Jaime Lerner at Day 3

Jaime Lerner, former Mayor of Curitiba, Brazil

If there is a Mr. Ecocity anywhere on the planet, it is without question our keynote speaker and former mayor of Curitiba, Brazil. Lerner is the architect planner who led the work to transform his city, starting in 1972, into a world model of ecological and social policies, designs and built projects. The chief architect of the Curitiba Master Plan, he was appointed mayor during Brazil’s military dictatorship in 1971. When the nation returned to democracy, he was elected to two more terms. During his 12 years in office, Lerner devised many of Curitiba’s innovative, inexpensive solutions to city problems. For example, to combat Curitiba’s growing litter problem, he created more incentives for recycling, including exchanging bottles, cans and other recyclables for food. Lerner believed in implementing plans swiftly — in just 72 hours, he converted several blocks of the downtown into Brazil’s first pedestrian mall. Lerner’s track record in Curitiba helped him gain the trust and confidence he needed to attain the governorship of his State of Parana from 1994 to 2002. Today, Lerner consults with cities on their plans for addressing long-term growth and sustainability. At the Ecocity World Summit he will be describing his new ideas for strategic intervention and course-correction in city development he calls “urban acupuncture.”

In this conference, Mr. Jaime Lerner will approach what in his views are the main issues concerning cities nowadays and their future perspectives, portraying them as important solidarity refuges.  Strongly supporte by concrete examples, it will focus on the role they plan in contemporary society, enhancing the meaning of design both in structuring urban growth and in the development project of a city, a state, a country.  It will also target mobility – stressing the importance  of public transportation – sustainability and identity as key areas for intervention.  The concept of “Urban Acupuncture” as a strategy to achieve effective results in the qualification of the urban environment will also be explored.

Jaime Lerner: www.jaimelerner.com

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