Jaime Lerner on Making Curitiba’s First Pedestrian Street

by Elizabeth Press on July 7, 2009

"This is the third installment of videos from Brazil. Demonstrating again how Curitiba Brazil was 35+ years in front of our NYC livable streets curve, this video is about a street transformation.

Former Mayor and founder of Bus Rapid Transit, Jaime Lerner sat down with me during my visit to discuss how and why he made the first pedestrian street in the middle of downtown Curitiba.

Rua XV de Novembro (15th of November Street) is a vital artery through downtown Curitiba. In 1972 under the direction of then Mayor Jaime Lerner, it became the first major pedestrian street in Brazil. The first phase of closing the street to automobiles and opening it to people took place in only 72 hours. The pedestrian plaza spans 15 blocks, and although it was initially unpopular, it is now a central meeting spot and the epicenter of local businesses in the center of Curitiba."


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