lerner

Capybaras grazing in Barigui Park, Curitiba

A CONVENIENT TRUTH: URBAN SOLUTIONS FROM CURITIBA (2006), HOW A BRAZILIAN CITY HAS REVOLUTIONISED URBAN PLANNING (2007)

Both of these films look at the influential regeneration of Brazil’s Southern Capital, where mayor Jamie Lerner led major changes to waste management, transport, and green infrastructure. His interventions were an attempt to increase civic pride and quality of life, but also a decisive move against the top-down, car-oriented approaches to planning popularized by Brasila. The charismatic Lerner is well known for prioritizing sustainable modes of transport over private vehicles, at a time (the 1970′s) when doing so was a particularly controversial strategy. He is also an advocate for a proactive, organic, and low-budget approach to regeneration - “Many cities end up putting off things because they want to understand everything. They don’t understand that innovating is about starting. Taking care of a city is a process that you start, and then give the population space to respond. (Image:Wikipedia)

[Rex Harrison] and I had been strolling down Fifth Avenue reviewing our past marital and emotional difficulties and his present one. … Suddenly he had stopped and said in a loud voice that attracted a good bit of attention: “Alan! Wouldn’t it be marvellous if we were homosexuals?!"  I said that I did not think that was the solution and we walked on.  But it stuck in my mind…
—  Alan Jay Lerner recalls the genesis of “A Hymn to Him” [Or: “Why can’t a Woman Be More Like A Man”] in The Street Where I Live
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“It’s crazy how sometimes your life can change in a flash and all the things you were blind to or refused to admit are suddenly staring you right in the face.”