Curitiba is the capital and largest-city of the Brazilian state of Paraná.
The population of Curitiba Metropolitan area numbers 3.2 million approximately (ranking 8th nationwide)
Growth of the city was based on the cattle trade, being half way between cattle breeding country to the South and markets to the North. Waves of European immigrants started arriving after 1850, mainly Germans, Italians, Poles and Ukrainians, contributing to the economic and cultural development of the city
In 2010 the city was awarded the Globe Sustainable City Award which was set up to recognize those cities and municipalities which excel in sustainable urban development around the world.
Today, Curitiba is considered one of the best examples of urban planning worldwide. In June 1996, the chairman of the Habitat II summit of mayors and urban planners in Istanbul praised Curitiba as "the most innovative city in the country."
Curitiba was recently recommended by UNESCO as one of the city-model for the reconstruction of the cities of Afghanistan, after the U.S invaded in 2001.
In 2007, the city was placed third in a list of "15 Green Cities" in the world, according the U.S. magazine "Grist," after Reykjavik in Iceland and Portland, Oregon in the United States. As a result, according to one survey, 99% of Curitibans are happy with their hometown.