Curitiba, capital of the south brazilian state of Paraná, is famous for its achievements in urban planning, and often considered as a model city in the Third World. The successful public transport bus system and various municipal initiatives to protect the local environment show that a more sustainable development in urban areas is possible. The citie’s development is based on the Master Plan, which had been issued in 1966 and put into practice since then. Important for the development since the 1960s is the work of the municipal urban planning institute (IPPUC) and the fact, that there were no major changes in municipal administration for more than three decades, which facilitated the realization of the Master Plan. The bases of the development model of Curitiba was set up in the 1960s, while the macroeconomic development in Brazil was characterized by the economic model of import substitution. But even for the last 10 to 15 years with a slight change to neoliberal economic development patterns in Brazil, Curitiba didn't give up central ideas of its urban planning and administration model. In contrast to neoliberal thoughts (withdraw of the public sector from economy, among others) the city government is still highly envolved into economic and social development processes. Considering Curitiba as a model city does not mean, on the other side, that there are no problems in local urban development. The demographic growth since the 1960s led to crescent problems with crime and more and more quatter settlements can be seen in the periphery as well as the local environmental situation is not as good as the title “Ecological Capital of Brazil” might convey. There is also a demand for more participation of the citizens at the elaboration of urban development strategies.