Using 'Urban Acupuncture' To Begin Healing Cities

By focusing on certain "pressure points" in urban areas, a city can dramatically increase its quality of life, argues Jaime Lerner, the former mayor of Curitiba, Brazil.

"Lerner is best known for his efforts to introduce BRT to the world, after launching the first successful rapid bus system in Curitiba in the 1970s. He now heads his own architecture and urban planning firm. 'We have to use everything we have' to make transportation, a significant emitter of greenhouse gases, more pleasant and sustainable, he told participants at Wednesday's briefing. The key to future mobility, Lerner believes, is not necessarily to get rid of cars, but to ensure that the many forms of transport currently available-bus, rail, cars, walking, and biking-are not competing for the same space."

Lerner noted that even the poorest cities can boost their standards of living by using techniques like bus rapid transit (BRT), designing multiuse buildings, and encouraging residents to live closer to their workplaces. Although many cities spend decades building underground rail systems or other costly long-term projects, 'Every city can improve its quality of life in 3 to 4 years,' Lerner asserted.

Full Story: Curitiba's Ex-Mayor Prescribes "Urban Acupuncture"

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
poster

A Short History of America

From comic book artist Robert Crumb, poster shows how the built environment has changed throughout the decades.
$14.95
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95