Low Carbon Cities: Curitiba and Brasilia

Durán Ortiz, Mario R.
Oct 2009
This paper addresses the following general questions: What kind of consumption patterns (e.g., land, carbon footprint, traveling) are generated by the more compact and traditional structure of Curitiba vis-à-vis the modernist urban sprawl of Brasilia?; What kind of urban and transport policies and actions can help these cities to become less resource and carbon intensive?; and, what can city or metropolitan governments do to help cities achieve these goals? The paper will show how the carbon footprints of Curitiba and Brasilia - in regard to land use distribution and transportation - are reflected in their motorized and fuel consumption rates and will suggest what can be done in policy terms to improve the cities' performances in terms of carbon and resource efficiency. The central premise is that the shape of a city affects its energy patterns, and that there is a relationship between its urban form, block structure, size, density, and land use with its travel behavior, split transportation modes, and carbon footprint. This paper was presented at the 45th ISOCARP International Congress held in Porto, Portugal on October 18th-22nd, 2009.