For the past 2 weeks we have been working on a sustainability brief. Whilst doing some experience prototyping with Isabel (CIID lecturer) she pointed us in the direction to read about Jaime Lerner, and i feel i have to write a brief post on him, as i feel absolutly inspired by the work he has done.
Jaime Lerner was born December 17, 1937, he was a renowned architect and urban planner who was elected mayor and then later governor of the state of Paraná, in southern Brazil.
During this time he made radical urban planning changes that turned the city of Curitiba into one of the greenest cities in the world, which people from all around the world now look to, to learn lessons from. Some of his successes included approving 150km of bike paths and a bus system that soon became so popular that commuters left their cars at home. The buses now account for 55% of the city’s transport demand. People still own cars, but they use 30% less petrol than other brazilian cities.
Other programs he set up included gardens and parks that were looked after by street children and teenagers and recycling centers where handicapped people worked sorting bottle and cans. Personally my favourite intiative that he set up was one to teach children how to do recylcing within their home, so they could then pass this knowledge onto their parents. I love this idea as it is what my group in our last project were trying to acheive……teaching children to teach their parents. So seeing this success story fills me with hope!
“We decided to teach kids in all schools for six months [to separate garbage], and then children taught their parents. So then we started a campaign [to encourage recycling], and Curitiba has been the city with the highest indicator or garbage separation in the world for 20 years now: 70% of the population separates garbage.” Lerner
Obviously not every initiative worked perfectly, but the majority of lerner’s initiatives were a huge success inspiring so many people especially those living in Curitiba, so much so that 98% of them say they are happy with their city.