A little background information: Parana, Curitiba

Curitiba Travel Blog

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Curitiba is the capital of the State Parana and is located in South Brazil. This city is regarded by Brazilians as the ecological capital of Brazil, and a kind of provincial urban paradise. The Portuguese settlers founded the state of Parana in 1693. Curitibia became the capital in 1853, and immigrants worldwide began to congregate to this utopia. This mid-sized and diverse city is most notoriously known for its excellence in urban planning and historical and environmental preservation. The mass transportation system, specifically the bus system, is known worldwide. Bi-articulated busses (with three sections) travel up and down these linear streets in their own reserved lanes just for bus travel. Tube-shaped bus stops to protect from the weather, and allow for quick bus entry since you have to prepay before entering the bus. The linear transportation and expansion, as opposed to a typical radial city plan makes this city a unique success story. These linear roads lead to the center of the city where, in the 70s was closed to traffic, creating a more people friendly city. This street--“November the 15th st.” (also known as Flower Street) is a beautiful pedestrian-only boulevard with a beautiful mosaic-tiled ground. The amount of green space in this state is spectacular, and was initially preserved as means for flood control. In fact the city of Curitiba has 2 times the amount of green space/person recommended by the United Nations. The strategic location of Parana--located near Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina, as well as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janiero---makes this a very attractive location for domestic and foreign investment. This is one of the many reasons that many large companies have established satellite locations in Curitiba. Renault—the French car company—actually has a very large plant located in Curitiba. This is created a lot of French immigration to the State of Parana—which has been wonderful for me (so I have a chance to practice my French—but unfortunately makes me miss mom that much more). Social services, such as free daycare provided by the city for working mothers, makes living in the city of Curitiba even more appealing. Also 45 “lighthouses of knowledge” which are libraries providing free internet, books, and sources to the public are found throughout the state as means of developing a sense of community. One lighthouse can be found in each neighborhood, and they are patrolled by policemen as means of building trust between civilians and authority, and for alleviating the stereotypical notion of police corruption that is so common in Brazil. The crime rate in Curitiba (although it has risen over the years) is far below the national average. For these reasons, many find Curitiba a very attractive place to invest, live, and raise a family.
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photo by: joesu