Jaime Lerner receives honorary doctorate

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The University of Westminster is pleased to announce that renowned Brazilian politician, architect and urban planner, Jaime Lerner, has been awarded an honorary doctorate award of Doctors of Letters at a ceremony which took place on Tuesday, 9 November, 2010 in London.

Jaime Lerner is an architect and urban planner and founder of the Instituto Jaime Lerner. Three-time mayor of Curitiba, Brazil, he led the urban revolution that made the city renowned for urban planning in public transportation, environment, and social programs.

Most famous of his initiatives is the integrated bus system, which at one hundredth of the cost of a subway system, transports just as many people. Lerner also served as governor of Parana State twice and conducted an urban and rural economic and social transformation. Since stepping down from his political career Lerner has been elected president of the General Assembly of the International Union of Architects (2002-2005), he is a professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the Universidade Federal do Parana and a guest professor at the University of California.

Jaime Lerner’s work has made him an inspiration to not only to his fellow Brazilians, but also to municipal planners from across the globe who are seeking environmentally-friendly cities.

Mr Lerner said: “It is a great privilege and honour to be receiving this award from such a world-class school of architecture and the built environment. For many years the University of Westminster has been supporting and encouraging innovation and I am confident that each of its graduates will be well equipped to be successful in the future after the innovative training they receive at the school.”

The honorary doctorate adds to the collection of international awards Jaime Lerner has already received including: the highest United Nations Environmental Award (1990), Child and Peace Award from UNICEF (1996), The 2001 World Technology Award for Transportation, and the 2002 Sir Robert Mathew Prize for the Improvement of Quality of Human Settlements. In 2010, he was named as one of the 25 most influential thinkers in the world by Time magazine.

Jeremy Till, Dean of the School of Architecture and the Built Environment, said: “Jaime Lerner is one of the world’s greatest urban visionaries and it is with great pride that the University of Westminster is awarding Jaime this honorary doctorate. His combination of inspirational design, green vision and common sense is what we aspire to here at the School.”

For further information and to arrange interviews, please contact:

Mark Knight, Sarah Evans-Toyne or Jo McGilway    
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Notes to Editors:

  1. The University of Westminster is a diverse and dynamic international education institution situated in Harrow and the heart of London, one of the world’s great cities. With a vibrant learning environment and a commitment to educating for professional life, the University has a distinguished 170-year history, and continues to attract more than 20,000 students from 150 different nations. A wide range of Westminster’s courses are independently rated as excellent, and the University’s research leads the way in many areas including art and design, electronic engineering, and media. Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements of the University’s vision for the future.
  2. The School of Architecture and the Built Environment (SABE) at the University of Westminster is one of the country’s leading centres for teaching and research in Architecture and the Built Environment. With over 2000 students, SABE is also one of the largest providers of built environment education in the country. Courses range from Foundation level, providing access to University degrees, right through to an ever-expanding cohort of PhD students. The quality of research at SABE was recognised in the last Research Assessment Exercise in which 20% of the research in Architecture and the Built Environment was judged as ‘world-leading’, and 90% as ‘international’. A range of high-level consultancy activities complements this research, and brings knowledge directly to bear in the outside world.

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