Jaime Lerner Associated Architects was founded in April 2003, with offices in Curitiba and presided by architect Jaime Lerner. The practice has as working proposal to build – through partnership with local actors – ideas and solutions that can be detailed and implemented by cities authorities.
In addition to its experienced resident team, it counts with the support of consultants in several areas, having as bases the experiences and proposals implemented in Curitiba, in the state of Parana and in several cities in Brazil and overseas.
More than a simple transference of models or projects, the proposal is the practical and conceptual application of urban principles which consider the strategic role of cities in their countries and within the world stage; the search for sustainable development of cities; the priority for public transportation, pedestrians and meeting areas within cities; the need to foster a mix of incomes and functions in the city, and within neighborhoods; the preservation and valorization of local identity and urban memory; the valorization of public spaces; the valorization of urban and natural landscapes; the development of local economic vocations, and the attraction of new businesses.
There are some fundamental principles to guide the practice’s work, based on Jaime’s understanding of cities.
“My professional experience has taught me that cities are not problems, they are solutions.
Therefore, we must change the negative lenses through which we view cities to positive ones, and focus on the incredible potential for transformation that they harbor.
The fundamental tenant of my conception of city is that we must see it as an integrated structure of life, work and mobility, together. The best metaphor to embody this idea is the turtle – ‘Vita’. The turtle is the ultimate example of integrated living and working and circulating – key aspects in terms of urban sustainability.
In order to improve the quality of life in cities and their relationship with the environment three issues must be addressed: sustainability, mobility, and solidarity.
Live close to your work, or bring the work closer to home is one of the touchstones of sustainability. Reduce the use of the automobile, separate the garbage, give multiple functions during the 24 hours of the day to urban equipments, save the maximum and waste the minimum. Sustainability is an equation between what is saved and what is wasted. The more you save and the less you waste, the more sustainable the equation is.
In terms of mobility, every city has to make the best out of each mode of transportation that it has, be it on the surface or underground. The key resides in not having competing systems on the same space, and using everything that the city has in the most effective way. The surface system has the advantage of, with the right features (such as dedicated lanes, on level and pre-paid boarding, and high frequency), achieving a performance much similar to the one of the underground train at a cost that is affordable to virtually every city, and much more quickly.
A healthier city happens where the car is not the only comfortable option of transportation; where the energy of unnecessary displacements is saved; where walking along its streets, parks and avenues in encouraged.
Cities are the refuge of solidarity. They can be the safeguards of the inhumane consequences of the globalization process; they can defend us from the extraterritoriality and lack of identity effects. On the other hand, the fiercest wars are happening in cities, in their marginalized peripheries, in the clash between wealthy and deprived ghettos. A city must foster in its territory integration of the urban functions, of income levels, of age groups, ethnicities. The more you mix it, the more human the city will be. Sociodiversity is a key issue to coexistence.
Finally, a city is a collective dream. To build this dream is vital. Without it, there will not be the essential involvement of its inhabitants. Therefore, those responsible for the destinies of the city need to clearly draw scenarios – scenarios that are desired by the majority, capable of motivating the efforts of an entire generation.
As these scenarios tend to be mid to long term, there have to be immediate actions to propel them, to create enthusiasm and synergy. To innovate is to start. This is where the “Urban Acupunture” idea comes in: strategic punctual interventions that create a new energy and help the city’s scenario to be consolidated.
The ‘Urban Acupuncture’ can revitalizes a ‘sick’ or ‘worn out’ area and its surroundings through a simple touch in a key point. Just as in the medical approach, this intervention will trigger positive chain-reactions, helping to cure, enhance the whole system.
Many cities today need urban acupuncture because they have neglected their cultural identities; others because they have neglected their relationship with the natural environment; others still have turns their backs on the wounds left by economic activities. These neglected areas, these ‘scar marks’ are precisely the target points for the acupunctures.
Nowadays, I like to think of my practice as a “clinic” or urban acupuncture.”
Phone Number : 55 (41) 2141 0700
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