Streetfilms: Car-Free in Curitiba, Brazil
A key corridor in a large city is cited as a prime spot to replace auto traffic with people-friendly space. Local leaders move on the idea and, once underway, the physical transition comes quickly. Cars are supplanted by street furniture and people. Critics complain, fearing negative impact on area business.
If this sounds familiar, it's probably not what you think. Streetfilms' Elizabeth Press explains:
Rua XV de Novembro (15th of November Street) is one of the major streets in downtown Curitiba. In 1972 under the direction of then Mayor Jaime Lerner, it became the first major pedestrian street in Brazil. The first phase of closing the street took place in only 72 hours.
"At first the project was unpopular," Elizabeth continues, "but today is seen as a success and spans 15 blocks."