Chair of CASA, Fellow
of the British Academy and RTPI member, Prof Michael Batty (pictured right), has been
awarded the prestigious
Lauréat Prix International de Géographie Vautrin Lud, the
highest award that can be gained in the field of geography.
Named after the 16th century scholar credited with naming
America, Valentin Lud, the prize is commonly referred to as the
"Nobel prize of geography", and is awarded each year at the International Geography Festival held in
the French village of Saint-Dié-des-Vosges.
Prof Batty was nominated for the prize by a jury made up of five
geographers from across Europe, and finally named as the Laureate
through a vote of over 200 prominent geographers from around the
world. First awarded in 1991, previous recipients of the prize also
include Prof Peter Hall of The Bartlett School of
Dr Peter Geraghty, President of the RTPI, offered his
congratulations to Professor Batty: "Professor Batty's contribution
to CASA, The Bartlett School of Planning, and planning more
generally cannot be underestimated. The award of the Lauréat Prix
International de Géographie Vautrin Lud to Professor Batty is
a huge honour, but it is an entirely merited one".
Speaking following the announcement of the award, Prof Batty
said: "This was quite unexpected and I am both surprised and
delighted to have received this award. Although I have a worked
extensively in the geography of cities and for the first 10 years
after I came to UCL, I was a member of the Geography Department as
well as The Bartlett, I think this award reflects the fact that
what we do in researching cities is inevitably an interdisciplinary
enterprise and that this is recognized by geographers as well as
architects and planners.
I would not have even been nominated for this award had I not
been able to create something like CASA over the last 18 years and
that this award is as much for CASA, The Bartlett, and Geography
here at UCL as it is for me."
Prof Batty, who was also awarded the Alonso Prize of the
Regional Science Association for his book, Cities and
Complexity in 2011, will receive the prize at the
International Geography Festival in October.