I have been living in Curitiba for a while now and, while it might not be the best city in the world it certainly has a lot going for it. Here are 7 things that I think Curitiba gets completely (or at least mostly) right.
And in the interested of balance, here is a post called ‘6 Things Curitiba Gets Completely Wrong‘.
The numbers vary, but it seems that around 80% of the waste produced in Curitiba is recycled. This is an extremely high number and one that should make most other cities in the world blush in disgrace.
Edit: Since posting this it has been pointed out to me that the figure is 80% of collected waste is recycled, not 80% of produced waste. This is still an impressive figure, but it does make a difference.
2. Public Transport
Ok, so it isn’t completely right. There are problems with the public transport system in Curitiba, but in relation to everywhere else I have been to in South America it is pretty bloody good.
3. The Weather
We have seasons. We get summer and winter. Sometimes in the same day, but at least it isn’t always baking hot or always pissing down with rain. I lived in the UK where it always seemed to rain, and in Rio where it was always hot. Curitiba seems to strike a nice balance between the two.
4. Cold People
They come in for a lot of stick from the rest of Brazil because they are cold or snobbish. They don’t talk to you on the bus and if you are in the lift with them they all get their phones out and stare at them as if they have something really important that they simply must look at right now. They don’t, it is just a good excuse not to have to look at the other person in the lift and start a conversation. Anything beyond how are you is a deep and meaningful conversation. For me, this is great.
There are now lots of places to buy decent beer. It might be expensive but we have the option. There are also a number of small artisan or micro breweries popping up all the time. Thank god we don’t have to always drink Skol or Antartica anymore; it would be enough to drive a man to sobriety, or pinga.
The Italian food here is amazing, due to lots of Italian immigrants. But we also have some excellent Arabian food, German food and quite a few other types. We even have quite a good Indian restaurant now. The variety is here, as is the quality and it is usually affordable. (One proviso, please stay away from Santa Felicidade. All the tourists go there to eat because it was an Italian neighbourhood, but in my experience the food is over-priced plastic rubbish).
There are lots of big parks all around Curitiba. Curitiba is a strange big Brazilian city because it doesn’t have a beach, so these parks are our beaches. They are also, more often than not, used as flood plains so that when it rains all the water has somewhere to go.