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CEPT University bestows Honorary Doctorates to Alain Bertaud and Christopher Benninger


For the very first time, CEPT will bestow two Honorary Doctorates at its forthcoming Convocation on the 20th January, 2024.


Mr. Alain Bertaud will be bestowed with a Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa) in Urban Planning; and Mr. Christopher Charles Benninger will be bestowed with a Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa) in Architecture. Its objective is to honour individuals who have made profound, far reaching and inspiring contributions to the fields that CEPT University is engaged in, through their work in education, research and practice, and who exemplify the highest personal and professional standards. Congratulating both, Dr. Bimal Patel, President of CEPT University, said that “awarding the Honorary Degree of Doctorate of Philosophy is the highest honour that CEPT University can bestow upon any person. I am very pleased that the two people recognized with this honour are highly distinguished professionals who are exemplary ‘reflective practitioners” in their fields. In accepting this recognition, they have reposed faith in the University’s high standards of excellence. I hope that in the years to come, CEPT will continue to recognize the accomplishments and achievements of those who are leaders par excellence in their fields, for their contribution to education, research and practice.”


Alain Bertaud is one of the foremost thinkers on urban planning in the world. He was trained as an architect. Early in his career he became interested in cities and urban planning. His extensive career at the World Bank and later as a consultant gave him an unparalleled opportunity to work with cities across the world. He developed many deep insights and a unique understanding of how the interaction of markets and state intervention, in the form of urban planning, shapes cities and affects the life of people living in them. Throughout his very long career he kept publishing his findings in the form of research papers. These papers have been highly influential across the world and have been extensively cited. He was also a much sought after lecturer and a tireless advocate for a better understanding of the interaction of markets and urban planning. In 2018, MIT Press published his book “Order Without Design: How Markets Shape Cities”. It brings together his profound insights and findings and is necessary reading for anyone who is interested in urban development. CEPT University is proud of its long association with Alain Bertaud. He has lectured at the University, held faculty workshops, and was the Chief Guest at the Convocation in 2017.


Christopher Benninger is a distinguished architect, planner, teacher and institution builder. He holds a Master's in Architecture from Harvard University and Master’s in City Planning from MIT. He resigned from his tenured professorship at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University to found the School of Planning at the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) in Ahmedabad in 1972. Then, in 1976, he moved to Pune and founded the Centre for Development Studies and Activities (CDSA). In 1995, he set up Christopher Charles Benninger Architects (CCBA). His architectural practice has produced exemplary and highly inspiring projects, ranging from institutional campuses and corporate offices to national government buildings, located in more than 20 cities in India as well as Bhutan, China and Africa. Through his lectures across India and the world, and through the activities at India House in Pune – the place where he lives and works – he has been a tireless advocate for the betterment of Indian architecture. His book, ‘Letters to A Young Architect’ is now in its sixth edition and it has been translated into Gujarati, Bangla and Chinese. A monograph ‘Christopher Benninger: Architecture for a Modern India’ has been published by Skira in Italy and Rizzoli in the USA in 2016. CEPT University is particularly indebted to Christopher Benninger for founding the School of Planning and for nurturing the University through his many contributions as a teacher, lecturer, and a member on its Board of Management.



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