Curitiba - Brazil

Curitiba (Tupi: "Pine Nut Land", Brazilian Portuguese: [kuɾiˈtʃibɐ]) is the capital and largest city of the Brazilian state of Paraná. The city's population numbered approximately 1,879,355 people as of 2015, making it the eighth most populous city in the country, and the largest in Brazil's South Region. The Curitiba Metropolitan area comprises 26 municipalities with a total population of over 3.2 million (IBGE estimate in 2010), making it the seventh most populous in the country.

Curitiba is an important cultural, political, and economic centre in Latin America. The city sits on a plateau at 932 metres (3,058 ft) above sea level. It is located 105 kilometres (65 mi) west of the seaport of Paranaguá and is served by the Afonso Pena International and Bacacheri airports. The city hosts the Federal University of Paraná, established in 1912.

In the 1700s, Curitiba possessed a favorable location between cattle-breeding country and marketplaces, leading to a successful cattle trade and the city's first major expansion. Later, between 1850 and 1950, it grew due to logging and agricultural expansion in the Paraná State (first Araucaria logging, later mate and coffee cultivation and in the 1970s wheat, corn and soybean cultivation). In the 1850s, waves of European immigrants arrived in Curitiba, mainly Germans, Italians, Poles and Ukrainians, contributing to the city's economic and cultural development. Nowadays, only smaller numbers of foreign immigrants arrive, primarily from Middle Eastern and other South American countries.

The biggest expansion occurred after the 1960s, with innovative urban planning that changed the population size from some hundreds of thousands to more than a million people. Curitiba's economy is based on industry and services and is the fourth largest in Brazil. Economic growth occurred in parallel to a substantial inward flow of Brazilians from other cities of the country, as approximately half of the city's population was not born in Curitiba.

Curitiba sports one of the few high Brazilian Human Development Index readings at 0.856, and in 2010 was awarded the Global Sustainable City Award, given to cities and municipalities that excel in sustainable urban development. According to US magazine Reader's Digest, Curitiba is the best "Brazilian Big City" in which to live. Curitiba crime rate is considered low by Brazilian standards and the city is considered one of the safest cities in Brazil for youth. The city is also the best to invest in the country. Curitiba was one of the host cities of the 1950 FIFA World Cup, and again for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Despite the excellent social indicators, the city has a higher unemployment rate compared to other cities in the state

Curitiba has a subtropical highland climate (a form of oceanic or maritime temperate climate) (Cfb), according to the Köppen classification and the Brazilian government classification. Located in Southern Brazil, the humid city lies in a temperate zone. It is located on a plateau and the flat terrain with flooded areas contribute to its mild and damp winter, with an average minimum temperature of 7 °C (45 °F) in the coldest month, occasionally falling below 0 °C (32 °F) on the coldest nights. During summertime, the average temperature is around 25 °C (77 °F) at daytime, but it can get above 30 °C (86 °F) on the hottest days. Snowfall was experienced in 1889, 1892, 1912, 1928 (two days), 1942, 1955, 1957, 1962, 1975 and again in 2013.

The terrain's flatness hinders water drainage after rain, therefore providing water vapor for the atmosphere. Cold fronts come year round, often from Antarctica and Argentina, bringing tropical storms in summer and cold winds in the winter. They can move very quickly, with no more than one day between the start of the southern winds and the start of rain. Curitiba's weather is also influenced by the dry air masses that dominate Brazil's midwest most of the year, bringing hot and dry weather, sometimes even in winter.

According to the 2010 IBGE Census, 1,678,965 people resided in the city of Curitiba. The census revealed 1,381,938 White people (78.9%), 294,127 Pardo (Multiracial) people (16.8%), 49,978 Black people (2.9%), 23,138 Asian people (1.4%), 2,693 Amerindian people (0.2%).

In 2010, Curitiba was Brazil's 8th most populous city.

In 2010, the city had 359,201 opposite-sex couples and 974 same-sex couples. The population of Curitiba was 52.3% female and 47.7% male.

As with most of Southern Brazil's population, Curitiba is mostly inhabited by European descendents. The first Europeans to arrive were of Portuguese origin, during the 17th century. They intermarried with the native people and with the African slaves.

Up until the 19th century, the inhabitants of the city of Curitiba were natives and mixed-race, Portuguese and Spanish immigrants. In 1808 foreigners were granted the right to ownership of land, and in 1853 Parana became an independpent province, and these events resulted in a substantial number so of immigrants from Europe.

The Memorial of Polish Immigration was inaugurated on 13 December 1980, after the visit of Pope John Paul II in June. Its area is 46,000 square metres (500,000 sq ft) and was part of the former Candles plant. The seven wooden log houses are parts of this memorial area, as a memento of the Polish immigrants' struggles and faith. Objects like an old wagon, pipe of cabbage and a print of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa (patron saint of the Polish people), form parts of the memorial. The first group of Poles arrived in Curitiba around 1871. Curitiba has the biggest colony of Polish immigrants in Brazil. The first non-Iberic (Portuguese and Spaniard) immigrants to come to the city were German.

Curitiba has a planned transportation system, which includes lanes on major streets devoted to a bus rapid transit system. The buses are split into three sections (bi-articulated) and stop at designated elevated tubes, complete with access for disabled riders. Buses charge one price regardless of distance.

The city preserves and cares for its green areas, boasting 51.5 square metres (554 sq ft) of green space per inhabitant.

In the 1940s and 1950s, Alfred Agache, cofounder of the French Society for Urban Studies, was hired to produce the first city plan. It emphasised a star of boulevards, with public amenities downtown, an industrial district and sanitation. The plan was too expensive to complete.

By the 1960s, Curitiba's population had reached 430,000. Some residents feared that the growth in population threatened to damage the character of the city. In 1964, Mayor Ivo Arzua solicited proposals for urban design. Architect Jaime Lerner, who later became mayor, led a team from the Universidade Federal do Paraná that suggested strict controls on urban sprawl, reduced traffic in the downtown area, preservation of Curitiba's Historic Sector and a convenient and affordable public transit system.

This plan, known as the Curitiba Master Plan, was adopted in 1968. Lerner closed XV de Novembro St. to vehicles, because it had high pedestrian traffic. The plan had a new road design to minimise traffic: the Trinary Road System. This used two one-way streets moving in opposite directions that surround a smaller, two-lane street where the express buses have an exclusive lane. Five of these roads form a star that converges on the city centre. Land farther from these roads is zoned for lower density development, to pull traffic away from the main roads. In a number of areas subject to floods, buildings were condemned and the land became parks.

Several association football teams play in Curitiba, Coritiba plays at Estádio Major Antônio Couto Pereira, Clube Atlético Paranaense at Estádio Joaquim Américo Guimarães. Both Coritiba and Atlético Paranaense have won Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, in 1985 and 2001, respectively. Estádio Joaquim Américo Guimarães was one of the 12 stadiums to host games of the 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil. The stadium Vila Capanema have hosted the 1950 FIFA World Cup which still is home to Paraná Clube. Clube Atlético Paranaense (Brazilian champion of 2001). Arena da Baixada is one of the three privately owned stadiums of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The other two are Beira-Rio stadium, in Porto Alegre and Arena Itaquera, in São Paulo. Arena da Baixada is considered one of the most modern stadiums in Brazil. This is the lowest budget of all venues of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Most of the original stadium was preserved, and just an expansion is planned; today's capacity is 25,000, which should be increasead to about 42,000.

The Autódromo Internacional de Curitiba (Curitiba International Raceway) is located in nearby Pinhais.

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