18 February 2013
Chair of CASA and Fellow of the British Academy, Prof Michael Batty, 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 Planning.
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.