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1971/75 1979/83 and 1989/92

Lerner was Mayor of Curitiba for three terms: 1971/75, 1979/83 and 1989/92.

During his first term as mayor of Curitiba, from 1971 to 1975, he started the transformation of the city and implemented the Integrated Mass Transport System, acknowledged worldwide for its efficiency, quality and low cost.

In the two subsequent terms, in addition to the leading-edge urban planning actions, Lerner intensified an encompassing program that resulted in social and environmental advances, ranking Curitiba among the capitals with the highest quality of life in the world.


New paradigms

In 1971, 33-year-old Jaime Lerner took office as Mayor of Curitiba, at the time a city with about 600 thousand inhabitants, suffering from the strong pressure of rural exodus and low industrialization levels.

During these three administrations, Lerner made Curitiba stand out in Brazil and abroad for its cutting-edge urban solutions. He multiplied green areas, by creating parks and planting trees along streets; he closed part of the downtown area to automobiles, preserved historic areas, implemented the integrated mass transport system, built the first day-care centers and health care units, invested large sums in housing and created the Industrial City of Curitiba (CIC), the mainstay of its economic development.

A growth structure

As soon as he took office for the first time, in 1971, the architect Jaime Lerner put into practice the Master Plan of the city, which existed since 1965 and which he helped to detail while working at the Institute of Research and Urban Planning of Curitiba (IPPUC).

Curitiba started to guide three basic transformations: the physical (restructuring of roads, zoning and use of the soil, and public transportation system), the cultural (the Curitiba native assumes his identity with the city, from the pedestrian promenade of Rua das Flores , the parks, the Teatro do Paiol and the Cultural Foundation of Curitiba) and the economic (driven by the implementation of the CIC). After the first administration, the city had solidly planted the concept of ecological capital.

The city defined its growth structure, determining the residential, commercial and service areas and establishing norms for population density.

In a period of four years, Curitiba gained its first integrated transport system with the implementation of express buses, feeder lines and exclusive channels, materializing a clear priority to public transport.

Curitiba was the first city to close the center for cars, with the creation of Rua das Flores , and also innovated by valuing the historic center: urban memory and identity as fundamental policies of urban design.

A great cultural transformation was promoted, with new meeting points, squares and forests, and the recycling of the use of old buildings, such as Teatro Paiol (former gunpowder warehouse of the city hall).

The first large parks in the city (Barigüi, Barreirinha, São Lourenço) were implemented. At the time, Curitiba had just over half a square meter of green area per inhabitant. Today it has more than 55 square meters per inhabitant, three times more than recommended by the World Health Organization.

The creation of the Curitiba Industrial City (CIC) gave economic support to the transformation experienced by the city. 10 km from the center, integrated into the urban network by five connecting routes and the public transport system, CIC was born as a city (integrated functions and services) and not as an industrial district. It was planned to receive industries without causing damage to the environment. Currently, CIC counts 794 companies, which generate 50 thousand direct jobs and 150 thousand indirect jobs.

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Social investments

Jaime Lerner's second term (1979-83) as mayor was dedicated to humanizing more Curitiba. Twenty daycare centers were built, the first in the city, and also the first municipal health posts, in a total of 13.

The city government expanded the sewage network, at the same time that it operated in 34 slum areas, benefiting more than six thousand families (about 35 thousand people).

With the creation of the Iguaçu Park, the largest urban park in Brazil (with eight million square meters), Curitiba reconciles itself with the waters, drastically reducing the floods in the southern region. And the city zoo was moved to this park. In addition to it, other green and leisure areas were created in this period. Hundreds of small squares were built in every neighborhood in the city.

In programs aimed at children, Lerner implemented 30 centers for integral education , a school where the student could spend the whole day or half of it, in the counterflow of school hours. The objective was to occupy the children so that they did not stay on the streets, offering research, sports and leisure activities, in addition to meals.

The creation of Vale-Creche expanded the social programs aimed at children. Small and large companies started to buy places in public daycare centers, benefiting their employees and financing the creation of new units and the opening of more places for the needy community. All daycare centers started to have pre-school. Another highlight was the “Child and Adolescent Integration Program - Piá” . The “Piá” units - many installed in city parks - helped to take children off the streets and take them back to school.

The “Linha do Ofício” was also created , a program that transforms old buses into small vocational schools. Schools circulate through neighborhoods in the city, remaining the necessary time for the completion of courses.

Of great importance was the implementation of the 24-hour Health Units, with prompt medical and dental care and capacity for minor surgeries and short-term hospitalizations.

The Ligeirinho and the bi-articulated bus with its Tube Stations , implemented since 1991, considerably expanded the city's transport capacity.

The city has also changed its landscape. The old asphalt plant created by Lerner during his first term of office, in the Pilarzinho neighborhood, when housing in the region was minimal, was transformed into Pedreira Paulo Leminski, a cultural space open to large events. In the space of the two quarries that were deactivated, the “Ópera de Arame” also appeared, a theater with 2,500 seats, built with tubular frames, which is today one of the city's postcards.

The Botanical Garden today represents one of the main environmental milestones for the population of Curitiba and the Free University of the Environment has become an international reference in the dissemination of practices and information on sustainable urban management.

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“Garbage that is not Garbage”

Lerner implemented selective garbage collection. The program, which also separates and recycles the garbage, collects a volume of 15,000 tons a year, and counts on the collaboration of 70% of the population that made their homes small waste separation plants.

In the favelas, the “Compra do Lixo” program tackled the problem of garbage in the city's poorest pockets, where access by collecting vehicles was not viable and involved the full participation of communities in the collection of garbage that was subsequently exchanged for transportation vouchers . For its scope and for its innovative character, the program received the United Nations maximum award for the Environment (1990).

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