Responsible for the creation and structuring of the Institute of Urban Planning and Research of Curitiba (IPPUC) in 1965, he participated in the preparation of the Master Plan for Curitiba that resulted in the physical, economic and cultural transformation of the city.
He was Mayor of Curitiba for three terms: 1971/75, 1979/83 and 1989/92.
During his first term as mayor of Curitiba, Lerner consolidated the urban transformation and implemented the Integrated Mass Transport System, worldwide acknowledged for its efficiency, quality and low cost.
In the two subsequent terms, in addition to the cutting-edge urban planning actions, Lerner intensified an encompassing program that resulted in social advances, ranking Curitiba among the capitals with the highest quality of life in the world.
Elected Governor of Paraná State in 1994 and re-elected in 1998, Lerner promoted the greatest economic and social transformation in its history. Supported by a successful investment attraction policy, Paraná consolidated its position as the new economic hub in the country, receiving US$ 20 billion in investments between 1995 and 2001. Emulating the successful experience of Curitiba, during his time in office Jaime Lerner tackled transport, land use, education, health, sanitation, recreation and industrialization as a whole.
When not in public office, Jaime Lerner was intensely engaged in architecture and urban planning work.
In the 60’s he and his team achieved two important awards in architecture contests: 1st place in the National Contest for the Headquarters of the Federal Police, in Brasília – 1968, and 2nd place in the Eurokursaal International Contest in San Sebastian, Spain – 1966. He was a member of the group of young architects who represented Brazil at the Paris Biennial Exhibition in 1969. In 1989 he was awarded the Silver Medal at the International City Design Competition promoted by the School of Architecture and Urban Planning of the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, USA. In 2007 he received from the XI Buenos Aires International Bienal of Architecture a joint award for the Pedra Branca urbanization project, and, in 2009, the Prêmio Brasil Olímpico, from the Rio 2016 Candidacy Committee, for his participation in the development of the BRT project and several consulting services rendered to Rio de Janeiro connected to its candidacy as Olympic city.
In addition to having presided the Brazilian Institute of Architects – IAB – Paraná Chapter, he also received several state and national awards from that Institute for urban planning and architecture works.
Lerner developed plans for several Brazilian cities, among which: Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Recife, Salvador, Aracaju, Natal, Goiânia, Campo, Grande and Niterói. He has also worked in Caracas (Venezuela), San Juan (Puerto Rico), Shanghai (China), Havana (Cuba), and Seoul (South Korea); and acted as a United Nations consultant for urban issues.
In the field of education, he is an Urban and Regional Planning professor at the Architecture and Urban Planning School at the Federal University of Paraná. Lerner was invited to deliver speeches and lecturer at the Universities of Cincinnati (USA), Columbia (USA), Osaka (Japan) and was a Guest Lecturer at the University of California- Berkeley (USA) and Columbia University, in addition to seminars in several countries such as Colombia, Puerto Rico, Spain, Great-Britain, Japan, the USA and China.
He spoke at important conferences such as the International Green Forum, Osaka, Japan (1986); New York Academy of Sciences (1986); UIA/AIA Conference “World Congress of Architects’ (Chicago, USA, 1993), the 53rd Annual United Nations Conference (2000), and the Clinton Global Initiative (2006), and was invited in 2006 to participate in the exhibit “Leonardo da Vinci: Men Inventor, Genius – section Modern-Day Leonardos”, at the Science and Industry Museum of Chicago, USA; and in the 8th Bienal Internacional de Arquitectura de Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Keynote speaker at the TED – Ideas Worth Spreading in Monterrey, California in 2007, at the Ecocity World Summit in San Francisco, California and at the Urban Age Conference Sao Paulo in 2008, at the Mane Expo Madrid, Spain, in 2009, and at the World’s Cities Summit in 2010. In 2011 he contributed at the event The Ideas Economy, Intelligent Infrastructure, promoted by The Economist in New York, and at the Advanced Leadership Initiative – Revitalizing Cities Think Thank at Harvard University, USA.
He is also one of the founders of Instituto Jaime Lerner, a center created to disseminate urban management strategies.
In July 2002, Lerner was elected president of International Union of Architects, for a three-year term. His main project at UIA is the program Celebration of Cities, which invites all nations and cultures of the planet to propose solutions for their cities.
Since April 2003, Jaime Lerner presides the then created Jaime Lerner Associated Architects, with office in Curitiba. The company has an extensive staff of consultants and collaborators in several areas of knowledge, based on experience gained from Curitiba and other cities of Brazil and abroad. It developed plans and projects for Brazilian cities such as São Paulo, Brasília, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, Florianópolis, Recife, Joinville, Cuiabá, São Caetano do Sul, Campinas, Serra, Macaé, Louveira, Montes Claros, Uberaba; also David (Panama), Oaxaca, Durango and the Sinaloa Region (Mexico), Luanda (Angola) in addition to many projects for the private sector.
In 2010, Jaime Lerner was listed among the 25 most influential thinkers in the world by the Time Magazine and received the Médaille d’Urbanisme by L’Académie d’Architecture (France). In 2011, in recognition for his leadership, vision and contribution in the field or sustainable urban mobility he received the Leadership in Transport Award, granted by the International Transport Forum at the OECD.
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