Jaime Lerner holds the ethos that the city is not a problem it is a solution. “More and more I am convinced that not only a solution for a country but also for the problem of climate change. We have a very pessimistic view of the city, with the attitude that the city is too big with the resources to be improved quickly.” Lerner believes that the city can be improved in less than three years, not a question of scale or financial resources, every problem in the city has to have its own equation of core responsibility and also a design. Citing, “creativity starts when you cut a zero from your budget.”
The two prominent features of Jaime Lerner’s theory of Urban Acupuncture are mobility and education. Through educating the children they will have a strong understanding of sustainability, they then may have an influence on changing their parents perceptions also. Lerner has created characters to educate the younger generation of his ideas, assigning a character to an everyday object. Using the turtle as an example of the best way of life, he says, “the turtle is the best example of living and working together”. In contrast much of the way the modern city works is dislocated. People live in one district, or outside of the city, work in another and use another for leisure activities. Another character Lerner has created, Otto the automobile, to which he assigns the characteristic that, “the car is like the guest who is invited to a party and never wants to leave, greedy, exhausting all the food and drink and always asking for more.” The automobile is often used to connect the dislocated entities of the city, exhausting the planets natural resources and demanding improved infrastructure. Public transport on the other hand, transports many people with the minimal input of energy, improving mobility and sustainability.
When talking of the cities design Lerner believes that every city has its own design, and to make change happen quickly you have to propose a scenario for the city, state and the country. A design that will appeal to the large majority, who will respond and help to make it happen. The design has to focus beyond the building and materials used, instead the design is of the concept of the city and educating society.