Curitiba is another city in Brazil that I’ve been hearing about for many years. The first time was when I was living in Paraguay a decade ago and I heard about how well organized and livable the city was. The second time was when I was working in Washington D.C. and Curitiba was frequently cited colleagues as a success case of a sustainable urban planning.

The night I arrived in Curitiba from Sao Paulo, I immediately noticed that the place was “different”. Streets and roads were clean and well organized, there were lots of green spaces, and there were much fewer people per square meter, especially compared to Sao Paulo. My friend and I were very happy to have a walking tour at night without worries.

The following day I realized that the city is basically a gigantic park. Whether we visit a memorial, a museum or an opera house, it felt like moving from one park to another because all were housed in big green spaces.

But the king of all the parks was the botanical garden. It is probably the biggest single green space in the city, and as big as it may be, it was full of families, couples, and their dogs. Most of the people were taking photos though, and we wondered what it was like before smartphones happened.

@Botanical Garden, Curitiba, Brazil, July 19, 2018