Sustainable Cities™

Luciano Ducci: Sustainability is a constant search

Luciano Ducci, mayor of Curitiba, the greenest city in Latin America, explains how being sustainable is ‘working tiredly towards a goal’. In 1943 Curitiba started the search for a sustainable future and despite a strong population growth, the quality of life and the environment grew at the same time. But according to the mayor, the city is not there yet. In his opinion the public engagement in the idea of sustainability is crucial in creating a sustainable city.

What does it mean to Curitiba to be ranked highest in the Latin American Green City Index?

In Curitiba we are, of course, very happy and understand the ranking as a recognition of the work that has been done in the city for the past 40 years. We have prioritized urban planning, transportation, the environment and social issues.

What is the 'secret' behind creating the greenest city in Latin America?

Besides urban planning, which is of great importance, the engagement of the community, both adults and children, is crucial. The inhabitants need to engage in the city's projects and programmes to be able to create a truly green city.

Could you mention 2 of the most important measures you have implemented in Curitiba?

Again, that must be both urban planning and the mobilization and engagement of the population.

Is Curitiba a sustainable city?

Curitiba is not a sustainable city just yet. Sustainability is a constant search that we must try to reach every day. And most important of all, when a city lives with sustainability and deals with sustainability the next task is to make people 'sustainable'. The inhabitants themselves have to be sustainable. You can only have a sustainable city if you have a sustainable population living in it. People need to have the awareness of sustainability.

How do you accomplish to have a city that 'breath and think' sustainable? What are the ways you take to make the adults and children raise a sustainable thinking?

The children are easy to engage through the schools, during different disciplines, lectures and activities. This makes the children get involved and understand the importance of the preservation of biodiversity and the environment.

Afterwards, when the children arrive home from school they teach the parents and talk to their family. In that way the children engage their parents. Furthermore advertisements and campaigns, meetings in the community and activities are relevant measures to reach adults.

What is the biggest challenge the next two or three years that you have to overcome in Curitiba?

Two or three years are a very short timeframe! But the main challenge we have in front of us, is to move people who still live illegally on the banks of the river and give them dignified housing. The margins of the river need preservation and the inhabitants need better living conditions. From an environmental perspective the river needs to breathe again.

About Luciano Ducci

LucianoDucci1 As mayor of Curitiba, Brazil, Luciano Ducci advocates the development of environmental management projects that focus on social inclusion. "They're inseparable sides of the same coin and are complementary to sustainability processes of cities," Luciano Ducci says. He stresses that Curitiba for many years has had an environmental agenda that goes beyond programs specifically relating to the environment, such as solid waste management and conservation of natural areas. Public transport, urban planning and social issues are concepts integrated with environmental management. Luciano Ducci also reaffirms the international commitments made by Curitiba on the role of cities in the global scene in relation to biodiversity and climate.

Luciano Ducci was born in 1955 and holds a medical degree from the Catolic University in Paraná. He has worked as a doctor for 22 years in Curitiba before kicking off his political career. During the late 70's Luciano Ducci actively participated in the student movement in Curitiba. In 2002 he was elected state representative for the PSB. After two years in office as deputy, Luciano Ducci decided to accept the invitation to be a candidate for the position as vice-mayor of Curitiba. He won in 2004 and was re-elected in 2008.

>> Luciano Ducci official homepage (in Portuguese)

Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014