The Cities Awards highlight the strategic importance of cities and regions, and recognise the "world class" achievements made by individuals, institutions, or cities in advancing the field of urbanism. The award aspires to be the "Nobel Prize of Cities"; the highest distinction that can be internationally awarded in the field of urban planning. The prestige of the award is not derived from its economic value, but rather from the rigor, neutrality, and the capacity of the institutions that make up the Proyecto Cities initiative to identify innovative projects.
The Cities Award seeks to identify and internationally disseminate the most relevant and innovative contributions in the fields of urbanism, city and regional planning. The candidates for the award will be individuals, institutions, cities, or regions that have made significant contributions to the world of cities, and whose work can be considered as a world-class international reference. The award aspires to identify and celebrate those contributions that are singular, relevant, and internationally recognisable as world-class references for their contribution to, and improvement of, our collective efforts in the field of cities and regions.
Jaime Lerner, Gary Hack, Kisho Kurokawa and Adriana Dal Cin have each received the Cities Award.
Ex-President, International Union of Architects
"For four decades of visionary and inspiring leadership, and for demonstrating clearly that sustainability, competitiveness and social cohesion are achievable goals for our cities and regions"
Jaime Lerner was Mayor of Curitiba three times (1971-75, 1979-83 and 1989-92) and turned the city into a paradigm of planning, not only for developing countries. He consolidated Curitiba's basic urban transformations and implemented an Integrated Mass Transport System during his first term. Afterwards, in addition to the leading-edge urban planning initiatives, he intensified an encompassing programme which resulted in social and environmental advances. Before being elected Mayor, he was also responsible for setting up and defining the structure of the Research and Urban Planning Institute of Curitiba (IPPUC). At the same time, he was involved with Curitiba's Master Plan to guide the city's physical, economic and cultural transformation.
In 1994, he was elected Governor of Paraná State, and re-elected in 1998. As Governor, Lerner has promoted the economic and social transformation of Paraná, and consolidated its position as the country's new industrial hub thanks to a series of policies geared toward attracting productive investments, with the support of Curitiba's successful experience. Upon leaving office in 2002, Jaime Lerner was elected President of the International Union of Architects. He named his term "Celebration of Cities" in favour of improvement of the cities in order to bring better quality of life to people.
Dean and Paley Professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Design
"For being the epitome of the reflective practitioner who has combined rigorous theory with thoughtful practice, and is inspiring a generation of planners around the world with his experience generously imparted"
Gary Hack teaches, practices, and studies large-scale physical planning and urban design. Before appointed as Dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Design (PennDesign) in 1996, he taught for 25 years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he directed the urban design programme. He is co-author of the third edition of Site Planning and Lessons from Local Experiences, as well as numerous articles and chapters on the spatial environment of cities. Recently, he was a member of the team that won the competition and prepared the design guidelines for redeveloping the World Trade Center Site. He also co-directed an international comparative study of urbanisation patterns on four continents, published as Global City Regions: A Comparative Perspective.
He has prepared plans for over thirty cities in the United States and abroad, including the redevelopment plan for the Prudential Center in Boston, the West Side Waterfront plan in New York City, and the new Metropolitan Plan for Bangkok, Thailand. He has also worked with smaller communities on urban design issues by preparing downtown development guidelines for the centre of Portland, Maine; design review manuals for Hendersonville and Germantown, Tennessee; and guidelines for the development of the entrance corridors and downtown of Charlottesville, Virginia. Earlier in his career, Gary Hack directed the Canadian government's housing and urban development research and demonstration programmes, initiating several large neighbourhood demonstration projects and the redevelopment of urban waterfronts in a number of Canadian cities. He has also served as an urban design consultant for projects in Japan, Taiwan, China and Saudi Arabia.
Architect, Kisho Kurokawa Architects & Associates
"For his life-long journey from metabolism towards symbiosis that has profoundly enriched his work and provoked the re-examination of our relationship with nature, bringing us closer to the Age of Life."
Kisho Kurokawa was one of the world's foremost architects, and gained international recognition both for his practical and theoretical contribution to the field. He was one of the founders of the Metabolism Movement. Since then, he advocated the paradigm shift from the "Age of Machine" to the "Age of Life". He believed that our world has moved inexorably from an architectural culture based on the modernists' commitment to the machine to a new "life" age, a thoughtful, humanitarian period that moves towards nature and values life over mechanical objects. This philosophy of symbiosis was originally developed as a concept concerned with architectural and urban planning issues, and formed the underlying theme of his work. He distilled these ideas in his book The Philosophy of Symbiosis (1987), which was awarded the Japan Grand Prix of Literature in 1993. Afterwards, his philosophy expanded into a world view, a fact reflected by the English title of his book Each One A Hero: The Philosophy of Symbiosis. The English translation was cited for excellence by the American Institute of Architects in 1992.
Some of his major works in Japan include the National Ethnological Museum, the National Bunraku Theatre, Nagoya City Art Museum, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama. Major works abroad include Japanese-German Centre of Berlin, Germany; the Chinese-Japanese Youth Centre in Beijing, China; Melbourne Central in Australia; Pacific Tower in Paris, France; Republic Plaza, Singapore; Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia; and the new wing of the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. His latest works include: Oita stadium for the World Cup 2002, Japan; the new National Gallery in Tokyo; Zhengdong New Town and Overall Concept Plan for the Zhengzhou City, China. He was also advisor to a number of national, provincial and municipal governments.
Adriana Dal Cin
Architect, planner, President-elect, International Society of City and Regional Planners
"For her life-long passion for our historic urban heritage, and for her great humanity that she dedicated to promote intercultural understanding and extend democratic and social ideals in planning"
Adriana Dal Cin was someone of whom you never knew whether her heart or her intellect was bigger. She was professor of urban design and urban planning at different universities and centres in Argentina and Spain. As a talented speaker she lectured widely in many countries around the world. She advised municipalities in Europe, the Americas and the Middle East, as well as institutions and organisations, such as the Institute of Physical Planning (Cuba), WHO and the Government of Azores (Portugal). She collaborated with her husband and partner, Javier de Mesones, since 1973, winning more than 10 national and international competitions. Her deepest lifelong passion was dedicated to historic conservation, environmental sustainability and public participation. She was awarded the Professional Merit Medal in 1999 for her work. She was actively involved in a number of professional organisations such as the Spanish Association of Planners (1985-2002) and the Association for the Protection of Cultural Heritage (1984-1989). She was elected President of the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP) in 2001, after her previous period as Vice President during 1993-2001. Deeply committed to intercultural understanding, she co-edited the International Manual of Planning Practice under the auspices of Isocarp. After a long struggle with cancer, Adriana Dal Cin passed away in March 2002.