Curitiba

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Curitiba
Capital
View of the Botanic Garden of Curitiba

Seal
Nickname(s): Ctba; CWB
Motto: A cidade sorriso ("The smiling city")
Map of Paraná with the location of Curitiba
Map of Brazil with the location of Curitiba in red
Location of Curitiba in the world
Curitiba
Location of Curitiba in the world
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
State Paraná
Region South
Boroughs Matriz, Santa Felicidade, Boa Vista, Cajuru, Fazendinha/Portão, Boqueirão, Pinheirinho, Bairro Novo and Cidade Industrial de Curitiba
Founded 29 March 1693
Incorporated 1842
Government
 • Mayor Luciano Ducci (PSB)
Area
 • Capital 430.9 km2 (166.4 sq mi)
 • Metro 15,416.9 km2 (5,952.5 sq mi)
Elevation 934.6 m (3,066.3 ft)
Population (2008)[1]
 • Capital 1,828,092
 • Density 4.202,83/km2 (10,748.5/sq mi)
 • Metro 3,261,168
 • Metro density 210.9/km2 (546.2/sq mi)
 • Demonym Curitibano
Time zone UTC-3 (UTC-3)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-2 (UTC-2)
Postal Code 80000-XXX to 80240-XXX
Area code(s) +55 (41)
HDI (2000) 0.856 – high
Gini 0,5[2]
Patron saint Our Lady of Light of Pine Forests

Curitiba (pron. IPA: [kuɾi'tibɐ] or IPA: [kuɾi'tʃibɐ]) is one of the most important cities in the southern part of Brazil.[3][4] Curitiba is the capital of the state of Paraná. The city has more than 1,800,000 people living in it.[1] It covers an area of 430.9 km². It is the 7th largest Brazilian city and 4th largest in the Southern Cone (the south part of South America). The city has the largest population and the largest economy in Southern Brazil.[5] The urban area of Curitiba is looked after by 26 local governments and has 3,335,588 people living there.

Curitiba started in 1693 as a small village. It became an important trading stop because a road was opened. The road joined the southeast area to Southern Brazil. In 1853, it became the capital of the newly made province of Paraná. Since then, the city has seen a lot of urban growth. During the 19th century, many European people arrived, including Germans, Poles, Ukrainians and Italians. They added to the cultural mix that still is there. The city made plans and laws to slow the growth of the city and that led to the city being famous[6] for its new ideas and connection to the environment.[2][7] Most of the new ideas had to do with the public transport system.[8] Today, the city has a sense of cosmopolitan life and is said to be the safest city in Brazil.[9] It is the Brazilian capital with the best quality of life and is a diversified industrial center that gives Curitiba the rank of 4th largest economy in Brazil;[10] the largest in the southern region. The city is said to be one of the five best cities to invest in Latin America and the 49th city with the greatest influence in the world.[11]

Large companies have moved their headquarters to the city because of Curitiba's structure, its international airport, which serves the whole southern region (the Afonso Pena International Airport),[12], its access to the Port of Paranaguá, and the junction of highways and railroads linking the south region directly to the southeast of the country. Many multinational automotive (car) companies are in Greater Curitiba, which makes Curitiba the second largest automotive center in the country. Curitiba is an important cultural, political, and economic center in the country.

Curitiba has high rates of education and is home to the oldest Brazilian university, the Federal University of Paraná.[5] People from Curitiba are called curitibanos in Portuguese, and Curitibans in English.[13]

The name[change | edit source]

The name Curitiba comes from the large number of Brazilian "Pines", commonly called "Parana Pine" (Araucaria angustifolia) which grew in the region before the city was built.[14] There are two reasons for the name: the Indians of the Tupi nation, namely the Jê and the Guarani, used the word corae ("pine seed") atuba ("a lot"). It may also come from joining the words kurit ("pine tree") and yba ("large amount"), also from the Tupi language, together. So, "Curitiba" means something like "Land of Abundant Pines".[14]

Transport[change | edit source]

Curitiba is known for the urban differentiated solutions,[15] notably for the integrated (connected) system of transport of people, together with the regular transit routes, has served, especially from the 1970s, to encourage urban development.[16]

The bus stop of Curitiba

The public transport system in Curitiba features large passenger terminals[17] connected by roads used only by the buses Vermelhos ("Red Buses"), the Expressos ("Express Buses"), Articulados ("Articulated buses"), and Biarticulados ("Biarticulated buses"). The biarticulated bus travels on long trips, stopping only on the tube-station stops to pick up or drop off people. Each biarticulated bus can carry 270 people - and complemented with the speedy silver Ligeirinho (literally, "speedy"), with an modern design, has fewer stops, therefore shortening distances – when compared to the Linha Direta ("Direct Line") – due to saved time, and feeders marked by their own colors.

How the tube-station works

This model has inspired similar tests in cities of other countries,[18] such as Los Angeles and New York City,[19] where, in the 1990s, the installation of an experimental line of "ligeirinho" in the city connected it to the World Trade Center. The system is the source of inspiration for the TransMilenio in Bogotá, Colombia, Metrovia in Guayaquil, Ecuador,as well as the Orange Line of Los Angeles, California, and for a future transportation system in Panama City, Panama.[19][20]

City planning[change | edit source]

Around the city and commonly joined with the terminals of buses, are the Ruas da Cidadania ("Streets of Citizenship"), which are municipal centers that bring together municipal departments and public agencies, state and federal, points of trade, services, free Internet access and equipment, and leisure, such as playgrounds and space for all kinds of sports.

View by the 15th of November Street (also known as Street of Flowers), one of the first major pedestrian streets in Brazil.

Recent measurements indicate that the green area of Curitiba is of 51.5 metres per capita[21] - about three times the minimum area recommended by the UN - one of the highest in Brazil and higher than cities such as London or Paris.[22] These areas are made mostly by municipal parks and forests to protect the forests' gallery of local rivers. There are also a variety of city squares and public grounds, usually associated with public and wooden roads.[23]

The urban zoning of the city and the integrated transport system has allowed a development of urban architecture, taken by some analysts as strong and balanced without the main problems of large modern cities.[24][25] Curitiba was recently recommended by UNESCO as one of the city-models for the reconstruction of the cities of Afghanistan,[26] after the military action that happened in that country in 2001.

Curitiba was the inspiration for Francis Ford Coppola,[27] when he was looking for the "perfect city" in order to create the Megalopolis (a huge city "which is good for its citizens"[28] for his movie).[29] The director lived in Curitiba for a few weeks and praised the city in many of his lectures around the world,[30] as the only Brazilian city praised[31] by this famous producer of movies.

In the 1990s, the city won the United Nations Environment Program prize - UNEP, from the UN, said to be the top prize of the environment in the world. In June 1996, the chairman of the Habitat II summit of mayors and urban planners in Istanbul said Curitiba was "the most innovative city in the world." In 2003, the city received the title of Capital of Culture of the Americas by the organization CAC-ACC. In 2006, Curitiba hosted the event COP8/COP-MOP3 the UN. Today, Curitiba is considered one of the best examples of urban planning worldwide.[32]

The headquarter of the Universidade Livre do Meio Ambiente was built in an old quarry, where nowadays is a deep wood of 37.000 m² with native forest, many species of birds and with a lake of 8 meters deep, with carp.

In 1991, the city asked the French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau to open the Free University of the Environment, being an place for learning about the environment and ecology for the population. Since was created, the UNILIVRE is a reference about studies in economically sustainable care of ecosystems,[33] serving as a model for other similar institutions in various parts of the world, as in Cordoba in (Argentina), Río Grande in (Patagonia), Seoul in (Korea), Guadalajara in (Mexico),[34] and in many other Brazilian cities.

The capital of the state of Paraná was the only Brazilian city to enter the 21st century as a reference for national and international urban planning and quality of life; a search by the American magazine Reader's Digest found that it was the Brazilian city better placed in the ranking of the best cities in the world to live in.[35] In March 2001, a poll sponsored by the UN pointed Curitiba as the best capital of Brazil by the Index of Living Conditions (ILC)[36] and second best among the HDI of Brazilian capitals.[36] The city is the gateway to entering the Mercosur (the southern zone common market of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay).

The city recently was identified as the Brazilian capital with the lowest rate of illiteracy,[37] and also indicated as number 1 in the national education between the Brazilian capitals,[38] and one of the five best cities for investment in Latin America.

According study of the América Economia magazine, published in the Special Edition Cities 2006, which has the title "The City Innovative", Curitiba is ahead of important capitals as Mexico City, Buenos Aires and Brasilia, occupying fifth place. The magazine considered the main Latin American economies or those that have relevance to the business conducted on the continent. In front of the Paraná state capital are just São Paulo, Brazil, first in the ranking; Santiago, Chile; Monterrey, Mexico; and Miami, USA. In 2009, it was one of the three "smartest" cities in the world according to Forbes magazine.[39] The criteria were caring about the environment, quality of life, urban planning, good infrastructure and a strong economy.

The city was the first in Brazil to introduce the separation of domestic garbage on a wide-scale basis.[40] The acclaimed program Lixo que não é Lixo (literally, "Garbage that isn’t Garbage"; a successful recycling program) created in 1989 has become an ideal model of caring for the environment. Actually, Curitiba is the Brazilian city that recycles garbage more often: currently, 22% of all the waste produced[41] - about 450 tons each day - are recycled.[42]

In 2007, the city was the third place in a list of "15 Green Cities" in the world, according the American website "Grist".[43] In the same year, the city was featured in the American newspaper "The New York Times"; the news report, with 8 pages, features many changes made in the city, saying that Curitiba remains a destination for urban planners from various parts of the world, fascinated with the public transport system, program for recycling of garbage and the group of parks in the city.[44]

The MasterCard Emerging Markets Index 2008, created to evaluate and compare the performance of cities in different functions that connect markets and commerce worldwide, shows Curitiba as the safest city in Brazil - considering details such as freedom of expression, risk of natural disasters and personal security - in addition to being in 49th position among the cities with the greatest influence in the world.[9]

Curitiba won the Globe Award Sustainable City 2010 and was chosen unanimously by the committee[45]. At the same year, Curitiba was elected by the América Economía Magazine as one of the best cities for doing business in Latin America[46].

History[change | edit source]

Curitiba used to be a forest where the tribe Tingüi used to live. During the 16th century, Europeans began to go to war with this tribe.

Geography[change | edit source]

Localization[change | edit source]

Curitiba is on the first plateau of Paraná, in the most flat area, also called plateau curitibano. It covers a geographical area of 432.17 km², located at 25º25'40"S latitude and 49º16'23"W longitude. The coastline of the state (the Atlantic Ocean) is 70 km away from the city. The capital has a length of 35 km from north to south, and 20 km from east to west.

Distance from Curitiba to some cities of Brazil and Mercosur:

Satellite photo of Curitiba
  • São Paulo: 335 km/ 208 miles
  • Asuncion (Paraguay): 846 km/ 526 miles
  • Brasília: 1077 km/ 669 miles
  • Buenos Aires (Argentina): 1331 km/ 827 miles
  • Santiago (Chile): 2254 km/ 1400 miles
  • Manaus: 2722 km/ 1691 miles

Terrain[change | edit source]

The Mountain Range of the Sea (Serra do Mar), view of the Center of Curitiba

The city has surface area of 432.17 km² in the First Plateau of Paraná. The terrain of Curitiba is a little wavy. The average altitude of the city is 934.6 m above sea level, ranging between minimum and maximum values of 900 and 1,000 meters, approximately.

Curitiba has a wavy topography of smooth rounded hills, an terrain a little wavy, giving a relatively regular appearance.

The municipality of Curitiba has an average altitude of 934.6 m above sea level, where the highest point is to the north (1,021.0 m). To the south is the situation of lower altitude (864.9 m).

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

Climate[change | edit source]

Frost in Barigüi Park

Curitiba's climate is usually mild all year round though locals complain that the weather can change at anytime. It can be hot in the winter and cold in the summer. Even in one day, there can be great differences.

The flat terrain, lakes and marshland help its mild damp winters, with an average temperature of 13 °C (57 °F), but it can fall a bit below 0 °C (32 °F) on the coldest days. During summer, the average temperature is around 21 °C (70 °F), but sometimes gets around 32 °C (90 °F) on hot days.

Curitiba is a humid city in the subtropical zone in southern Brazil. It is the coldest of Brazil's twenty-six state capitals, because of the altitude. The city is on a plateau 932 m (3107 ft) above sea level. The city is in the Atlantic Rainforest region with the higher peaks of a mountain range making a barrier that separate it from the Atlantic Ocean just 105 km (65 miles) away.

Hydrography and Pluviometry[change | edit source]

Iguaçu River, passing in 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 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.[47] Currently, after many studies about the local water passages, almost all the rivers are in 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.[47]

The index reaches 1,500 mm rainfall on average per year, because the rain is constant in the climate of the city. It happens, among other reasons, because of the large deforestation of the Mountain Range of the Sea (Serra do Mar), a natural barrier to moisture.

Vegetation[change | edit source]

Yellow ipê (tabebuia) in the end of winter, in a square of the city.

Curitiba is in the area of vegetation called Araucaria moist forests, composed of steppes, Araucaria forest and other formations.

In the local vegetation still appear remnants of the parana pine (Araucaria angustifolia), which resisted the action of modern civilization. The parana pines are in private and public areas, now protected by environmental legislation which prevents it from being overturned. 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, on top of the total maintenance of 350,000 seedlings.[47] The green area of the city is one of largest in Brazil.

The vegetation of Curitiba is also characterized by the existence of a large quantity of purple and yellow ipês (tabebuias), making a spectacle of beauty to the landscape of the city during the flowering in the end of winter. Currently, the yellow ipê is the most common tree in the city.[48]

Neighborhoods[change | edit source]

Bairros (neighbourhoods) of Curitiba are geographical divisions of the city. There is no delegation of administrative powers to neighborhoods, although there are several neighborhoods 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.

In the second half of the 19th century many European immigrants formed colonial settlements. These settlements developed into the modern-day districts and neighbourhoods of Curitiba.

The centre ("Downtown" in American English or "CBD" - central business district - in other English use), is the place where the city was founded. It is the busiest area, most of the financial institutions of Curitiba are there.

Social issues[change | edit source]

The growth of urban population of Curitiba, that turned the city in an modern metropolis, has generated some social problems. Like other major Brazilian cities, Curitiba has seen the emergence of slums in some neighborhoods and around the city, and the growth of street inhabitants, that many times had been sent of other cities and States, and are dropped in the streets of the city.[49][50] This fact has made a small growth of crime level, but is not comparable to other major Brazilian cities.

Moreover, many rivers contains levels of pollution; the landfill (deposit of garbage) is almost full; the public transport sometimes is not enough for the quantity of people (in the rush hour), and the Brazilian government does not yield funds for the construction of a subway in the city.[51]

Architecture[change | edit source]

The Paço Municipal, built in 1916.

A variety of architectural styles, ancient and modern, make the urban landscape of Curitiba be very interesting and represent an enormous cultural heritage.

The architecture that is in Curitiba has a strong influence of the culture of immigrants, from various countries, mainly Europe.

Buildings in eclectic architecture, neoclassical, colonial, Byzantine, oriental, and styles inspired by the land of immigrants confirm the diversity and cultural richness of Curitiba. It is possible to find places that still keep lambrequins (short ornaments, typical of some European places in the past, on top of roofs or windows), palaces in the urban area, buildings made between the nature, and even the first rotating building in the world,[52][53][54] who are harmoniously distributed in the city.

Also, buildings that are integrate with nature is a tendency in the 21st century and reflect an important style of Curitiba, as one can see in some famous places of the city.

Because it is a planned city, the administration uses a rigid plan for growth, aiming to facilitate the use of public transport. The idea was to organize the city along transport corridors.[8] The buildings are close to major bus lines. The rule is simple: buildings with more than eight floors can only be built in the first block, near the corridor. Buildings with less than eight floors, in the second block, and in other, smaller buildings and houses.[55] This encourages the system bus, that is widely used, reducing the number of cars.[56]

The people[change | edit source]

In 2007, there were 1,797,408 people living in the city of Curitiba. In 2000, Curitiba was the seventh biggest city in Brazil. It is the biggest city in the southern part of the country, as big as second and third largest cities in the south together. In the same year, the city was the leader in longevity, with the life expectancy at birth at 71.6 years of age.[57] In 2007, there were 3,230,000 people living in the urban areas around Curitiba. The population density was 4.159,4 inh./km². The census showed the numbers: 2,503,250 White people (77.4%), 584,000 Pardo people (18.2%), 93,000 Black people (2.9%), 45,000 Asian or Amerindian people (1.4%).[58]

Brazilians of Ukrainian descent celebrating Easter in Curitiba.
  • Municipal Population: 1,797,408 inhabitants (100% urban; 52.07% men and 47.93% women)
  • Total metropolitan population: 3,335,588 inhabitants
  • Population density: 4.111,9 inhabitants/km²
  • Fertility rate: 1.74 children per woman
  • Literacy rate: 96.63%
  • Human Development Index (HDI-M): 0856
    • HDI-M Income: 0.846
    • HDI-M Longevity: 0.776
    • HDI-M Education: 0.946

Population growth[change | edit source]

1780 1858 1872 1890 1900
2.949
11.313
12.651
24.553
49.755
1920 1940 1950 1960 1970
78.986
140.656
180.575
356.830
624.362
1980 1991 1996 2000 2007
1.025.979
1.290.142
1.476.253
1.586.848
1.797.408

Economy[change | edit source]

Curitiba is the economic center of the southern Brazil and is among the four largest GDP of the country. The city concentrates the largest portion of the structure of government and public services of the Paraná state and hosts major companies in the sectors of trade, services and financial things. The city has the strongest economy of the south of the country, because the work of export of more than 900 factories just in the Cidade Industrial neighborhood and major automobile industries which are in the Greater Curitiba.

Estação Convention Center

The city was elected several times as "The Best Brazilian City for Business",[59] according to rankings done by the Exame magazine, in partnership with the consultancy Simonsen & Associates.[60] 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.[61] According to a study done by the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA), Curitiba is the sixth Brazilian city with the largest number of international events.[62]

In 2007, the respected Veja magazine indicates Curitiba as the best destination for business in Brazil.[63] Ninety-four experts, chosen by the magazine, show the capital as the best Brazilian city for investment. The city is becoming one of the largest and most important centers of technology, attracting giants of the sector of information technology in the areas of software and hardware, becoming the national pole.

Gross domestic product[change | edit source]

Rua 24 Horas ("24 Hours Street") - "the street that doesn’t sleep" - Have 34 stores that never close and freely access to the Internet any time of the day or night.

Analyzing the GDP of Curitiba, it appears that in the period from 1995 to 2000, the economy grew about 3% a year.

About the GDP per capita, in 2000, the city had an income 37% higher than Brazil. In the same year, the economic sector that compose most of GDP in Curitiba was the service sector with 38.8%, followed by the industrial sector with 36%.

Approximately 40% of GDP comes from the industry and the rest of activities related to the tertiary sector.[64]

Participation in GDP
Gross Domestic Product
$5.573.796.668,02%
GDP per capita
$ 4.038,92%

Education[change | edit source]

The "Lighthouse of Knowledge"

In the 1990s, the city started a project called Faróis de 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.[7] 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,[37] and also number 1 in education between the Brazilian capitals.[38]

Curitiba has many universities, being Universidade Federal do Paraná ("Federal University of Paraná") the most important of the region, and the oldest of Brazil.

Portuguese is the official national language, and is the primary language used in schools. But English and Spanish are part of the official high school curriculum.

Tourism[change | edit source]

With Linha Turismo, the visitant can know a big part of touristic places of the city

Every year, tourism grows in Curitiba. To attend this demand, the Linha Turismo ("Tourism Line") started in 1994. It is a special city tour that visits the principal tourist attractions in Curitiba, featuring comfortable white buses 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, 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 in 2 and ½ hours.

In the Panoramic Tower, the visitant can see the city in 360°.

According to a study done by the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA), Curitiba is the sixth Brazilian city with the largest number of international events and,[60] according to the FIPE, is the third city to receive foreign tourists for business.[65] In 2006, the city placed 6th among the best Brazilian cities to hold events and tourism business; in the same year, the flow of tourists outnumbered the number of inhabitants. Out of about the 2 million visitors, approximately half landed the business.[63] To attend the growing demand, the number of hotels in the city has developed and is now considered the fourth largest in the country. Curitiba and its Metropolitan Area have a modern hotel infrastructure, with 150 hotels and service flats totaling 18 thousand beds (as per May, 2005). The good restaurants and customized services are approved by 92.4% of those who leave the city, according the Secretariat of State for Tourism of Paraná. In 2007, Curitiba was elected as one of the 4 best Brazilian cities for travel and tourism, according to a major Brazilian magazine about tourism.[66] In 2008 another important magazine said that Curitiba is the best cultural destination and better cost-benefit to tourism in the South region of Brazil.[67]

Gallery[change | edit source]

Culture[change | edit source]

Gastronomy[change | edit source]

The pine nuts (seeds of Parana Pine) are probably the most unique elements in the gastronomy of Paraná and Curitiba; it is used not only as aperitif, but also with traditional recipes that pass from generation to generation. Among the ingredients used, the pine nuts is a major ingredient, not only in Midwinter party (Festa Junina, the annual Brazilian celebration which take place in the beginning of the Brazilian winter), but also in daily diet. Pancakes, breads, cakes, soups and appetizers are just some of the recipes prepared with this seed. The colonization and migration contributed to the mixture of flavors and dishes in the state. Indigenous and even Brazilians from other states added its revenue in local cuisine.

In Curitiba, one can find restaurants of all kinds. There are options for all tastes and palates, the regional to international cuisine. The city has food establishments specializing in German, Polish, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, Indian, Mexican, etc., and, of course, regional cuisines of Brazil. Santa Felicidade neighborhood is considered to have good Italian food; it is the place where some of the first Italian immigrants arriving in Paraná settled, where they dedicated themselves to the agricultural production, planting herbs, wine and cheese willow trees, the greatest attraction in Santa Felicidade is to be the gastronomic district of Curitiba, with a large number of restaurants offering typical food and wine from the colony. There are also wineries and wine bars, craft stores and willow furniture. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest restaurant of the Americas is in this Curitiba neighborhood.[68]

Events[change | edit source]

Musicians at "Largo da Ordem's Street Fair".

Every Sunday morning, in the Historic Area, in the old stoned streets at the Largo da Ordem and the pavement giving access to Garibaldi Square, with the Rosário Church, the Flowers Clock, the Memory Fountain and the Società Giuseppe Garibaldi make the space for the Crafts Fair, an exciting meeting point with live music. The Feira do Largo da Ordem ("Largo da Ordem's Street Fair") it is an open market, where you can find handicrafts, paintings, sculptures, typical foods, street artists, old car exhibition and a lot more. It is also possible to watch live small musical shows from local musicians or see some clowns doing humorous performances.

The Oficina de Música de Curitiba ("Music Workshop of Curitiba") was established in 1983, with the proposal to discover and train new talent. Nowadays its one of the biggest Brazilian events for training, retraining and improvement of musicians. Join the Workshop of Music, held every year in January, students and teachers from all over Brazil (about 2,000 students and more than 100 teachers); among students and teachers, the Office of Music had, over editions, with representatives from throughout Latin America (mainly from Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay), United States, France, Switzerland, Holland, England, Germany, Norway, Spain, Italy, Portugal, China and Israel. The best instrumentalists, conductors and singers of Brazil, by classical music and popular, within the framework of teachers and directors of the workshop. Grand masters of other countries are special guests and, apart from giving lessons, make unprecedented concerts for the public of the city.

Teatro Guaíra.

Curitiba has a strong relationship with the performing arts and theatre. Since 1992, the city hosts a major festival of theatre, the Festival de Teatro de Curitiba, composed of international attractions, large national attractions, local presentations, and alternative exhibitions, which each year attracts a large number of tourists and made an expressive cultural movement. Until 2007, were presented officially 1607 spectacles, to an audience estimated at 1.2 million people. The city has theatres with excellent techno-acoustic feedback, as the Teatro Guaíra, one of the largest rooms in number of spectators by South America.

In November happens the Maratona Ecológica Internacional de Curitiba ("Curitiba International Ecological Marathon"). This marathon is known as the hardest in Brazil,[69] because happens in the end of the year, when there usually is warm weather in the city (because it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere), and the hilly course, with many of the inclines being in the last 10 km. To compensate the hard course, runners count with good structure[70] and enthusiastic fans cheering along the course.[71]

File:'palacio.avenida.natal.christmas.curitiba.parana.brasil.jpg
The Palácio Avenida, before the presentation started.

In December, the city becomes the "Capital of Christmas", and can be one of the most popular tourist destinations at this time of year, because of the mild climate, and Curitiba has many free cultural attractions. The most traditional is the choir of the Palácio Avenida: 160 poor children of charities institutes sing Christmas songs in windows of a historic building adorned with 90 thousand lamps, attracting thousands of spectators. It is probably the best known Christmas event in Brazil. Moreover, the entire city be decorated in two official events, the "Christmas of Light" and "Enchanted Christmas", where several tourist attractions are decorated for Christmas, as well as free theatre shows on public places and parks, bands and orchestras in public places showing traditional musics, many giant Christmas trees around the city, special fairs with Christmas things, prizes for the most lighted houses, etc.

File:CasteloDoBatel.Curitiba.Parana.JPG
The "Batel Castle" (decorated for Christmas) is the place where start the Fashion Week of Curitiba.

Every year, the Crystal Fashion Week occurs in the city, together with the Fashion's Forum. It is the biggest event about fashion in the southern Brazil,[72] and generally, the launching party occurs in the Castelo do Batel ("Batel Castle") (an old mansion from the beginning of the 20th century, launched in space for events), and the parades and presentations happen in the Shopping Crystal Plaza. Participants of the fashion week include national and international celebrities, fashion designers, fashion professionals and people interested in style, which has famous marks of clothing[73] - and footwear stores and jewelry shops, as occurred in the XVIII edition of the event in 2008.

Every year, happens in Curitiba the largest Gay Pride Parade in Southern Brazil,[74] called Parada da Diversidade ("Parade of Diversity"), covering not only the discussion of gender but also other social minorities historically discriminated. With a mix of celebration and political claim, it happens since 1995.[75]

The city hosts the Casa Cor Paraná - an exhibition of decoration, architecture and ambiance; in 2008, the 15th edition of the event in the state of Paraná had the participation of 116 exhibitors, featuring new trends on architecture, decoration and design. In 2007, had the visitation of 30,000 people in five weeks.[76]

Museums[change | edit source]

Museu do Expedicionário.

Curitiba has several museums. Some of the most important are:

  • Museu Paranaense ("Paranaense Museum") - dedicated to the arts and history;
  • Oscar Niemeyer Museum - the largest museum of Latin America,[77] 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.

Presentation spaces[change | edit source]

The Teatro Paiol is a deactivated warehouse formerly used for stocking army ammunition.

Many space for presentations in Curitiba are tourist attractions in themselves. The Parque das Pedreiras ("Quarries Park"), for example, which includes the area that was once a stone quarry and has now been named the Pedreira Paulo Leminski, as well as a theater called the Ópera de Arame ("Wire Opera House"), has already become a tourist point. The Pedreira Paulo Leminski is an open area where events can be held for large audiences, for it has a capacity of up to 30,000 people. The Wire Opera House was built in a record-breaking period of 75 days to host the first edition of the Festival de Teatro de Curitiba. Its metallic structures, which look like wires, have become an architectural mark in the city and nationwide.

In 1971, was inaugurated the Teatro Paiol - a construction of 1874, which was used by the Brazilian Army as arsenal of gunpowder and ammunition, turned into a cultural and scenic area. The Guaíra Theater is one of the largest theaters in all of Latin America and a point in the itinerary of many large nationwide touring plays and performances. In the city’s historical sector, the Memorial of Curitiba is a new and modern site, which found its inspiration in the Parana Pine.

All the parks of the city have places for folklore and cultural presentations by various ethnic groups of Curitiba.

Cinema theatres[change | edit source]

The first movie designed in Curitiba was in 1897, shortly after the invention of cinematograph by Lumière Brothers. Currently, the Cultural Foundation of Curitiba runs two movie theaters in the downtown area: the Cine Luz and the Cinemateca (for special movies), which offer many art movie programs at affordable prices. The Cinema a Um Real project ("Watch a movie for one Real") is available every Sunday, featuring movies targeted to a more popular taste with cheap prices (R$1,00 - around US$0,40), allowing citizens from low-income classes to go to the movies. Furthermore, the city runs the Cinema nos Bairros project ("A Movie Theater in Your Neighborhood"), which was designed to allow a larger portion of the population to get to know video productions. The project offers movie sessions for free and schedules weekly sessions at schools, Ruas da Cidadania ("Citizenship Streets"), parish halls, neighborhood associations as well as other institutions that take part in this partnership project. At these places children get a chance to see how movie projectors work and also have a better grasp of each movie, so that they become increasingly interested in the art of moviemaking.

Today, Curitiba has, approximately, 70 movie theatres,[78] with daily programming, and is the first city in Brazil to have an IMAX cinema. It is in the Palladium Shopping Center, which is the biggest mall in Southern Brazil.[79]

Media[change | edit source]

Sports[change | edit source]

The Arena da Baixada, stadium owned by Clube Atlético Paranaense, is the most modern stadium in Brazil.[80][81]

The city has many areas and buildings for sport. Even sports not very popular in Brazil (like American football or baseball, for example) are played in the city. Golf was introduced at around 1904 by English immigrants.[82] Famous golfers in Curitiba include Walt Disney, who played a game in 1939.[82]

Curitiba also houses the Training Center of the Brazil national gymnastics team.

Soccer is the most popular sport, with several clubs based in Curitiba, such as:

  • Coritiba Foot Ball Club;
  • Clube Atlético Paranaense;
  • Paraná Clube;

Curitiba is also one of the 18 cities to hold games of the 2014 FIFA World Cup to be held in Brazil.[83]

Neighbourhoods[change | edit source]

Map of Curitiba, with the neighbourhoods and boroughs.
  • 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, Orleans, 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.

Government[change | edit source]

Palácio 29 de Março, the Curitiba City Hall.

The executive is currently exercised by the mayor Beto Richa (elected in 2004, reelected in 2008 and with a mandate until 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, housing, 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.

Official symbols[change | edit source]

The historic building of the Federal University of Paraná.

The official symbols of the city are the flag, the seal, and the hymn - composed by Ciro Silva and Bento Mossurunga. In addition, through the municipal Law 10,236, was introduced as "place symbol of the city of Curitiba" the historic building of the Federal University of Paraná.

Official calendar - holidays[change | edit source]

  • March 29: Foundation of Curitiba;
  • September 8: Day of the city's patroness, Our Lady of Light of Pine Forests;
  • October 28: Day of Public Servant.

Greater Curitiba[change | edit source]

The Greater Curitiba is the 118th largest metropolitan area in the world.[84] Estimates from the 2007 Census show that the Metropolitan Area of Curitiba have 3,172,357 inhabitants, the second most populated in the south of Brazil. Have an area of 15.418,543 km².

Created in 1973, the Metropolitan Area of Curitiba is currently composed of 26 municipalities, including the capital.

With an industrial park of 43 million square meters,[63] the Metropolitan Area of Curitiba has attracted large companies such as Audi, VW, Nissan, Renault, New Holland, Volvo, Fiat, ExxonMobil, Sadia, Kraft Foods, Esso, HSBC and Siemens.

The Greater Curitiba is home to the Afonso Pena International Airport (in the city of São José dos Pinhais) and the motorsports circuit Autódromo Internacional de Curitiba (in the city of Pinhais).

Twin towns (sister cities)[change | edit source]

The twin towns of Curitiba are:

References[change | edit source]

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