—  Municipality  —
The Municipality of Curitiba
From the top, from left to right: Castelinho do Batel, Oscar Niemeyer Museum, residential buildings in the neighborhood of Mossunguê, Palace Avenue, overview of the greenhouse of the Botanical Garden and overview of the city covered in a fog.


Nickname(s): A cidade sorriso ("The smiling city"), CWB
Motto: A Cidade da Gente (Our City)
Curitiba is located in Brazil
Location in Brazil
Coordinates: 25°25′S 49°15′W / 25.417°S 49.25°W / -25.417; -49.25Coordinates: 25°25′S 49°15′W / 25.417°S 49.25°W / -25.417; -49.25
Country  Brazil
Region South
State Bandeira do Paraná.svg Paraná
Founded 29 March 1693
Incorporated 1842
 – Mayor Luciano Ducci (PSB)
 – 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 (2009)
 – Municipality 1,746,896 (8th)
 – Density 4,062/km2 (10,523/sq mi)
 – Metro 3,168,980
 – 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"[citation needed], Portuguese pronunciation: [kuɾiˈtibɐ] or [kuɾiˈtʃibɐ]) is the capital of the Brazilian state of Paraná. It is the largest city with the biggest economy of both Paraná and southern Brazil. The population of Curitiba numbers approximately 1.75 million people (8th largest nationwide) and the latest GDP figures for the city surpass US$61 billion (ranking 4th nationwide) according to IBGE (2008). Its metropolitan area comprises 26 municipalities[1] with a total population of over 3.2 million (IBGE estimate in 2006).[2]

Curitiba is an important cultural, political and economic centre in the country. 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, one year before electric streetcars were first deployed.

Curitiba's rapid expansion was based on the cattle trade, the city being located half-way between the cattle breeding country to the south and the markets to the north. Waves of European immigrants started arriving after 1850, 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, mainly from Middle Eastern[4] and South American countries, but there is a substantial inward flow of Brazilians from other states of the country (approximately half the population of Curitiba was not born in the city).[5]

In 2010 Curitiba was awarded the Globe Sustainable City Award which was set up to recognize cities and municipalities which excel in sustainable urban development around the world.[6] According to the American magazine Reader's Digest, Curitiba is the best place to live in Brazil.



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.[7] The other version, also from the Tupi language, comes from the combination of kurit (pine tree) and yba (large amount).[8]

The Portuguese who founded a village in 1693 gave it the name of "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 also came up: Coritiba. This spelling looked to become dominant for it was used in press and state documents, but a state decree in 1919 settled the dispute by spelling the city name Curitiba.[7]



Winter skyline in Curitiba.

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.[9] It is located on a plateau and the flat terrain with flooded areas contribute to its mild and damp winter, with average temperature of 7 °C (45 °F) in the coldest month, sometimes falling below 0 °C (32 °F) on the coldest nights. During summertime, the average temperature is around 18 °C (64 °F), but it can get above 30 °C (86 °F) on hottest days. Snowfall was experienced in 1889, 1892, 1912, 1928, 1942, 1955, 1957, 1962, 1975, 1979, 1981, 1984, 1987 and 1988.[citation needed]. Among Brazil's twenty-six state capitals, Curitiba is the coldest due its altitude, despite being 600 kilometres (370 mi) north of Porto Alegre, which is the southernmost state capital in Brazil, but located at sea level.[10] Heat waves during winter and cold waves during summer are not uncommon, and even within a single day there can be great variation, a typical feature of subtropical climates. Several factors contribute to the climate's variable nature: the flat terrain surrounded by mountains in a rough circle with radius 40 kilometres (25 mi) helps block the winds, allowing the morning mist to cover the city on cold mornings.

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.[11] Curitiba's weather is also influenced by the dry air masses that dominate Brazil's midwest most of the year, bringing cold and dry weather, sometimes even in winter.[12]

Climate data for Curitiba
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 26
Average low °C (°F) 17
Precipitation cm (inches) 18
Source: Weatherbase[13]


Frost in the city.

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 forest and other formations. In the local vegetation still appear remnants of the Paraná (or Brazilian) pine (Araucaria angustifolia), which resisted the effects of modern civilization. The Parana 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.[14]

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.[15]

Hydrography and pluviometry

Iguaçu River, running by the south region of the city.

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.[14]

Currently, after many studies of the local water flows, almost all the rivers are 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.[14] The index reaches 1,500 millimetres (59 in) rainfall on average per year, because the rains are constant in the climate of the city. This happens, among other reasons, because of the deforestation of the Mountain Range of the Sea (Serra do Mar), a natural barrier to moisture.


The Mountain Range of the Sea, "Serra do Mar."

The city has surface of 432.17 km² in the First Plateau of Paraná. Curitiba has a topography of smooth rounded hills, giving 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 1,021 metres (3,350 ft), and with lower altitude 864 metres (2,835 ft) to the south.

There are mountain ranges and sets of rocky hills practically all around the city, the most remarkable and impressive being the Serra do Mar (Portuguese for "Mountain Range of the Sea"), located in the east that separates the plateau from the coast of Paraná.


Old mansion in Batel neighbourhood.

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, Italians, Poles and Ukrainians. 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.

Curitiba in 1820 received a visit from a French scholar, savant Saint-Hilaire, who was stunned with the city. Some excerpts from his notes state: "... The streets are wide and almost regular (...) the public square is organized, very large and covered with grass ... the churches are three in number, all built of stone ... not in any other part of Brazil I saw so many white people as I saw in Curitiba... they pronounce portuguese without the accent that reveals the race mixtures between the Caucasian race and the red ones... Curitibans are big and beautiful, have brown hair and rosy complexion, pleasing ... women are more delicate than in other parts of the Empire where I traveled . They do not hide and speak with ease. "[36] This description is a reflection of civility, nobility and determination of the people of Curitiba in 1820, which forms the basis of Curitiba in the twenty-first century and so on.

During the 20th century, especially after 1950, the city rapidly increased in population and consolidated its position as 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.[16]

Curitiba as the capital of Brazil

From 24 to 27 March 1969, Curitiba was the capital of Brazil. The government of the Federative Republic of Brazil was settled in the Iguaçu palace under the presidency of Marshal Arthur da Costa e Silva.


The Curitiba City Hall.

The executive is currently exercised by the mayor Beto Richa (elected in 2004 with a mandate until 2008, and reelected in 2009 to period 2009/2012), by the deputy mayor (vice mayor) Luciano Ducci and 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.


Old Polish house, in a park in Curitiba.
Brazilians of Ukrainian descent celebrating Easter in Curitiba.
Arabian Memorial.

According to the IBGE of 2008, there were 3,225,000 people residing in the Metropolitan Region of Curitiba. The population density was 4,159.4 inhabitants per square kilometre (10,773 /sq mi) (in the urban area). The last PNAD (National Research for Sample of Domiciles) census revealed the following percentage: 2,459,000 White people (76.27%), 640,000 Brown (Multiracial) people (19.84%), 92,000 Black people (2.86%), 26,000 Asian people (0.80%), 6,000 Amerindian people (0.18%).[17]

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.[18]

In the 19th century, the influx of immigrants from Europe increased. In 1828, the first German immigrants settled in Paraná. However, large numbers of immigrants from Germany only arrived in Curitiba during the 1870s, most of them coming from Santa Catarina or Volga Germans from Russia.[19]

Immigrants from Poland first arrived in 1871, settling in rural areas close to Curitiba. They largely influenced the agriculture of the region. Curitiba has the second largest Polish diaspora in the world, second only to Chicago.[18] 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, in the same 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.[20]

Italian immigrants started arriving in Brazil in 1875 and in Curitiba in 1878. They came mostly from the Veneto and Trento regions, in Northern Italy and settled mostly in the Santa Felicidade neighborhood, still today the center of the large Italian community of Curitiba.[21]

Large numbers of Ukrainian immigrants settled in Curitiba, mostly between 1895 and 1897, when some 20,000 arrived. They were peasants from Galicia, who emigrated to Brazil to become farmers. Nowadays there are around 300,000 Ukrainian-Brazilians living in Paraná.[22][23] The State of Paraná has the largest Ukrainian community and Slavic community of the country.[24]

Curitiba has a well established Jewish community[25] originally established in the 1870s.[26] Much of the early Jewish congregation has been assimilated.[27] In 1937 with the conquest of power by the Nazis in Germany, several notable German Jewish academics were allowed into Brazil, some of them settling in Curitiba.[28]

Physicist César Lattes and former mayors Jaime Lerner,[29] 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 Habad house (Beit Chabad) in Curitiba[30] as well as at least two synagogues[31] and two Jewish cemeteries,[32] one of which was defiled in 2004.[33]

Japanese immigrants began arriving in the region in 1915. Most Japanese settled in the State of São Paulo, but many settled in Northern Paraná, cities such as Maringá and Londrina. Curitiba also received significant numbers of immigrants from Japan. Nowadays, there are about 40,000 Japanese-Brazilians living in the city.[34]

Other immigrants, such as Lebanese, Syrians, Palestinians, Russians and other Eastern Europeans also settled in Curitiba.[citation needed]


Curitiba Trade Center, popularly known as "O Prédio do Relógio" (The Clock Building).

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.[35] 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.[36]

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%.[37] Cidade Industrial de Curitiba, the industrial district of Curitiba, is home to many multinational industries, such as Nissan, Renault, Volkswagen, 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.[38]

Estação Mall.

In the early 1970s, when Brazil was welcoming industry with open arms, Curitiba accepted only non-polluters and constructed an industrial district with so much green space that it was derided as a "golf course" until it filled up with major businesses while its counterparts in other Latin American cities flagged.[citation needed] 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, neighbourhood 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 '90s, for the metropolitan area as well as the city.[39]

The "Paço Municipal" built in 1916.

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.[40]

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.[41]

The GDP for the city is R$ 32,153,307,000 (2006).[42]

The per capita income for the city was R$ 17,977 (2006).[43]

Tourism and recreation

German church in Curitiba.
Japan Square in Curitiba.
Portugal Park.
Tanguá Park.

Botanic Gardens

Curitiba's trademark, created to resemble French gardens, rolls out its flower carpet to the visitors right at the entrance. The greenhouse, with a metallic structure, has botanic species that are national symbols, and also a water fountain.

The native forest is filled with paths for walking. The Botanic Museum attracts researchers from all over the world, and has library and a theatre as well as a space for exhibitions.

The city recycles 70 percent of its paper and 60 percent of metal, glass and plastic.The previous garbage dump has become a botanical garden.:(from oxford university press,environmental studies from crisis to cure)

German Woods

The wood has various features to celebrate and promote the German traditions. There are 38 thousand square meters of native forest, which was part of the old farm from the Schaffer family. The replica of an old wooden church, built in 1933 at the Seminário neighbourhood, with neo-gothic decorative elements, shelters a concert hall called Bach's Oratorium.

Other attractions are the John and Mary path, which tells the Grimm brothers tale, a children's library, the Philosophers Tower, a wooden observatory allowing a panoramic view of the city and the Ocean Ridge, and the German Poetry Square, with a reproduction of the Casa Mila façade, a German building from the beginning of the last century, originally located in the city centre. It's closed for remodeling at the present time.

Italian Woods

A place for the typical parties of the Italian community in the district, such as the Grape Party, the Wine Party and the 4 Giorni in Italy. It has structure for food and drink stalls, space for shows and folkloric presentations and a polenta pot.

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 a pêssankas and icons exhibition.

Wire Opera House

It is one of the emblematic symbols of Curitiba, with tubular structure and transparent ceiling, of great beauty. Inaugurated in 1992, it caters for all types of shows, between lakes, typical vegetation and cascades, on a unique landscape. The Wire Opera House is part of the Pedreiras Park, together with the Paulo Leminski Cultural Space, where the Passion of Christ was enacted, and hosted many other big events since 1989, and can hold, in the open air, 10 thousand people seated or 50 thousand standing.

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,[44] because it happens in the end of the year in the summer heat, and because of the hilly course. To compensate the hard course, runners count with good structure[45] and enthusiastic fans cheering along the course.[46]

Tourism Line

Every year, tourism grows in Curitiba. To attend this demand, the Linha Turismo ("Tourism Line") started in 1994. Its a special city tour that visits the principal tourist attractions in Curitiba, featuring comfortable green with big windows and a shape similar to that of streetcars. The vehicles are equipped with a sound system that plays recorded messages describing sites in three different languages: Portuguese, English and Spanish. It is possible to visit the parks, town squares and the rest of the city's tourist attractions. Considered one of the best in the country, the Linha Turismo is available every thirty minutes and has a two and a half-hour tour, which travels around forty-four kilometers. To go on the tour you must buy a ticket with five tickets that give you the right to get on and off bus four times. Users can therefore choose the touristic point where they want to stay longer. Then, they can embark again to complete the remaining part of the itinerary. Today the line goes to 25 key reference points in Curitiba, completing 44 km (27 mi) in 2 and ½ hours.

Panoramic view of Curitiba.


There are more than 183 universities in whole state of Paraná.[47]

Federal University of Paraná was the first university opened in Brazil.[48]
UTFPR, The first University of Technology from Brazil.

Educational institutions

  • Universidade Federal do Paraná (UFPR) – Federal University of Paraná – This State university is largest of Paraná, with more than 20.000 students
  • Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná (UTFPR) – Federal University of Technology is a major University in Paraná and the first University of Technology from Brazil;
  • Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná (PUCPR) – A major private University in Paraná;
  • Universidade Tuiuti do Paraná (UTP);
  • Universidade Positivo (UP);
  • ESIC Business and Marketing School – International Website ESIC
  • Centro Universitário Franciscano do Paraná (UNIFAE);
  • Escola de Música e Belas Artes do Paraná (EMBAP);
  • Faculdade Dom Bosco (FDB);
  • Faculdade de Artes do Paraná (FAP);
  • Faculdade de Educação Superior do Paraná (FESP);
  • Faculdade de Tecnologia (FATEC);
  • Centro Universitário Curitiba (UNICURITIBA);
  • and many others.

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.[49] 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,[50] and also number 1 in education between the Brazilian capitals.[51]

Urban planning

Streets in Curitiba.
street 24 hours.
15 November Street.
The Curitiba Botanical Garden.
Modern Curitiba.

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.[52]

The system, used by 85% of Curitiba's population, is the source of inspiration for the TransMilenio in Bogotá, Colombia; Metrovia in Guayaquil, Ecuador; Transmetro in Guatemala City, Guatemala; as well as the Orange Line of Los Angeles, U.S. State of California, and for a future transportation system in Panama City, Panama, Cebu City, Philippines and the latest, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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.[53]

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.[54]

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.[55]

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.[56]

Today, Curitiba is considered one of the best examples of urban planning worldwide.[57] 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."[58]

Curitiba was recently recommended by UNESCO as a model for the reconstruction of the cities of Afghanistan,[59] after the U.S invaded in 2001.

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.[60] 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.[61]

Curitiba is referred to as the ecological capital of Brazil, with a network of 28 parks and wooded areas. In 1970, there was less than 1 square meter of green space per person; now there are 52 square meters for each person. Residents planted 1.5 million trees along city streets. Builders get tax breaks if their projects include green space. Flood waters diverted into new lakes in parks solved the problem of dangerous flooding, while also protecting valley floors and riverbanks, acting as a barrier to illegal occupation, and providing aesthetic and recreational value to the thousands of people who use city parks.

In 2007, the city was placed third in a list of "15 Green Cities" in the world, according the U.S. magazine "Grist", after Reykjavik in Iceland and Portland, Oregon in the United States. As a result, according to one survey, 99% of Curitibans are happy with their hometown.[62] 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.

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.[63]

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.[64]


Musicians on a street.
Paiol Theatre.
Paranaense Museum.
Museum of Expeditionary.

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.[65] Curitiba also has many theaters. The biggest and most important one is the Guaíra Theater.[66] 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.[67]

  • Museu Paranaense ("Paranaense Museum") – dedicated to the arts and history;
  • Oscar Niemeyer Museum – the largest museum of Latin America,[68] 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.


Carnival Curitiba is unique and, as a result, extremely different from the carnivals held elsewhere in the country, and especially the ones that are so prevalent on any TV coverage of the carnival that occurs in Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, and Recife every single year. Carnival Curitiba is in fact non-existent in terms of the way that it is done elsewhere. The carnival in Curitiba that does occur every year, in March to be precise to coincide with the Rio de Janeiro carnival, consists of a small celebration on the coast. The beaches that are an hour away via car in Paranaguá host the miniature carnival Curitiba celebrations. There is usually traditional Brazilian food like "Feijoada", their special hotdogs and a variety of salads on offer from stalls. The revellers will usually dance the "samba" and mingle before heading home after the party in the early hours of the morning. The carnival Curitiba offers is therefore out of the town and gives those that do not wish to attend a break. Three clubs are renowned for their carnival Curitiba celebrations: Santa Mônica, Paraná and Curitibano (the most traditional one). They are all located within easy distance of the Central area. The costumes are readily available from most of the cheaper clothes stores and can be hired out from a variety of shops, as well as smaller independent ones in the weeks leading up to the celebrations for less than $20 for the night.[69]


Curitiba is influenced by European, Arab and Japanese immigrants.[citation needed] The better restaurants are all located in central area (principally Batel, the rich neighborhood of Curitiba), not too far away from the heart of Curitiba. As a result, the majority of them are near metro stops and the bus terminal and can easily be reached on foot. Although offering traditional Brazilian drink. The Caruso restaurant is a traditional form of Brazilian cuisine that is made up of rice, black beans, and sausages with borecole and orange slices on the side. It may sound like a simple dish but the flavour is immense. Italian Pizzaria Geppetto and Pizzaria O Forno are some of The best Italian restaurants in the city.[70]

UN Convention on Biodiversity

United Nations Convention in Pinhais (a city near Curitiba).

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.[71]


buses in Curitiba RIT (Rede Integrada de Transporte).
man entering the bus in Curitiba.
A bus stop in the city.
bus stop.

Public transport

Curitiba has a unique transportation system, developed locally and causing much interest worldwide.[72] This Bus Rapid Transit system is very simple and practical. Public transportation consists entirely of buses. There are several different types of bus, each with a different function. All stations are easily accessed and enclosed. The buses have been changed to make for easier entry and exit.[73] Together with other low-cost changes, this bus system aims at becoming a comfortable and preferred transportation choice for the public.

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. Best of all, Curitibanos spend only about 10 percent of their income on travel, much below the national average.[74]

Curitiba's Master Plan integrated transportation with land use planning, calling for a cultural, social, and economic transformation of the city. It limited central area growth, while encouraging commercial growth along the transport arteries radiating out from the city center. The city center was partly closed to vehicular traffic, and pedestrian streets were created. Linear development along the arteries reduced the traditional importance of the downtown area as the primary focus of day-to-day transport activity, thereby minimizing congestion and the typical morning and afternoon flows of traffic. Instead, rush hour in Curitiba has heavy commuter movements in both directions along the public transportation arteries.

Other policies have also contributed to the success of the transit system. Land within two blocks of the transit arteries is zoned for high density, since it generates more transit ridership per square foot. Beyond the two blocks, zoned residential densities taper in proportion to distance from transitways. Planners discourage auto-oriented centers and channel new retail growth to transit corridors. Very limited public parking is available in the downtown area, and most employers offer transportation subsidies, especially to low-skilled and low-paid employees.


Orange Taxis in the city.

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. [75] Recently, the city installed around 140 traffic radars, causing much discontent among drivers in general.[76]

It has perhaps the best world's public transport system,with clean and efficient buses carrying 1.9 million passengers(75 percent of all commuters) every day at low cost.The bus runs on high speed,dedicated lanes. Five major roads penetrate into the heart of the city,with two bus lanes.The bus stops are connected to bicycle paths,which extended to 160 km (99.42 mi) into the city.[citation needed]


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.[77] It is integrated into Curitiba's transportation system, with rapid buses and shuttle service connecting the airport to the city.

Bacacheri Airport is a smaller facility used for general aviation.


The city has approximately 62 miles (100 km) 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.[78]


Several association football teams play in Curitiba. Coritiba play 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 stadia to host games of the 2014 FIFA World Cup to be held in Brazil.[79]

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

Curitiba house one of the most famous Vale Tudo training camps in the world since the late 1990s and early years of the millennium named Chute Boxe Academy. Noted fighters to come from Chute Boxe include Wanderlei Silva, Anderson Silva, Murilo and Mauricio Rua.


Map of Curitiba, with the neighbourhoods and boroughs.

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:

Famous places

Museu Oscar Niemeyer (Oscar Niemeyer Museum).

Curitiba is mostly known for some of its famous places:

Notable people

Landscape with Canoe on the Margin (1922). Painting by Alfredo Andersen (São Paulo Museum of Art, São Paulo).
Skyline at night.
Curitiba in the morning.
Passeio Público.






  • Luciano Ducci (Mayor of Curitiba)
  • Beto Richa (Governor of the State of Paraná)


Mixed martial arts
Beach Volleyball
  • Alexandre Gomes (WSOP and WPT world champion 2008–2009)
  • Luiz Filipe Ferreira de Andrade (Professional Poker Player)
  • Gustav Langner (Professional Poker Player)


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