museum of Curitiba. Its design includes a gravity defying construction that was intended to look like a Paraná Pine, one of the city's symbols, but is widely interpreted by locals as an eye which gave the Museum its nickname – Museu do Olho, or Museum of the Eye. In keeping with the Curitiba history and culture of science, the museum offers many science exhibitions, including Curitiba biennal/Curitiba biennial, twice-yearly exhibitions. The Curitiba museum also includes the Oscar Niemeyer Curitiba auditorium.[84]

  • Museu Paranaense ("Paranaense Museum") – dedicated to the arts and history;
  • Oscar Niemeyer Museum – the largest museum of Latin America,[85] dedicated to plastic arts;
  • Museu de Arte Sacra ("Religious Art Museum") – the focus are religious and sacred Christian art in general;
  • Museu do Expedicionário ("Museum of Expeditionary") – dedicated to the history of Brazilian participation in World War II;
  • Museu de Arte Contemporânea ("Museum of Contemporary Art");
  • Museu da Imagem e do Som ("Image and Sound Museum") – about cinema and photography;
  • Museu Metropolitano de Arte de Curitiba ("Metropolitan Museum of Art in Curitiba") – modern art;
  • Museu de História Natural ("Natural History Museum") – dedicated to the biology and botany.


Like most Southern cities, due to the heavy European tradition, Curitiba has no such thing as a Carnival tradition, in the same sense Northeastern and Southeastern cities like Salvador, Rio de Janeiro and Recife do. Polls made in the city[86] confirm most Curitiba citizens don't like said celebration; the one who does usually travel to the coastal cities of Paraná, most commonly Matinhos and Paranaguá.


In Curitiba there are several yearly festivals. Some festivals are related to arts, such as Curitiba Theatre Festival[87] and the Music Workshop of Curitiba.[88] There are also some immigrant-related yearly festivals, such as the Grape Feast ("Festa da Uva"),[89] which is related to Italian immigrants, and the four Matsuri, related to Japanese immigrants. The four Matsuri set in Curitiba are: Imin Matsuri (Japanese: 移民祭り, "Immigration Festival") which cellebrates the arrival of Japanese immigrants in Brazil,[90][91] Haru Matsuri (Japanese: 春祭り, "Spring Festival") which celebrates the end of winter and coming of spring,[92] Hana Matsuri[93] (Japanese: 花祭り, "Flower Festival"), which cellebrates the birth of Sakyamuni,[94] and Seto Matsuri ("Seto Festival"), in honor of Cláudio Seto,[95] cartoonist and idealist of the first Matsuri in Curitiba.

UN Convention on Biodiversity

On 20–31 March 2006 an important world gathering of the United Nations on biodiversity took place in Pinhais (a city near Curitiba), addressing items of the 1993 Convention on Biological Diversity adopted by 188 countries.

This convention seeks to discuss strategies to safeguard life from the threats to its existence. Starting with the Summit of the Earth or Rio de Janeiro Eco-92 the topic has been gaining centrality and has been the subject of numerous official documents, especially the 2000 and 2003 Cartagena Protocols on biosecurity.

The Curitiba preparatory document, developed by specialists of the UN and of the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment for issues from Brazil, defines biodiversity as follows: including all the different species of plants, animals and microorganisms (estimated at more than 10 million species), all the genetic variability within the species (10 to 100 genes per species) and all the diverse ecosystems formed by different combinations of species.

Biodiversity includes the environmental services responsible for maintenance of life on Earth, for the interaction between living beings and for the offer of goods and services that sustain human societies and their economies.[96]


Public transport

Curitiba's public transportation consists entirely of buses, as it opened the world's first bus rapid transit (BRT) system in 1974.[97] The popularity of Curitiba's BRT has effected a modal shift from automobile travel to bus travel. Based on 1991 traveller survey results, it was estimated that the introduction of the BRT had caused a reduction of about 27 million auto trips per year, saving about 27 million liters of fuel annually. In particular, 28 percent of BRT riders previously traveled by car. Compared to eight other Brazilian cities of its size, Curitiba uses about 30 percent less fuel per capita, resulting in one of the lowest rates of ambient air pollution in the country. Today about 1,100 buses make 12,500 trips every day, serving more than 1.3 million passengers, 50 times the number from 20 years ago. Eighty percent of travelers use the express or direct bus services. Curitibanos spend only about 10 percent of their income on travel, much below the national average.[98]


Moving around in a car can be difficult in and around the city centre because of the many one-way streets and frequent traffic jams. This makes the public transportation system more attractive if one wants to go there. The Trinary Road System allows quick access to the city centre for car drivers. Some avenues are spacious and laid out in a grid and apart from some points around the city centre, Munhoz da Rocha Street and Batel Avenue, traffic jams are not thus severe. Coming from São Paulo use BR-116 South. From Florianópolis use BR-101. From Porto Alegre use BR-116 North. [99]


Afonso Pena International Airport is Curitiba's main airport. It is located in the nearby city of São José dos Pinhais and all commercial flights operate from this airport.[100]

Bacacheri Airport is a smaller facility used for general aviation.


The city has 100 km (62 mi) of bike routes, used by around 30 thousand bikers daily. On the city streets, there are almost one million vehicles, of which 2,253 are Taxis. They are all painted orange. To service all these vehicles, there are more than 355 petrol stations throughout the city. With so many cars, nearly 500,000 tickets are issued yearly, even though there are more than 40,000 existing traffic signs in all the city.[101]


Several association football teams play in Curitiba. Coritiba (the first soccer team of Curitiba) plays at Estádio Major Antônio Couto Pereira, Clube Atlético Paranaense at Estádio Joaquim Américo Guimarães and Paraná Clube at Estádio Durival Britto e Silva. Both Coritiba and Atlético Paranaense have won Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, in 1985 and 2001, respectively. Estádio Joaquim Américo Guimarães will be one of the 12 stadiums to host games of the 2014 FIFA World Cup to be held in Brazil.[102]

The Autódromo Internacional de Curitiba (Curitiba International Raceway) is located in nearby Pinhais.


Bairros (neighbourhoods) of Curitiba are geographical divisions of the city. There is no delegation of administrative powers to neighborhoods, although there are several neighborhood associations devoted to improve their own standards of living. Curitiba is divided into 9 regional governments (boroughs) covering the 75 neighbourhoods of the city. All districts are served by the system of integrated urban transport.

Most districts of Curitiba was born of colonial groups formed by families of European immigrants in the second half of the nineteenth century.

The centro ("Downtown" in American English or "CBD" – central business district – in other English use), place of foundation of the city, is the most bustling area, which concentrates most of the financial institutions of Curitiba.

List of neighborhoods by regional:

  • Matriz: Centro, Centro Cívico, Batel, Bigorrilho, Mercês, São Francisco, Bom Retiro, Ahu, Juvevê, Cabral, Hugo Lange, Jardim Social, Alto da XV, Alto da Glória, Cristo Rei, Jardim Botânico, Prado Velho and Rebouças;
  • Santa Felicidade: Santa Felicidade, Lamenha Pequena, Butiatuvinha, São João, Vista Alegre, Cascatinha, São Brás, Santo Inácio, Orléans, Mossunguê, Campina do Siqueira, Seminário, CIC (north region) and part of Campo Comprido;
  • Boa Vista: Boa Vista, Bacacheri, Bairro Alto, Tarumã, Tingüi, Atuba, Santa Cândida, Cachoeira, Barreirinha, Abranches, Taboão, Pilarzinho and São Lourenço;
  • Cajuru: Cajuru, Uberaba, Jardim das Américas, Guabirotuba and Capão da Imbuia;
  • Fazendinha/Portão: Portão, Fazendinha, Santa Quitéria, Vila Isabel, Água Verde, Parolin, Guaíra, Lindóia, Fanny, Novo Mundo and part of Campo Comprido;
  • Boqueirão: Boqueirão, Xaxim, Hauer and Alto Boqueirão;
  • Pinheirinho: Pinheirinho, Capão Raso, Tatuquara, Campo de Santana and Caximba;
  • Bairro Novo: Sítio Cercado, Ganchinho and Umbará;
  • Cidade Industrial de Curitiba: CIC (center and south region), Riviera, Augusta and São Miguel.

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Curitiba is twinned with:

Cooperation agreements

In addition Curitiba has cooperation agreements with:

Notable people






  • Carlos Alberto "Beto" Richa - Governor of the State of Paraná
  • Gustavo Fruet - Mayor of the City of Curitiba
  • Roberto Requião de Mello e Silva - Former Governor of the State of Paraná


Mixed martial arts
Beach Volleyball


External links

  • (Portuguese) Official homepage


  • (Portuguese) Maplink – Curitiba Street Guide and Maps
  • (Portuguese) Tourism in Curitiba

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