Cities in both North and South America are confronting tremendous challenges in urban growth and management as they enter the new century.
Curitiba in Brazil and Portland in Oregon, US are cities that have achieved recognition for exemplary urban planning programmes over the past three decades.
As such, they provide particularly useful illustrations of the intense development pressures that many urban areas currently face.
This book explores the dynamics of their urban governance, arguing that, in general, there has been a unique synergy derived from the combination of visionary leadership, innovative urban plans and effective citizen involvement. The book argues that, while urban design and architecture are key to the success in making cities livable and in augmenting the global reputations, such sensitive, innovative urban planning and design projects first need to be governed effectively and grounded within the specifics of their local cultures and existing built environments.