Jaime Lerner at Day 3

May 12, 2008

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

California Assembly Awards & Recognizes Jaime Lerner

April 24, 2008

Jaime Lerner receives award of recognition from California Assembly

RIchard Register, on behalf of Fiona Ma, presented Jaime Lerner with an award of recognition for his accomplishments and influence on the State of California.

Here’s video, followed by a 5 minute interview with Mr. Lerner.

Jaime Lerner at TED

March 6, 2008

Ecocity favorite and one of our past featured presenters Jaime Lerner recently gave a very enlightening and humorous lecture on urban planning at the annual TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference. Jaime really knows what he’s talking about, and as the former mayor of Curitiba, Brazil he has the track record to prove it. Curitiba is an amazing example of what we can do with today’s technology and tomorrow’s thinking. Listening to Jaime talk about his ideas is sure to make you laugh – and think.

From: http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/213

“With maverick flair and a strategist’s disdain for accepted wisdom, Jaime Lerner re-invented urban space in his native Curitiba, Brazil. Along the way he managed to revolutionize bus transit, awaken green consciousness in a populace accustomed to litter and blight, and change the way city planners and bureaucrats world-wide conceive what’s possible within the tangled structure of the metropolitan landscape. “

A Convenient Truth: Urban Solutions from Curitiba, Brazil

February 9, 2008

Maria Terezinha Vaz, an Ecocity presenter and special guest, is the producer of A Convenient Truth: Urban Solutions from Curitiba, Brazil, an informative, inspirational documentary aimed at sharing ideas to provoke environment-friendly and cost-effective changes in cities worldwide.

The documentary focuses on innovations in transportation, recycling, social benefits including affordable housing, seasonal parks, and the processes that transformed Curitiba into one of the most livable cities in the world.

Through photography, Maria Terezinha Vaz integrates other passions, some of them lifelong. Trains, train tracks, the patterns and geometry of the rails and the machinery, have always held a fascination for her. She highly values historical and cultural preservation such as the Mayan land in Mexico, especially the sacred city of Chichen Itza. Preservation of the natural environment is also of great importance to her.


The film includes interviews from world renowned Curitiba’s mayors Jaime Lerner and Cassio Tanigushi, as well as other brilliant minds who made Curitiba a world class model.

If you are interested in learning more about the specifics of many of Curitiba’s programs, take a look at her web page on the project, organized into the following:






DVDs can be purchased at:


Written and Directed by Giovanni Vaz Del Bello

Produced by Maria Terezinha Vaz

Sound Design and Mixing by Lars Hidde

Music by Levanta a Vela

Singer & Berimbau Player: Papiba Godinho

Band: Sambada

Interview: Jaime Lerner

February 6, 2008

Jaime Lerner discusses the example of Curitiba, and some of the advances in sustainable urban planning that he started there. (In Portugese)