Smart city concepts in Curitiba – innovation for sustainable mobility and energy efficiency

Transport and IT-based technologies open opportunities to rethink the development of cities. A consortium between Swedish and Brazilian stakeholders is exploring the deployment of these technologies together with new concepts for urban planning in Curitiba.

In 2013, KTH, the City of Curitiba and institutions including local universities and the Federation of Industries of the State of Paraná signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop projects in the areas of mobility, urban planning and environment. The MoU was signed in the presence of His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, the Mayor of Curitiba Mr. Gustavo Fruet, and a distinguished delegation composed of Swedish universities and industries.

Since then, a consortium has been formed including KTH, VOLVO, SAAB Combitech, UTFPR (Technical University of Paraná), URBS (Companhia de Urbanização e Saneamento de Curitiba) and IPPUC (Instituto de Pesquisa e Planejamento Urbano de Curitiba) to explore the deployment of new technologies for improved mobility and energy efficiency in Curitiba. The project aims at sustainable technological solutions for the improvement of urban critical infrastructure.

The initiative addresses problems of energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions in public transportation, and opportunities created by smart grids for provision of new services. The initiative builds upon the development of a new mass transport corridor in Curitiba. The new corridor allows for incorporation of new space in the urban area, and also the establishment of new concepts of sustainable city.

Curitiba has a long history of sustainable urban development. Since the 1970s, the city has developed structural corridors and explored TOD (Transport oriented development) concepts. In fact, Curitiba was the first city to implement a BRT (Bus Rapid Transport) system. The city has maintained its high environmental profile and is presently a member of the C40 group, a global network of megacities committed to sustainability and advancement of the climate agenda (http://www.c40.org/).

Our project aims at helping develop a vision for a smart city. Sustainable solutions require the alignment of local and international stakeholders with national government strategies and policies. Therefore, our approaches are based on a holistic view, a shared vision among citizens and management teams, public participation and strong leadership. This cooperation presents a rare opportunity to bring together city management, utilities, industry, research and development institutes and education institutions from Sweden and Brazil to exchange ideas and improve the urban infrastructure of Curitiba.

System innovation, combining new bus-technologies and information technology to develop electro-mobility, and energy efficient and low-carbon transport services are needed when making urban sustainability a reality. The project includes demonstration of technological solutions by VOLVO and SAAB Combitech to provide smart mobility and a platform for information monitoring and sharing. Research work is carried out by KTH and UTFPR to test and adapt concepts to the context of Curitiba; design the configuration of infrastructure systems; monitor operations, energy and emissions balances; and design scenarios for up-scaling smart concepts and solutions.

Well-articulated urban mobility will help improve the quality of services in the urban area, reduce environmental impacts and open new areas for development. The ambition is to become an international reference, and to pave the way for enhanced cooperation between Swedish and Brazilian actors in Curitiba and in Brazil as a whole.

Project duration:

Oct 2014 to Jun 2017

Project Leader:

Prof. Semida Silveira

Coordinator in Curitiba:

Prof Keiko V. Fonseca 

Swedish-Brazilian consortium 

KTH Royal Institute of Technology ( www.kth.se)

KTH-ECS: Prof. Semida Silveira, Dennis Dreier

KTH-OnLab: Prof. Lena Wosinska, Prof. Paolo Monti, Dr. Matteo Fiorani

Volvo Buses ( volvo.com)

Rafael Nieweglowski, Renan Schepanski, Jorge Suarez

SAAB COMBITECH ( saabgroup.com)

Johansson Ingemar, Rudin Björn

UTFPR – Federal University of Technology - Paraná (  http://www.utfpr.edu.br/)

Prof. Keiko V. Fonseca (local coordinator), Prof. Tatiana Gadda, Prof. Ricardo Lüders

City of Curitiba ( www.curitiba.pr.gov.br)

Fabio Doria Scatolin, Rosane Kupka

URBS – Urbanização de Curitiba S.A. ( urbs.curitiba.pr.gov.br)

Gregorio da Silva Junior, Olga Prestes

CISB (Swedish Brazilian Innovation Centre, cisb.org)  

Alessandra Holmo, Juliana Miura

IPPUC (Institute for Research and Urban Planning of Curitiba, www.ippuc.org.br)

Francisco Caron Malucelli

Read more about KTH cooperation with Curitiba

www.kth.se/aktuellt/nyheter/kth-pa-bred-front-i-brasilien-1.435580

www.kth.se/aktuellt/nyheter/samarbete-med-vm-stad-1.483711

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