Born in North West London in 1931, Mayer Hillman is the third son of David Hillman, a portrait painter and stained glass artist, and Dr. Annie Hillman, a GP. In 1964, he married Heidi Krott with whom he has two sons, Josh (born 1968) and Saul (born 1970) and two granddaughters. He studied architecture at University College London, qualifying in 1954, and then stayed on to study town planning, qualifying in 1956. He was in private practice in Hampstead for 13 years.
He is senior fellow emeritus at the Policy Studies Institute in London, where he formerly served as Environment and Quality of Life Research Program head. He completed his doctorate at the University of Edinburgh and was one of the first proponents of personal carbon rationing as the way for the world's population to prevent serious damage from climate change. His studies have been concerned with transport, urban planning, energy conservation, health promotion, road safety and environment policies, and particularly the implications of climate change.
For many years, he has highlighted the imperative of incorporating environmental considerations into public policy. He first proposed personal carbon rationing in 1990, citing it as the only realistic way by which the worlds population could prevent catastrophic climate change. He has written over 50 books on the subjects of his research, including the Penguin book How We Can Save the Planet (with Tina Fawcett) in 2004 and The Suicidal Planet: Our Last Chance to Prevent Climate Catastrophe (with Tina Fawcett and Sudhir Rajan), published by St. Martins Press in 2007 in the US.
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