Most "Liveable" City on Earth

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Powerful Lessons for Community Development from Another Continent
By Bobbie Stacey - Founder of Home Run Innovations Inc.

Hailed by master planners around the globe, Curitiba, Brazil is considered by most to be the most liveable city in the world.

What I find most fascinating about Curitiba is a particular decision made by its three term former mayor and lead architect and champion of the city's famously successful master plan, Jaime Lerner. In an essay from the book "The Impossible Will Take a Little While,"Bill McKibben tells the story of how Lerner took millions of dollars which were supposed to be used to encase waterways in concrete to control flooding - and instead used the money to buy up lots and lots of land to build immense green parkways along the rivers and streams. Now when the rain comes and the rivers swell, the worst thing that happens is that a few of the bike/pedestrian paths get squishy. This and other wonderful tales of Lerner and Curitiba can also be found in this excerpt of the same essay, published at CommonDreams.org. edited by Paul Rogat Loeb.

The concrete vs. open waterways is my favorite part of the Curitiba story because we here in Delta County live on a delta. We've built our homes on sand deposited over tens of thousands of years and in the most recent 150 years, we have encased, diverted and buried the streams and creeks that used to flow freely from their origins to Little Bay de Noc. What if we could open some of them up again and build inter-connected parkways that meander through the city?

If you read the rest of the McKibben essay, you will see that this one seemingly radical act created a better quality of life for all citizens and increased property values in all of the neighborhoods that follow the parkways. You will also learn how Curitiba has a wonderful model for housing the poor and the homeless and a model transportation system.

There is much to borrow from Curitiba to improve Delta County. I think that it would make a very appropriate discussion topic at the up coming North Shore Planning process meetings.

Creative Commons License
Home Run Events: Innovative Ideas for Community Revitalization by Roberta (Bobbie) Stacey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License

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Youth & Rural Revitalization

Actively engaging youth and their families toward both personal fitness and community involvement will slow drain of rural population migration to urban areas.

One of the ways this youth engagement is accomplished in Delta County, Michigan is through family-oriented, community health and fitness events. See The Salvation Army Home Run as an example.

About this Blog

Home Run Events is a forum for solutions that create Sustainable, Healthy, "Inclusive", Neighborhood Environments (SHINE) in our communities - beginning with the homeless.

We aspire to relocalize rural economies through affordable net-zero energy housing, local organic agriculture and financially self-sufficient social services programs.

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