Did the revitalization of Avenida Brasil in Cascavel contribute to a greater sustainable mobility of cars and pedestrians in this area? Our students sought to answer this question by interviewing Cascavel’s society and creating a documentary.
The city of Cascavel is located in the western region of the state of Paraná, is known as the capital of this region and stands out in the agroindustrial scenario of the country being home to important industries that drive the economy. With more than 300 thousand inhabitants, Cascavel has passed in the last two years for some structural reforms that directly impacted the flow of traffic in the main avenues. We wanted to understand the impact of these changes and analysed if the referent project is justified. Involving approximately 50 students, teachers, staff and the community, the theme of urban mobility was at the heart of all activities.
In order to identify the problem of urban mobility, a brainstorming activity was carried out with the students about which problems they identified in traffic and urban mobility in Cascavel. Students pointed out several problems, but the most controversial was the reform of the main avenue of the city. The Avenida Brasil was the first avenue of Cascavel and, at first, it had curves in the busiest points of the avenue. The main purpose of the curves was to force drivers to slow down at those points. In 2015, according to municipal government, started the biggest urban mobility work in the city of Cascavel. In practice, the proposal was to reduce the travel time in public transport to the point of making it more attractive than the use of the car and at the same time beautify the city with a general reform in the sidewalk and the adjacent streets, which were destroyed by lack of maintenance. The integration of bicycle lanes suggested a great change in the mobility of the city.
In 2017 the revitalization work on Avenida Brasil was done. Many residents have complained since the restoration was completed in the avenue. Many affirm that the ban on turning to the left on the avenue has delayed the flow of cars on the Avenida Brasil. Hence, the proposal of our project was to develop an online research to find out people's opinion about the works done in the avenue and find out if they liked it or not, and whether the work improved or worsened the urban mobility of the city as a whole. We created the survey with a Forms form, making it easier for the city's residents to access, and facilitating data capture. After 5 days of research, the data were computed and analyzed. One hundred and sixty people answered to our online survey. The students shared the link of our survey on their timelines in the social networking medias. Parents, relatives and friends of our students, and also school community were the main public target of our survey. According to the survey, the opinion of people about the reform is well divided 50% think it was good or great and another 50% did not like it or do not know.
After the research, the students and teachers decided they should make a documentary to make people aware of why that was made, what its purpose is and to explain the positive and negative points that the reshape of Avenida Brasil brought to the city of Cascavel.
This documentary explains the entire history of the Avenida Brasil from its creation to the present. It features interviews, a historical explanation of the avenue Brasil, and the data of the research on the opinion of the society of the city of Cascavel referring to the reform are presented. The documentary has six minutes and was released on social networks like Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp and passed to the students from Colégio Sesi Internacional and the Sesi Regular de Cascavel. The purpose of the documentary is to make people aware that the reform of Avenida Brasil, despite the controversy, has benefited residents with a bike path of more than ten kilometers and parks that have been renovated to provide more quality of life. Another point that has been explained is also that it favors urban mobility since the buses will have a track of their own.
The documentary generated many debates when it was presented or in the comments on social network sites. In both situations, people tend to take a position whether supporting the revitalization or criticizing it. Most of the non-supporters argue the prohibition of left hand conversion is not lawful since the busses aren’t running on the avenue yet. On the other hand, supporters affirm they have never enjoyed the Brasil Avenue as much as they have being doing now. Some supporters even defend that with the busses working properly it would improve mobility in the area even more. Working on this project made all the public evolved, students, teachers and coordinator reflect about the contribution of the revitalization of Avenida Brasil to a greater mobility in Cascavel’s down town.