A look at the Paraná of ​​the future – by Alexandre Curi – O Presente

Historically, the agricultural vocation and agro-industrial potential have helped to make Paraná stand out on the national and international scene. Every year, agribusiness breaks records and contributes to the progress of the state. This model has, without a doubt, transformed the Interior into the economic locomotive of the State.

However, we still need energy to achieve balanced socio-economic development. The population rate is a sample of the large regional differences and underlines that there are still problems to be solved, mainly with regard to the modernization of the infrastructure of the municipalities, so that all the inhabitants of Paraná can have a better life.

Currently, the 20 largest cities of Paraná – that is 5% of the 399 municipalities of Paraná – concentrate an estimated population of 6.1 million people. The number represents about 52% of the state’s total of 11.8 million people, according to preliminary data from the demographic census carried out in 2022 by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).

In 2009, according to the IBGE, 209 towns in Paraná had less than 10,000 inhabitants. After 13 years, the number fell to 203. In other words, only six locations reached a higher level, although the population of Paraná increased by 11.7% during the same period. The Metropolitan Region of Curitiba (RMC) has grown even more: 16% and nine of its 29 municipalities are among the largest in the state.

On the east side live almost 36% of the people who were born or chose to live in Paraná. The North region concentrates around 17% of the population of Paraná, while the West has 18% and the North-West around 17% of the state’s population. Campos Gerais has 8.5% and Center-South has 3.5% of state residents.

The fact is that 85% of the population lives in urban centers – large, medium and small – and the remaining 15% live in rural areas. Without neglecting the difficulties faced by families in the countryside, the data show the need to expand the offer of services and improve the quality of life of those who live in cities, especially the smaller ones.

This is an essential task to reduce regional inequalities and balance the swing in the Human Development Index (HDI). Today, Paraná has locations at a very high level, while most municipalities are still pulling data down.

The search for harmonious growth requires a major effort on the part of the State and justifies the implementation of a vast investment program in cities, particularly in those with the least population and therefore with few resources. This is what we have seen in recent years, with management within the state government focused on programs and work to modernize services and urban structures.

In partnership with the Legislative Assembly, the Executive Power has carried out, among other relevant actions, the Paraná Mais Cidades programme. Half of the investment for this project comes from the budget of the parliament, which has saved a lot to allow enough resources to be transferred to the municipalities. Now this initiative gains a new version.

With this joint work between the executive and the legislative, which involves all deputies and deputies, we will pave the streets of all the towns of Paraná with up to 7,000 inhabitants. In addition to asphalt, the program will allow for the installation of sidewalks, storm sewers and street LED lighting.

I am proud to have contributed to this new achievement of small municipalities. I exercise a municipal mandate, resolute and always close to the people. I know the demands of our people, especially those living in low HDI areas, and I know that urbanization and paving are some of the biggest demands.

The state government demonstrates this municipalist understanding, values ​​mayors, and has made available many non-refundable resources so that they can honor their commitments to the people. It is with this look to the future, committed to the future of our cities, that we will move Paraná forward. A stronger Paraná must have strong cities.

Alexandre Curi is a PSD state deputy and first secretary of the Legislative Assembly of Paraná.

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