The Brazilian city of Curitiba is perhaps most famous for the invention of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). This post is partly about the innovation that was BRT, but the bigger story is what happens when an architect becomes the mayor of a city.
Jamie Lerner took office as Mayor of Curitiba in 1971 in his early 30s (not to make any of us feel inadequate). It is perhaps important to mention that Brazil was a dictatorship at the time and, as such, the local governor selected the mayor, rather than the electorate. However, Jamie Lerner wasn’t your regular Brazilian-Dictatorship-Stooge.
Very exciting things happen when an architect thinks about a city as a changing, dynamic space in need of design to shape and guide it. Curitiba in the 1970s was both dynamic and changing. A wave of immigration from Europe was leading to dramatic population growth. In the 1950s, Curitiba’s population…
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