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Title:Social sustainability and mobility in Curitiba: bus rapid transit in the "green city" of Brazil
Author(s):Bonicelli, Elena
Department / Program:Latin American & Carib Studies
Discipline:Latin American Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Bus Rapid Transit
Sustainable Mobility
Social Sustainability
Social Justice
Urban Sustainable Development
Urban Planning
Abstract:This project is an analysis of the policies, plans and programs implemented in the city of Curitiba, Brazil, in the field of public transportation and urban planning. My conclusions have instructive relevance for urban policy formation, especially in the Global south, where Curitiba is heralded as a model "green city" to be emulated by governments whose unstable financial realities demand effective, short- and medium-term projects to serve rapidly changing populations. My thesis analyzes a diverse body of evidence produced since the 1960s: the scholarship of Brazilian and non-Brazilian academics; the published documents of municipal public bodies and international organizations; and my own interviews of current city residents and users of the bus system. I focus on the Bus Rapid Transit system, and related programs and policies that drew international recognition for Curitiba as a sustainable and inclusive city. I explore the shortcomings instead of adding to praise. While scholars, local politicians and planners and international organizations describe a model city, Curitiba’ residents and public activists paint a different picture of their city. I find that Curitiba is still a viable model, but one that should not be replicated without considering new solutions to its social justice shortcomings. This work contributes to scholarly and public discussions about urban and social sustainability policy, and environmentalism in Latin America, and globally.
Issue Date:2015-04-30
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Elena Bonicelli
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-07-22
Date Deposited:May 2015

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