Curitiba, capital of the state of Paraná, Brazil. In 2005, Curitiba had an area of 171 square miles and a population of 1.78 million and 3.15 million in the metropolitan area. Gold prospectors founded the settlement of Nossa Senhora da Luz dos Pinhais, which became the village of Curitiba in 1693. Until the end of the eighteenth century, the inhabitants lived on subsistence agriculture and marginal old gold sites. Progress came with cattle drives south to São Paulo's cattle market in Sorocaba and, in 1820, with the export of Yerba Maté through Paranaguá harbor. The village of Curitiba, the center of a community of large rural estates, was declared a city in 1842. After the territory of Paraná was separated from the province of São Paulo in 1853, Curitiba became the capital of the newly formed province. Together with the Indian and white populations, black and mulatto slaves constituted a significant work force, about 40 percent of the total population of Curitiba in the first half of the nineteenth century. In the second half of that century, European immigrants—primarily Germans, Italians, Ukrainians, and Poles—settled on the outskirts of the city, contributing their cultures to its development. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the city had acquired the features of a modern capital and had 30,000 inhabitants. In 1940 a Frenchman named Agache devised a plan to regulate the disorganized growth of the city. At the same time there was an expansion of coffee production, which resulted in increased wealth for the capital. In the twenty-first century, Curitiba boasts more green space per inhabitant than any other city, and is celebrated for its urban planning.
See alsoBrazil, Geography .
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