The mayor of Curitiba, Beto Richa received on Tuesday night (12th) in Washington the Sustainable Transport Award 2010 for the implantation of the Linha Verde (Green Line). It is the first time that a Brazilian city wins this award from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP).
“More than an incentive, this recognition extends our responsibilities with the construction of a sustainable society, question that will not be equated without a public transport system characterized for the excellence of its quality” said Richa in his gratefulness speech.
The Sustainable Transport Award, is annually offered to the best public transport projects of the world. It is organized by the United States ITDP and a commission composed of more eight international institutions: the ONU Regional Development Center; Environmental Defense Fund; Transportation Research Board Committee on Transportation in Developing Countries; Clean Air Initiatives for Asia; Clean Air Initiatives for Africa; GTZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit); EMBARQ (The World Resources Institute Center for Sustainable Transport) and International Association of Public Transport (UITP).
“The awarding crown the hard work of some generations of the city and its citizens in the area of urban transport and now the Green Line is a new impulse”, said Richa. “This international recognition proves one more time why Curitiba is the world-wide reference in public transportation and innovative urban solutions.”
The mayor said that the permanent modernization of the public transport continues being a basic commitment in Curitiba and the adoption of new technologies will also extend and improve even more the public transport. “All this without forgetting the concepts associated to public transport, sustainability and life quality.”
“With the Green Line, Curitiba continues the tradition of sustainable transport. Curitiba is one of the first and better examples of efficient and plain urban transport focused in the environmental sustainability” said Enrique Penalosa, president of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.
“The removal of the old BR-116 highway was a dream for the curitibanos and was cogitated by visionary urban planners already in the 60’s” affirmed Beto Richa. “The Green Line is a reality into the city development and the advance of Curitiba’s public transport system. ”
“The Linha Verde impressed the members of the committee with a really modern transport corridor set up with traffic lanes, ciclovias, sidewalk and parking, forming a complete avenue”, said Enrique Penalosa, ex-mayor of Bogota that also won the Sustainable Transport Award in 2005.
“Curitiba launched the innovation in the public transport. Everyone recognized that the Curitiba city deserved the nomination and the prize” said Kathryn Phillips, specialist in transport politics of the Environmental Defense Fund, in Sacramento, California.
The other nominees cities announced to run for the Sustainable Transport Award 2010 are Ahmedabad (India), Johannesburg (South Africa), Cali (Colombia)and Guadalajara (Mexico). All of them were also awarded for its projects inspired by the exclusive Curitiba’s transport system world-wide known as BRT (Bus of Fast Transit). Click here to see their projects, its strengths and weaknesses.
“Three (Cali, Curitiba and Guadalajara) out of five nominee cities announced are important cities of Latin America, reaffirming the leadership adopted for this region in developing cleaner and more efficient transports systems”, said Sergio Sanchez, executive director of the Clean Air Institute. “These examples must stimulate other places and cities of Latin America to continue constructing more competitive cities, at the same time improving the air quality and reducing gas emission.”
The Green Line is the sixth transport corridor of Curitiba and its construction began in 2007. It was implanted in the old BR-116 and transformed into a complete and great traffic area. Besides ten traffic lanes, the avenue has exclusive BRT (Bus Rapid Transport) lanes, fast lanes, access lanes, parking lanes, bike lanes, pedestrian lanes, sidewalk and a leisure area is being built.
The Green Line allowed the implantation of new bus lines that connects some suburb areas to downtown faster .The first one to be created was Pinheirinho-Centro, reduced in 17% in the trip time. The line has also the first buses in Latin America to use biodiesel, made from soy base. For more information about it check the post “The First 100% Biodiesel Buses in Latin America Starts to Circulate in Curitiba!”.