Dr. Richard Jackson, a professor of Urban Planning at the Luskin School of Public Affairs, was awarded with one of the nation’s most prestigious honors on Tuesday as he was the recipient of one of the 18th Annual Heinz Awards.
Jackson was one of just five people in the country to receive the distinguished award, which honors work in Arts and Humanities, Environment, Human Condition; Public Policy; and Technology, the Economy and Employment.
Jackson was awarded an unrestricted cash prize of $250,000 in the Environment category for his studies on the relationship between the physical design of communities and rising health risks.
“This is a well-deserved and significant achievement honoring Richard and his research," said dean of the Luskin School, Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. “Richard embodies the excellence that we strive for at UCLA Luskin. It is a tremendous opportunity for our students to have access to one of just five recipients of this award. Moreover, Richard's work not only benefits our students and UCLA, but the nation and the world.”
Jackson, a pediatrician and public health physician, has shown a willingness to speak out about his findings and is fueled by a passion to safeguard the health of children, who he believes are most at risk from poorly designed built environments. Dr. Jackson’s warnings, once considered controversial, have been borne out repeatedly by studies documenting airborne particulate levels, a reduction in physical fitness of children and rising rates of obesity and diabetes. He has become a leading voice for reinserting health considerations into decisions about urban, suburban and transportation design programs, rallying mayors, planners, architects and the public to re-envision communities that are good for people and the planet.
Established by Teresa Heinz in 1993, the Heinz Awards are given out annually by the Heinz Family Foundation to honor the memory of U.S. Senator John Heinz, who once said “The most important investments – and the most profitable,” he once said, “are investments in people.”
In addition to the monetary award, recipients are presented with a medallion inscribed with the image of Senator Heinz on one side and a rendering of a globe passing between two hands on the other. The Heinz Awards will be presented at a ceremony in Pittsburgh, Pa. on October 11. For more information about the Heinz Awards or the recipients, including photographs, visit www.heinzawards.net.