Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Jaime Lerner

with 2 comments


The link above takes you to a 15 minute talk by Jaime Lerner – who most of us know because of the Curitiba busway. But what he demonstrates in 15 minutes is that he is a lot more than a bus man.

With maverick flair and a strategist’s disdain for accepted wisdom, Jaime Lerner re-invented urban space in his native Curitiba, Brazil. Along the way he managed to revolutionize bus transit, awaken green consciousness in a populace accustomed to litter and blight, and change the way city planners and bureaucrats world-wide conceive what’s possible within the tangled structure of the metropolitan landscape.

From building opera houses with wire to mapping the connection between the automobile and your mother-in-law, Jaime Lerner delights in discovering eccentric solutions to vexing urban problems. In the process he has transformed the face of cities worldwide. Read full bio »

It is probably of no interest to anyone else but the way I found this talk was because someone who calls himself Cap’n Transit posted a comment about the Amtrak train that beat out the plane. And before I allow new posters I check them out, to defeat the spammers and trolls. And in this case I think I struck gold.

I’m not against cars. But your city doesn’t have to be oriented toward them. A car is like your mother-in-law. You want to have a good relationship with her, but you can’t let her conduct your life. If the only woman in your life is your mother-in-law, you are in trouble.

Jaime Lerner

By the way, he is not the greatest advocate of public consultation. He created the city’s first pedestrian street in 72 hours – and before the merchants had read about it in their morning papers.

Written by Stephen Rees

April 6, 2008 at 8:10 pm

Posted in transit, Urban Planning

Tagged with ,

2 Responses

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  1. Curitiba’s BRT system has been greatly oversold by the bus lobby. Most of the capacity claims made by proponents of the Curitiba BRT have been discounted. Wages are also much less than North America and Europe, to the extent that LRT becomes very cheap to operate by comparison.

    Curitiba is now building a metro to reduce (bus) congestion and the director of the Curitiba Bus system has stated, “he needs LRT to compete with the auto.”

    Malcolm J.

    April 7, 2008 at 12:57 pm

  2. Thanks, Stephen! BRT is not a cure-all, and claims for BRT should be taken with a grain of salt. Here are some of my own thoughts on BRT:

    Here are some more videos you might like:

    Cap'n Transit

    April 7, 2008 at 5:24 pm

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