The Volvo Environment Prize 2004 is awarded to Dr. David Satterthwaite, Mr. Jaime Lerner as well as Dr. Luisa and Dr. Mario Molina. The common denominator for these four winners is that they work with finding measures to counter the environmental problems resulting from rising urbanization, particularly in developing countries.
The world’s population has quadrupled since 1900 and the number of people living in cities has increased fourteen-fold – from 225 million to 3.2 billion. The year 2004 will be the first in history in which the number of people on earth living in cities will exceed the number living rurally. The pace of this development is the fastest in developing countries and this wave of urbanization is awash with difficult environmental problems.
Dr. David Satterthwaite has focused his efforts on studying man’s living environments in developing countries for more than 25 years. His pioneering analyses have gained major importance in our understanding of how society can cope with water supply, health and living issues, the problems of poverty and the matter of sustainable living in major cities.
Mr. Jaime Lerner is an architect and the former mayor of Curitiba, Brazil. As mayor, he was involved in developing innovative methods of controlling development in rapidly growing cities with extensive poverty. His efforts include the implementation of a profitable and highly utilized transport system and efficient waste management systems that involved the inhabitants and at the same time rewarded them with food and travel subsidies.
Dr. Luisa and Dr. Mario Molina spearheaded a team of 50 researchers that focused on studying the growing problems with air pollution in large cities. With the help of innovative scientific methods, they analyzed the origins and daily patterns for emissions, traced and attempted to foresee the dynamism behind the transformation of emissions to environmentally destructive substances and studied the correlation between air pollution and mortality rates.
This is the fifteenth year in which the Volvo Environment Prize is being awarded to internationally renowned experts and researchers. The price was established in 1989 to support and recognize environmental research and development. Since then it has gained the status of being one of the world’s most prestigious environment prizes. The prize amounts to SEK 1.5 million and will be awarded at a ceremony to be held in Göteborg on November 11 this year. More information about the Environment Prize and its winners, including photographs, is available at the Volvo Environment Prize website: www.enviroment-prize.com.
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