Urban Heroes: The Principal Award
Rio de Janeiro ~ Brazil
The award of EUR 100,000 is extended this year to a trio of 'Urban Heroes'. All three of them work in Latin America. Urban Heroes is an honorary title for those individuals who have exerted themselves in a surprising and successful manner in improving the humane character of cities in the Third World. Jaime Lerner is an inspiring planner. He was mayor of Curitiba three times (1971-75, 1979-83 and 1989-92) and turned that city into a paradigm of city planning. Viva Rio, though not cultural in a strict sense, displays a moral dimension and expresses the importance of values, and thus the important role culture can play in a destructive environment. Francisco Toledo has frequently been at odds with the government. Toledo is an ‘urban hero’ for keeping his native town beautiful in a globalising world.