Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Week 11 Post

Bogota and Curitiba are comparable cities in the strives that they have made towards new and sustainable city designs. Both cities have seen enormous success, both socially and environmentally, as a result of the changes and innovations that they have enacted in their cities, namely in methods of transportation. One of the most glaring similarities between the two cities is the interconnectivity that was established by the mayors serving in office, and the positive effects that had socially on the fabric of the city. In Curitiba, the use of a pedestrian emphasized city with an efficient and creative bus system, encouraged with a special four lane road system, that provided the rest of the city to be planned and sculpted to be strongly focused on the accessibility and the ability of people to get where they need to be by walking, and how this experience could be made more enjoyable for walkers. Similarly, Bogota has used an inter connectivity of roads, pathways, and other networks in order to increase the flow of traffic and pedestrian movability in their city. The resulting drops in crime and other social issues that the city has since felt have been drastic and shocking, and a testament to the power of forward thinking urban planning. The second similarity in the cities is the move away from automobile dependent cities. Both regional planners saw the growing issues that the focus on cars as the only form of transportation for many people was having on their environmental and social well being. The move away from automobiles has helped bring back the importance of individuals as regional governments are proving how much they value an individuals fitness and well being. Traffic congestion has been cut down and masses of people are feeling safer and better off than when forced to drive to reach any place of value. Lastly, both cities are subjects of an growing emphasis being placed on the importance and powers that a well designed city can have on the people, environment, and industry that surrounds and inhabits the city. Both Bogota and Curitiba were transformed for the better when newly elected officials made bold decisions to reject the conventional importance placed on cars and instead move a cities design almost back in time and realize the benefits of creating an interconnected and walkable city.

However, despite their similarities Bogota and Curitiba differ in substantial ways. First, Curitiba has already understood the surrounding greenspace of their city and begun using alternative techniques for expanding and managing the natural systems of the environment, and thus feel a reciprocal benefit with the green infrastructure. The use of natural management to curb the effects of floods as well as using sheep to control the growth of grass are both somewhat groundbreaking changes in a city and completely sustainable. The benefits that are felt by these changes span across species and environments, as well as being cheap and clean to maintain while being extremely pleasing to the citizens of Curitiba. Bogota has yet to make any progress on the development of their green infrastructure. Secondly, Bogota had much steeper issues to face than did Curitiba at the beginning of the new urban plans. Bogota faced astoundingly high murder and crime rates, and the poverty in their country was out of control. While Bogota is no where near the quality of life that is now offered by Curitiba, it's use of urban planning has helped tremendously to curb the pressing issues of the city. In it's own way it has been vastly improved in certain areas, but it no where near matches the quality of life offered in Curitiba.

No comments:

Post a Comment